Daily Mail

Steal A March scratched to deny King first Festival run


HOPES of a royal runner at the meeting have been dashed after the Nicky Henderson-trained Steal A March was scratched from Thursday’s Pertemps Hurdle Final.

Steal A March qualified for the Festival final of the Pertemps series when winning at Wincanton on Boxing Day and he would have been a first runner there for King Charles and the Queen Consort.

■ CHARLES BYRNES-trained Blazing Khal has been given the go ahead to run in Thursday’s Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. Doubts about the participat­ion of the 11-4 favourite emerged earlier this week when Byrnes said that Blazing Khal’s training programme had been disrupted after he sustained a cut on a leg when winning the Boyne Hurdle


at Navan last month. But Byrnes says the gelding will now be allowed to take his chance.

■ HENDERSON-trained Shishkin is 4-6 favourite for Thursday’s Ryanair Chase. Twelve possible runners have been left in the race yesterday including Willie Mullins-trained Blue Lord.

■ TRAINER Ben Pauling has booked Rachael Blackmore to ride his new recruit Bad in Tuesday’s Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. A winner in France, Bad has not run since joining Pauling in December.

■ THE ground for day one of the meeting has changed to soft after 12mm (half an inch) of rain in the last 24 hours plus a covering of snow. More rain is forecast overnight on Sunday.

■ CHARLIE LONGSDONtr­ained Rare Edition will take up his entry in Tuesday’s Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after convincing his trainer that he is over the infection which caused him to run below par in the Sydney Banks Novices’ Hurdle at Huntingdon last month. Longsdon regards Rare Edition as an each-way prospect with the form of his Boxing Day Kempton win over Rubaud franked by that horse’s recent win back at Kempton.

Bill Esdaile, head of the Pay The Bill syndicate which owns Rare Edition, said: ‘We agreed that if we could get him back in the same form as he was before Kempton we would let him run and prospect of softer ground will also be in his favour.’

 ?? PA ?? Passed fit: Blazing Khal
PA Passed fit: Blazing Khal

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