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Doitforthevillage primed for Cheltenham return on Saturday

Press Release 24th January 2018 Cheltenham

Trainer Paul Henderson is set to run Doitforthevillage in the £75,000 Crest Nicholson Handicap Chase (1.50pm 24 entries) at Cheltenham this Saturday, Festival Trials Day, January 27. 
The nine-year-old, allotted 10st 8lb for the extended two and a half-mile contest, landed the BetVictor Handicap Chase over two miles at Cheltenham's November Meeting by two lengths and finished a creditable fourth back over hurdles at Newbury on January 17.
Hampshire-based Henderson said today: "Doitforthevillage seems all right in himself.
"I am going to work him tomorrow to make sure he is OK before deciding whether he runs at Cheltenham on Saturday.
"He had an injury prior to his latest run. He had an infection in his hind leg so that's why I ran him over hurdles at Newbury just to get a run into him.
"He seemed to blow up at Newbury, but I'm pleased with him and I'll just give him a gallop tomorrow to make sure that he is in top form.
"He enjoys Cheltenham and conditions seem to be in his favour. Me and Paddy [Brennan, jockey] have discussed his ideal trip. Paddy thinks he will get a bit further so that's why we are running over two and a half miles.
"I think he's an out and out two-miler, but Paddy is quite confident he will get the trip. Two and a half miles is a little bit of a concern to me as he does seem to travel sweeter over two miles, but Paddy is pretty bullish.
"Doitforthevillage has run well at both Cheltenham and Aintree and I think the plan would be to target one of the handicaps at The Festival in March.
"We'll decide whether he goes for the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase or the two and a half-mile handicap (Brown Advisory & Merribelle Stable Plate) at The Festival after his run this weekend."
Potential opposition includes Coo Star Sivola (Nick Williams, 10st 4lb), a creditable three and three-quarter length second to Kalondra in the Ryman Novices' Chase at Prestbury Park in December, the ultra-consistent Frodon (Paul Nicholls, 11st 9lb), second in a Listed event at Ascot last month and Ballyhill (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 10st 4lb), who tasted success over course and distance in the G3 BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.
Other potential starters include top-weight Taquin Du Seuil (Jonjo O'Neill, 11st 12lb), the 2016 BetVictor Gold Cup winner, King's Odyssey (Evan Williams, 10st 8lb), third to Guitar Pete in the G3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham in December, and Shantou Flyer (Richard Hobson, 11st 8lb), who was a one and three-quarter length second to Ballyhill on New Year's Day.
Festival Trials Day offers racegoers the final opportunity to experience action at the Home of Jump Racing before The Festival (Tuesday, March 13 to Friday, March 16 inclusive).
A superb seven-race programme is headlined by the £100,000 G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (2.25pm, 10 entries), a leading trial for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival.
Bristol De Mai, a decisive winner of the G1 Betfair Chase at Haydock, bids to get back on track after a disappointing effort in the G1 32Red King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Potential Cheltenham Festival clues are also on offer in the in the £60,000 G2 Cleeve Hurdle (3.35pm) over three miles. The 11 entries include Finian's Oscar (Colin Tizzard), course specialist Wholestone (Nigel Twiston-Davies) and Colin's Sister (Fergal O'Brien).
The card is opened by the £32,000 G2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (12.40pm, eight entries), landed by subsequent G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle victor Defi Du Seuil in 2017, whilst the concluding handicap of the day is the £27,500 Steel Plate & Sections Handicap Hurdle (4.10pm, 15 entries).
Many Clouds, who enjoyed his finest hour when winning the 2015 Grand National, will be remembered at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day with the screening of the film Many Clouds - The People's Horse.
Many Clouds - The People's Horse was produced by Equine Productions and directed by Nathan Horrocks, who rode Many Clouds in his work at home.
The film remembers the courageous Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding, who sadly passed away following his head victory over Thistlecrack in the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day in 2017. He also won the race in 2015.
The performance of Many Clouds at Cheltenham last year saw the horse, who was ridden by Leighton Aspell throughout his career, subsequently announced as the leading staying chaser in the 2016/17 Anglo Irish Jump Classifications.
Horrocks, who picked up award for best director at the prestigious EQUUS Film Festival in New York, will feature in Q&A sessions alongside Oliver Sherwood, trainer of Many Clouds.
The two Q&A sessions will take place in the winner's enclosure at 12.05pm and 2.05pm. Racegoers will be able to submit questions to Horrocks and Sherwood via Cheltenham's Twitter account @CheltenhamRaces.
Following the running of the last race at 4.10pm, Many Clouds - The People's Horsewill be shown on TV screens across the racecourse.
Total prize money on Festival Trials Day has been boosted to £354,000 this year - an increase of £24,000 (seven per cent) on the 2017 level.
Accompanied children, aged under 18, are admitted FREE on Festival Trials Day, when the gates open at 10am.
Latest going
The going at Cheltenham is currently: Good to Soft, Soft in Places
After rain today, tomorrow and Friday are forecast to be dry with showers on Saturday.


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