Thursday, January 24, 2019 - Rapidly improving chaser The Kings Writ is set to step up in class for the £75,000 G3 Spectra Cyber Security Solutions Trophy Handicap Chase (1.50pm, 2m 4f 127y, 20 entries), the feature handicap at Cheltenham this Saturday, January 26, Festival Trials Day.
Trained in Devon by Kayley Woollacott, The Kings Writ (10st 6lb) has climbed 24lb in the handicap on his last three starts to a rating of 131.
The eight-year-old ended last season with an impressive success over three miles in a handicap chase at Exeter.
He fell at the last when clear on his comeback at Chepstow in November, but made amends last time out when winning another handicap chase in good style at Exeter on December 20, both over just short of two and a half miles.
Woollacott said today: "The Kings Writ is in great form.
"Cheltenham will be a step up in grade, but he has been running well all season and deserves his chance in a better race.
"We have always really rated him at home and we hoped there was improvement there."
We were disappointed with him in his first season over hurdles [2016/17], though that was probably down to him being too weak.
"He then went pointing a couple of times the following season and since then, has gone from strength to strength.
"I think he is quite flexible in regards trip, but he does travel very well in his races, which is why we have brought him back in trip this season. Over three miles, they do not go quickly enough for him in the first half of the race.
"Two and a half miles seems to suit him well and I think that has brought out quite a bit of improvement."
He will be the bottom-weight and should get a run, though with 20 engaged and the maximum field being 17, there could be a danger of King's Writ being eliminated.
The entries for the Spectra Cyber Security Solutions Trophy Handicap Chase also feature other in-form performers like Siruh Du Lac (Nick Williams, 10st 9lb), successful in handicap chases at Newbury and Exeter already this season.
French import Janika (Nicky Henderson, 11st 11lb) shaped well on his UK debut when runner-up to Hell's Kitchen at Ascot on December 22.
Paul Nicholls landed the race last year with potential Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Frodon. The Ditcheat handler has three entries, all owned by J P McManus, including the novice Brelan D'As (10st 11lb), Modus (11st 11lb), who landed a valuable two-mile handicap chase at The Showcase in October, and Cheltenham regular Movewiththetimes (11st 1lb).
Leading Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has entered Blow By Blow (11st 9lb), winner of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham last season. Blow By Blow scored impressively on his chasing debut at Galway in October and has since finished third in the G1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
The top-weight is the locally-trained nine-year-old Activial (11st 12lb) from Tom George's Slad yard, who has won a Haydock Park handicap chase and gone close in similar races at Ascot and Stratford on his three starts since November.
The seven-race programme on Festival Trials Day also features four G2 contests.
These are headed by the £100,000 G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (2.25pm, 3m 1f 56y, eight entries) and £60,000 G2 galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (3.35pm, 2m 7f 213y, 14 entries), respectively trials for the G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and the G1 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle in March.
Festival Trials Day offers the last racing at Cheltenham ahead of the four days of The Festival™ presented by Magners in March.
Going & Weather information
The going at Cheltenham is currently: Good to Soft, Good in places
Conditions are forecast to be dry until Saturday, when three to four millimetres of rain is expected.
There are no weather issues expected ahead of Festival Trials Day and tickets are available for purchase at www.cheltenham.co.uk
Scott Mills provides after-racing entertainment
DJ Scott Mills from BBC Radio 1 will be taking to the decks in The Centaur from 4.30pm to 6.00pm for the Festival Trials Day after-party.
Club and Tattersalls ticket holders will be able groove into the evening following the last race.
Festival Trials Day
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Time Race Distance Prize Money
12.40 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Grade 2) 2m 179y £32,000
1.15 Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase 2m 4f 127y £27,500
1.50 Spectra Cyber Security Solutions Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 4f 127y £75,000
2.25 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) 3m 1f 56y £100,000
3.00 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 4f 56y £32,000
3.35 galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 7f 213y £60,000
4.10 Steel Plate & Sections Handicap Hurdle 2m 179y £27,500
Total prize money £354,000
Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the northern outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham. The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival™ presented by Magners, which happens in March over four days every year, next takes place from Tuesday, March 12, to Friday, March 15, 2019 inclusive and tickets are on sale. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena and offers the highest-quality action throughout the Jump season.
About The Jockey Club
Cheltenham is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Festival™ presented by Magners and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences The Jockey Club offers through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny made goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and today is the largest commercial group in Britain's second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and the charity, Racing Welfare. For more information, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
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