The weather has been pretty rough over the past week and it looks like there’s plenty more rain over the next few days. 

We had a good few inches of snow covering the yard, but thankfully we don’t have to travel with the horses and we’ve got all-weather gallops, so it’s been business as usual for the horses, just slightly tougher work for the stable staff. 

Fingers crossed the rain eases off and we get Cheltenham on. 

Saturday – Cheltenham

 2:25 Bristol De Mai 

We’re all very excited about Bristol De Mai returning in the Cotswold Chase. This has been the plan since Haydock and I’m very happy with him heading into it. He’s had two months off and he’s in really top form. 

The potentially heavy ground doesn’t worry him, though I think he probably prefers better ground, but it definitely inconveniences him less so than the others. 

He’s been third in the Gold Cup, second in a JLT and we’re hoping that this will now be the right race at the right time. If he wins it, then it will be the Gold Cup next, but if he doesn’t he’ll be going for the Grand National – that race will always be in our minds. 

As for the dangers, Lake View Lad is maybe the one who comes into this in the best form, though he was arguably just beating horses that weren’t running very well, while some of the others are yet to show their best this season. 

1:50 Al Dancer  

 Al Dancer doesn’t want the ground quite as heavy as it could be, but he’s in excellent form and will take his chance in the Grade 3 Handicap Chase. 

 We were pleased with his run when finishing third in the big handicap at the November meeting and we’re very happy with how he is at the moment. 

4:10 Sir Valentine   

One that could slip in under the radar is Sir Valentine in the 2m1f Handicap Hurdle. 

He doesn’t mind heavy ground at all, and I think the return to hurdles could see him back to his best. 

He wasn’t enjoying his time over fences so much; his hurdles mark of 131 is fair and he could be the one to take a second look at. 

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