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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Tom taking Cheltenham testHeadlines
Tominator

Jonjo O'Neill is hoping Tominator can step up on his debut win over jumps when he runs in the Opus Energy Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Winner of the 2011 Northumberland Plate when in the care of Reg Hollinshead, he got his hurdling career off to a good start at Bangor last month, but this Grade Two contest represents a big leap in class.

"He needed to win at Bangor. It wasn't a great race, but he did his job nicely," said Jackdaws Castle-based O'Neill.

"He came out of the race in good shape and he's schooled well, but it's a bit of a tall order. We'll see where we go after that. If he did translate his Flat form, then he's in with a chance. He's done nothing wrong at home, so there's no reason not to go."

Paul Nicholls set Dodging Bullets stiff tasks as a juvenile in the last campaign but is pleased the four-year-old can continue down the novice route this term as he was unable to win a race.

He wasted no time in getting off the mark on his reappearance on this track last month.

"It's probably just as well he didn't win last year so he was a novice for this season," the champion trainer told Sky Sports News. "We aimed him quite high - he was fourth in the Triumph, he was second in the Adonis.

"He was quite backward last season. He's done well and has already won at Cheltenham when we didn't think he was quite right. The form of that race hasn't worked out, but he's ready to go to Cheltenham for the first big novice hurdle and he's a horse to follow."

Dual bumper winner Court Minstrel made a successful debut over the course and distance recently, but the five-year-old has much more on his plate, according to his trainer Evan Williams.

"He won an ordinary enough maiden hurdle by Cheltenham standards in my opinion," said the Llancarfan handler. "He's got a lot more on his plate, that's for sure. He's in good form, I can't ask for more on that score, but it's a massive step up in class."

6 December 2016

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Joseph O'Brien biding his time with Landofhopeandglory
Colin Kidd prepares Rashaan for New Year return to action
County Hurdle runner-up Fethard Player in line for back-end campaign
Neil Mulholland still has Festival plan for Shantou Village
No problems for Uttoxeter
Nick Alexander dominates Ayr action as Marlee Massie highlights treble
Newly-crowned champion Jim Crowley gallops away with jockey award
Fergal O'Brien sets sights on Sandown compensation for Alvarado
Gracious John stars in Lingfield treble for Egan
Ruby Walsh raises Ascot possibility for Un De Sceaux
Taquin Du Seuil tops 19 contenders hunting Caviar Gold
James Moffatt hoping Highland Lodge effort will secure National date
Many Clouds Lexus bid under serious consideration from Oliver Sherwood
Smad Place lined up for Cotswold repeat by Alan King

5 December 2016

Aidan O'Brien claims Flat prize at HRI Awards
Uttoxeter forced to check due to threat of frost
Kim Bailey considers Cheltenham test for Charbel
The Last Samuri to tread a familiar path back to Aintree
Peter Maher takes double aim at Cross Country Chase
Ludlow frozen off
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Prolific Airlie Beach bags Grade One glory in Royal Bond
Ar Mad in line to be supplemented for the King George at Kempton
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Ballyandy providing Nigel Twiston-Davies with campaign quandary
Yanworth enters International and Christmas reckoning

4 December 2016

Gordon Elliottt eyeing Leopardstown outing for Ucello Conti
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Kelso gets the go-ahead
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Un De Sceaux just betters Sire De Grugy in Tingle Creek epic
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Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse
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3 December 2016

Evening Hush makes big noise at Aintree
BHA withdraws disciplinary charges against Martin Harley
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Noel Fehily bowled over by Sandown-bound Altior
National king Mouse Morris on Aintree reconnaissance mission with Rogue Angel
Vroum Vroum Mag leads Hatton's Grace team for Willie Mullins
Ground poser as Un De Sceaux takes Tingle Creek test at Sandown
Henry de Bromhead has John Durkan target for Sub Lieutenant

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