14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Big guns chase weekend GoldHeadlines
Hunt Ball

Hunt Ball and Cristal Bonus feature among 23 horses to stand their ground at the confirmation stage for the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The Keiran Burke-trained Hunt Ball was one of the most improved chasers in training last season but was pulled up on his reappearance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Former smart novice chaser Cristal Bonus, trained by Paul Nicholls, landed a Grade Two at Down Royal by nine lengths last month.

Anthony Knott, owner of Hunt Ball, explained the intention was for the horse to run at the weekend before the King George at Christmas, although ground conditions could be against his horse once more.

He said: "The ground went against us last time and if we get better ground you will see a proper horse.

"He's probably going to run this weekend, as I know Andy Stewart (sponsor) well, but they have predicted rain coming in and it looks as if the ground will go against us.

"He could do with a blow-out ahead of the King George and if he ran into the frame (at the weekend) I'd be well pleased."

Nicholls has also left in Ghizao and Unioniste, with trainers' title rival Nicky Henderson double-handed through Quantitativeeasing and Nadiya De La Vega, who was third to Al Ferof in the Paddy Power.

Wishfull Thinking heads the weights from his Philip Hobbs-trained stablemate Menorah, who beat Cristal Bonus in a Grade One at Aintree's Grand National meeting.

The International Hurdle and Unicoin Homes Relkeel Hurdle on the same card have both been re-opened for entries until Tuesday morning.

27 October 2016

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Charlie McBride urges ground caution on Spiritual Lady run
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Harry Whittington nominates Exeter for exciting Emerging Force
Mick Appleby keen to defend All-Weather title
Zawraq pleases connections after return from lengthy absence
Dartmouth given Hong Kong option by Sir Michael Stoute
Henry Candy relishing American dream and Tepin clash with Limato
David O'Meara favouring Breeders' Cup Turf for Mondialiste
Classic named as first preference for Found at Breeders' Cup
Treve's sister beaten but full of promise at Saint-Cloud
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Willie Mullins ponders Hennessy prep for big Newbury fancy Avant Tout
Faydhan 'ready to run' on belated return at Lingfield
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26 October 2016

Banditry grabs Chelmsford feature
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Willie Mullins set to unleash Bachasson over fences
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Value At Risk comes good over fences at Bangor
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25 October 2016

Thistlecrack oozes class on chasing debut at Chepstow
Charlie Longsdon derailed by injuries to big names
Ben Pauling has Grand National designs for Becher-bound Silvergrove
Sylvester Kirk backs Salouen to go the distance next season
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Colin Tizzard has Thistlecrack sharp and ready for Chepstow chasing bow
Time called on career of dual Derby hero Harzand

24 October 2016

Tawdeea to take aim at Doncaster after Leicester strike
Coologue considered for Hennessy Gold Cup by Charlie Longsdon
Forgotten Rules team cool on hurdling career
Henry Candy has sole focus on Breeders' Cup Mile with Limato
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Vazirabad repeats Prix Royal-Oak success
Titus rules in Leopardstown clash
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Flying Fairies floors Zawraq at Leopardstown
No Charlie Hall run for Gold Cup hero Coneygree
Native River in frame for Wetherby reappearance
William Haggas keeps Rivet's Guineas options open

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