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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Giles Cross

Victor Dartnall would dearly love to have got a prep run into Giles Cross as his 11-year-old bids to make it third-time lucky in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow.

Runner-up to Synchronised two years ago, the confirmed mudlark was also second to Le Beau Bai last season. However, an outbreak of equine herpes at Dartnall's Barnstaple yard in early November saw the Dorset stable shut down for around six weeks, with six equine fatalities.

Dartnall told At The Races: "He seems very well. He went well on Tuesday in his final piece of work and I'm very happy with him."

He added: "He hasn't had a run this year. We've come out of a dreadful situation, which is a worry. The horses haven't been running consistently, but he seems very well and everything should suit him at Chepstow.

"We moved him away during the height of the equine herpes outbreak we had and he escaped it. Very often, horses will need a run to cope with the awful ground we are getting at the moment.

"Having said that, it's the ground Giles Cross loves. He's hopeless on anything else so let's keep our fingers crossed. If I was going into the race with the yard in form I would be feeling very hopeful. The plan was to give him a run at Haydock but we couldn't as that was when it all happened and we had to close down for six weeks."

Monbeg Dude gave fledgling trainer Michael Scudamore a first Cheltenham winner when landing a Grade Three in November from 1lb out of the handicap.

Son of champion jockey Peter and brother of top rider Tom, locally-based Scudamore has booked crack Irish pilot Paul Carberry for the ride on his eight-year-old, who remains relatively unexposed over fences.

He said: "Perhaps it's not a vintage Welsh National if you look at the ratings. In years gone by, he could have struggled to get in, so that has to give you confidence. Looking at the market, he's beaten Teaforthree and Viking Blond around Cheltenham.

"He'll have to step up again having been put up 7lb, but I'm hoping mentally as well as anything he'll have come on for that. I see no reason why he couldn't come on a little bit more."

20 February 2017

Arpege D'Alene still in the frame for four-miler at Cheltenham
Jockey Club prize-money boost for smaller tracks
Mutakayyef leads 11 in Winter Derby contention
Course specialist Tea For Two heads 20 left in BetBright Chase at Kempton
Perfect Candidate ruled out of Eider mission by Fergal O'Brien
Colin Kidd maps out Aintree aim for Rashaan
Regal Encore in Midlands National frame
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
All-the-way Acapella Bourgeois enters RSA Chase picture after Navan romp
Don Poli and Outlander heading for Gold Cup
Cheltenham off the agenda for Identity Thief following setback
Ball D'Arc bounds to Flyingbolt success at Navan
Colin Tizzard set for nervous Cheltenham build-up
Blow for Paul Nicholls with Cliffs Of Dover out for rest of the season
Harry Fry rules out National Hunt Chase for RSA-bound American
Nicky Henderson still undecided over Whisper's Cheltenham target

19 February 2017

Acapella hits all the right notes in Ten Up
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
Setback rules Identity Thief out of Navan outing
Josses Hill heading straight to the Festival
'Job done' as Yanworth battles to Kingwell Hurdle victory
Lion roars to National favouritism with Haydock success
'Everything you want to see and more' - Cue Card thrills in Ascot Chase romp
Worlds End enters Cheltenham equation after Haydock triumph
Tombstone floors Jezki in Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park
Zarkandar back in front as Nicholls dominates Rendlesham
Bigbadjohn battles for Reynoldstown triumph
Beyond Conceit secures Cheltenham spot with Ascot success

18 February 2017

Cue Card back to his brilliant best in Ascot Chase
Vieux Lion Rouge boosts Grand National claims at Haydock
Yanworth battles to hard-fought victory in Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton
Ballycasey takes Red Mills Chase honours at Gowran Park
Don Bersy bags biggest success yet at Haydock but Cheltenham off the agenda
Gary Moore hopeful of Ar Mad return before the end of the season
Sutton Place bids for Boyne honours at Navan
Identity Thief bids for Flyingbolt redemption following disappointing spell
Loughran hoping Acapella Bourgeois can hit Ten Up target
William Cox suffers broken jaw and Eoin Walsh breaks arm in Wolverhampton spill
Hamelin atones for stalls mishap with victory at Newcastle
Fairytale success for Captain Guy Disney in Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown
Colin's Sister on track for Cheltenham after sizzling Sandown display
Bigbadjohn on Reynoldstown recovery mission at Ascot
Aux Ptits Soins in hurdling switch for Rendlesham test
Former two-mile king Jezki on trial for Cheltenham target
Cue Card primed for Ascot Chase bid
David Pipe hoping Lion can roar in Grand National Trial
Yanworth aiming to reign in Kingwell outing at Wincanton

17 February 2017

Two riders taken to hospital following Wolverhampton spill
Guy Disney in fairytale Royal Artillery Gold Cup success at Sandown
Progressive Sutton Place takes next step at Navan
Sir Tony McCoy statue to be unveiled on opening day of Cheltenham Festival
Tylicki planning riding lesson next week as he continues rehabilitation process
Emma Lavelle eyeing Doncaster prep for Grand National-bound Junction Fourteen
Jockey Club dismisses any suggestion of changes to Kempton proposals
Dubai World Cup night engagement beckons for Opal Tiara
Big-race options open as Saphir Du Rheu returns to winning ways at Kelso
Apple's Jade on course for Quevega Hurdle at Punchestown
Sandown and France on the radar for Ptit Zig
National favourite Don Poli 'doubtful' for Aintree following weights dispute
Dan Skelton happy to take Champion challenge with 'improving' Superb Story
Colin's Sister primed for long-range target at Sandown
Blaklion out to roar for Nigel Twiston-Davies in National Trial
Cue Card faces five in Ascot Chase

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