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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Key Newbury date for CottonHeadlines
Cotton Mill

Cotton Mill faces his acid test ahead of the Cheltenham Festival when he makes his seasonal reappearance in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

The six-year-old is as low as 16-1 for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, even though he has yet to run over two miles. Campaigned over further last term, Cotton Mill has his first attempt at the trip in this valuable and ultra-competitive handicap.

Trainer John Ferguson admits it is a "fact-finding mission", and hopes the horse will also come on for his first run since finding three miles too far when third to Lovcen at Aintree in April.

He had won his first three starts over jumps before veering before the second-last and unseating Denis O'Regan when leading eventual winner Simonsig in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

"He's very well and he's been in great form for a while, but we didn't want to run him on heavy ground. We're looking forward to a good run, but wouldn't be surprised if he improves for the run," said Ferguson.

"He won over a mile and a quarter on the Flat at Newmarket, so two miles over hurdles shouldn't be a problem. It's as much a fact-finding mission in that hopefully after Saturday, if all goes well, we are going to know what his optimum trip is.

"I think we found out at Liverpool that three miles is beyond him. He was going very well in the Neptune but we don't know how that would have ended up. What we are on is a fact-finding mission to establish if this is his trip.

"He won a Grade Two over two miles, five furlongs at Warwick. We know he's a nice horse over two and a half.

"It will just give us an indication as to how effective he is over the minimum trip and then we can choose what race we want at Cheltenham once we've seen how he goes on Saturday."

27 April 2015

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Dettori set for Moheet Guineas ride
Cyclone seeking elusive Grade One
Telescope focus turns to Newmarket
Dou or die for maestro Mullins
Geraghty wary of Festival absence
Intilaaq added to Guineas field
Mullins sitting pretty with Poli
Romance out of Guineas
Thistle has a crack at Punchestown
Cheltenham foes back on Gold trail
Nicholls reveals title joy
Berkshire to swerve Ganay
Maguire undergoes crucial surgery
Mulrennan notches Wetherby double
Activial unplaced in France
National option for Canvas
Anthem makes Woodlands return
York target for Coulsty
Fellowes points Sail to Newbury
Racecourse gallop for Byron
McCoy: Bumper crowds made it easier
No Vautour in Champion Chase

26 April 2015

Focus claims landmark Wetherby win
Callan blazes Hong Kong trail
Ascot beckons for Dark Emerald
'Lucky' McManus hails McCoy
Retirement tough to take for McCoy
'It's all been worth it'
Farewell, champ
Racing salutes legend McCoy
Bowen glory Par for the course
Sacre stays in training
Menorah does it again
Cadeaux on brink of history

25 April 2015

McCoy's the greatest - O'Neill
McCoy third on Sandown swansong
McCoy third on Sandown swansong
McCoy third in Celebration Chase
AP awarded jockeys' title
Bowen hits the bullseye
Euphrasia revved up for Gowran test
Argocat purring for Oaksey date
Pipe takes wraps off Package
Bolger proud of McCoy heroics
Racing salutes legend McCoy
McCoy's ten of the best
Dettori's a Jack of all trades
Hymn too good for Richards rivals
Apprentice masters Trial rivals
Custom is a Cut above
Wetherby goes Flat out

24 April 2015

McManus at Sandown for McCoy finale
AP to keep champion's trophy
McCoy praise for Pipe
Divine Hymn in full cry for Dettori
Mutarakez lands Esher honours
Clouds chasing Gold glory
Nicholls seeking dream McCoy ending
AP preparing for final bow
Enright facing leg surgery
O'Meara mulling Force plans
Temple target for Pretend
Winning return for Walsh
Commemorative takes Trial test
Prince and Parrott bow out
Nicholls eyeing McCoy Celebration
Henderson on weather watch
Riches on Road to Punchestown
Apache on Punchestown trail
High hopes for Creek bow
Time called on Condon career

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