Eclair Surf has a bright future in staying chases

18-February-2021
18-February-2021 19:17
in General
by Peter McNeile

Marlborough trainers have been as frustrated as any during this cold then wet spell when Jumps fixtures have been thin on the ground. Today being the first day for over a fortnight to stage more than two Jumps fixtures, no time was wasted by Emma Lavelle in regaining the momentum lost during a desperate February. 

A double at Sandown in two well-backed 5-2 chances - Red Rookie and Eclair Surf, took the Ogbourne Maizey total for the season to 24. And whilst the total winners isn't anything remarkable for a stable of this size,  the continued good form will be a great reassurance to a  trainer who will be walking her box in the final three weeks before the Festival. Eclair Surf will be targetted at races like the Welsh National next season.

Spare also a note for Tom Bellamy, making the most of his opportunity at Barbury Castle for Alan King, whose record of rides to winners with Emma stands at 70%! Oh for those stats throughout a year; one could retire early!

The Festival is always awaited with trepidation and keen anticipation by every trainer with a half-fancied runner. Yet there are mixed opinions about the four days among those living locally to the course, this year more so than ever. There was considerable disquiet 12 months ago that the event took place at all, and it's not hard to uncover stories of those that attended who caught the dreaded virus. Living just 5 miles from the racecourse myself, my own neighbour, who has owned horses with Nigel Twiston-Davies for many years, is one such victim who caught the virus at the races. Luckily for him, given he's an octogenerian, he was only lightly afflicted and made a full recovery.

The racecourse draws out a mix of opinion, oscillating between a welter of enthusiasm and pride for staging a world class event, and nervousness about the influx of racing teams from all over the UK and further afield. With the Irish estimated to bring 100 horses, that's a considerable group of people, whatever protocols have been put in place by the excellent team at the BHA. So it's a real balancing act. And in some respects, this year's event behind closed doors is seen as a penance for last year's continuation with crowds. It's an unfair assessment, given the financial implications for the course and town, for which it offers a significant cash injection. 

Expect an empty Cheltenham for the Festival 2021

A Festival winner is a winner however it occurs, but it simply won't have the same resonance without the cheers of an appreciative crowd. Expect to see Festival 2021 appear in a raft of pub quiz questions in years to come as the Festival that never was. 

Next Event

When?

Season curtailed. Come racing back next winter

 

 

 

 

 

Where?

Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4

 

Latest News

Eclair Surf has a bright future in staying chases

18-February-2021
18-February-2021 19:17
in General
by Peter McNeile

Marlborough trainers have been as frustrated as any during this cold then wet spell when Jumps fixtures have been thin on the ground. Today being the first day for over a fortnight to stage more than two Jumps fixtures, no time was wasted by Emma Lavelle in regaining the momentum lost during a desperate February. 

A double at Sandown in two well-backed 5-2 chances - Red Rookie and Eclair Surf, took the Ogbourne Maizey total for the season to 24. And whilst the total winners isn't anything remarkable for a stable of this size,  the continued good form will be a great reassurance to a  trainer who will be walking her box in the final three weeks before the Festival. Eclair Surf will be targetted at races like the Welsh National next season.

Spare also a note for Tom Bellamy, making the most of his opportunity at Barbury Castle for Alan King, whose record of rides to winners with Emma stands at 70%! Oh for those stats throughout a year; one could retire early!

The Festival is always awaited with trepidation and keen anticipation by every trainer with a half-fancied runner. Yet there are mixed opinions about the four days among those living locally to the course, this year more so than ever. There was considerable disquiet 12 months ago that the event took place at all, and it's not hard to uncover stories of those that attended who caught the dreaded virus. Living just 5 miles from the racecourse myself, my own neighbour, who has owned horses with Nigel Twiston-Davies for many years, is one such victim who caught the virus at the races. Luckily for him, given he's an octogenerian, he was only lightly afflicted and made a full recovery.

The racecourse draws out a mix of opinion, oscillating between a welter of enthusiasm and pride for staging a world class event, and nervousness about the influx of racing teams from all over the UK and further afield. With the Irish estimated to bring 100 horses, that's a considerable group of people, whatever protocols have been put in place by the excellent team at the BHA. So it's a real balancing act. And in some respects, this year's event behind closed doors is seen as a penance for last year's continuation with crowds. It's an unfair assessment, given the financial implications for the course and town, for which it offers a significant cash injection. 

Expect an empty Cheltenham for the Festival 2021

A Festival winner is a winner however it occurs, but it simply won't have the same resonance without the cheers of an appreciative crowd. Expect to see Festival 2021 appear in a raft of pub quiz questions in years to come as the Festival that never was. 

Our Sponsors