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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Friday 13th December 2013 in Sport
Roger Teal’s Chrissycross could be developing into another Southwell specialist and she tries her luck again in the Ladbrokes Handicap.
The four-year-old filly still has a long way to go before she can be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of La Estrella and Dubai Hills, but the best two runs of her life have come at the Nottinghamshire venue, as well as a win way back in December 2011.
Three starts back in October she was beaten just a head off a mark of 66 over a mile by Peter’s Friend on what was her first run for a couple of months.
Next time out at Lingfield she ran off a mark of 70 over 10 furlongs and was well beaten, but back at Southwell and back down in trip, she stayed on powerfully and turned the tables on Peter’s Friend in no uncertain terms.
She subsequently failed to sell when sent to Tattersalls earlier this month, but Teal will surely not be too bothered and will be hoping Robert Winston works his magic again.
Another previous course winner to turn out again is Kevin Ryan’s Madame Mirasol in the three-runner 32Red Nursery Handicap.
She won by eight lengths off a lowly mark off 55 at this track in August, but winning distances can be exaggerated here and the handicapper probably overreacted in boosting her to a perch of 73.
She was uncompetitive on turf but has gone close when returned to the all-weather the last twice and she will surely never have a better chance of adding to her tally than back at this venue.
Marco Botti and Martin Harley have had a flying start to their new association and can notch up another winner with Magika in the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap at Wolverhampton.
She has only been out of the first four once in 11 races and that was on her debut at Kempton.
A winner on soft at Windsor when last seen, she looks to be on the up against some exposed rivals.
The Channel 4 cameras are at Cheltenham for the first day of their International meeting and Quentin Collonges can land another big pot in the Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase.
Henry Daly’s nine-year-old signed off his last campaign with two major victories in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster and the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.
Those two wins show the grey needs a trip in excess of three miles and a pretty sound surface to be at his very best.
Those conditions are all too infrequent for a staying chaser and you certainly would not expect to get them in December, but Daly must be counting his lucky stars as the ground looks like being absolutely perfect for him.
He won the Grimthorpe off a mark of 127 and followed up at Sandown off 135 so began this season off 143.
While he would not have won on his return to action in a race very similar to this, he showed up well for a long way before unseating his rider at the last.
Dropped 1lb after that, he should strip fitter and Daly’s horses are certainly in top form as he has already surpassed his total of winners for last season.
Paul Nicholls’ string sprang into life last weekend and with a run over the unique course under his belt, Sire Collonges could be hard to beat in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.
He is quite young at the age of seven to have his attention switched to this game, but he seemed to take to it well last month before weakening into sixth behind Balthazar King.
As this is a handicap he is giving lumps of weight away, but his class should see him prevail.
Nicholls has a big chance of doubling up with Southfield Theatre in the Citipost Handicap Hurdle.
The five-year-old looked all over the winner last time out before the famous hill took its toll, with Return Spring and stablemate Salubrious battling back past him and he had to settle for third.
As he had already had a run, fitness may not have been the issue but the fact this race is over two furlongs less is a massive bonus and can offset the 4lb rise.
While Taquin Du Seuil did not do that much for the form last week, Oscar Whisky should surely get off the mark over fences in the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Novices’ Chase.
He may have switched his attentions late in life to this game but his first experience was farcical.
After The Cockney Mackem nearly refused in front of him at the first, Oscar Whisky was left in front which was not ideal and then he surprisingly lost out in a sprint.
If he can not beat Wonderful Charm getting 8lb it is difficult to see what the future may hold for him.
Donald McCain’s Diamond King is just about the hottest prospect in the north and should have no trouble extending his unbeaten record in the TurfTV “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle at Bangor.
BANGOR: 12.10 Open Hearted, 12.45 Glen Countess, 1.20 Summery Justice, 1.50 Lienosus, 2.20 Diamond King, 2.55 The Darling Boy, 3.25 Moel Famau.
CHELTENHAM: 12.30 Oscar Whisky, 1.05 Hit The Headlines, 1.40 Lyvius, 2.10 QUENTIN COLLONGES (NAP), 2.40 Sire Collonges, 3.15 Southfield Theatre, 3.45 Garde Le Victoire.
DOWNPATRICK: 12.05 Regula, 12.40 Arnaud, 1.15 Fromdollarstoeuros, 1.45 Allez Vic, 2.15 Kylecrue, 2.50 Hold Em Cowboy, 3.20 Loch Dara.
DUNDALK: 6.15 Crafted Mastery, 6.45 Atlas Peak, 7.15 Misty Lane, 7.45 Seanie, 8.15 Copper Dock, 8.45 Gun Shoot, 9.15 Splendid Light.
SOUTHWELL: 11.50 Paddy’s Bay, 12.20 Rio Ranger, 12.55 Madame Mirasol, 1.30 Ice Apple, 2.00 Chrissycross, 2.30 Flash Crash, 3.05 Auntie Mildred, 3.35 Errigal Lad.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 3.55 Anfield, 4.25 Hasta La Vista, 4.55 Derfenna Art, 5.25 Magika, 5.55 Busy Bimbo, 6.25 Harvest Mist, 6.55 Stanlow.
DOUBLE: Quentin Collonges and Chrissycross.
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