Cristal Bonus will be ridden by Ruby Walsh at CheltenhamPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Cristal Bonus halved in price for Gold Cup glory
CRISTAL BONUS was on Thursday halved in price for the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup by Coral, with the firm going 5-1 from 10 for Saturday's Grade 3 at Cheltenham.
The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old shortened across the board following the news Ruby Walsh would take the ride with his well-fancied stablemate Unioniste only first reserve for the race.
Coral spokesman Simon Clare said: "If Unioniste fails to make the line-up it is highly likely that Cristal Bonus, with Ruby Walsh on board, will end up the clear favourite come racetime on Saturday."
Unioniste needs one to come out on Friday morning in order to line up but two set to take their chance are the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Astracad and Have You Seen Me.
Astracad was last seen finishing fourth at the track's Open meeting and his trainer said: "He has been in brilliant form since his run at The Open and I think he has come on a bit for that run.
"The extra half mile will definitely help him and I don't think soft ground will be a problem either."
Not seen since his Cheltenham second in April 2011, Twiston-Davies said of his other runner: "Have You Seen Me is down there at the bottom of the weights and he is also in good form. It is his first run for a while but hopefully I have him fit enough and he should run a good race."
Teaforthree is being trained specifically for the Welsh National this yearPICTURE: Pinnacle
TEAFORTHREE will be among the 20 runners in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27 and local trainer Rebecca Curtis is hoping to bag the country's biggest prize.
The Cheltenham Festival winner has won at the track twice before and Curtis said: "I am delighted to be training a horse that has a real chance of winning the Welsh National.
"Teaforthree has had two prep runs in recent weeks and we are aiming to have him 100 per cent ready to go on the day. It would be wonderful if we could secure a Welsh victory in the country's biggest race."
The six-year-old is the general 5-1 favourite for Chepstow marathon and the track's general manager, Rebecca Joy, said: "After the victory of Dream Alliance in 2009 for his Welsh owners, we are very excited that this year's leading contender is trained in Wales."
Gauvain won the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon last yearPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
FOLLOWING the abandonment of Huntingdon on Thursday, the Grade 2 Levy Board Peterborough Chase will now be staged at Exeter on Thursday, December 20.
The race, won last year by Gauvain, will form part of an eight-race card and Huntingdon annual members will be given free admission to the meeting.
Tim Darby, general manager at Exeter, said: "I'm delighted the Peterborough Chase will be run at Exeter next Thursday. It will make a great addition to a strong card for the final meeting of the year here.
"I'm disappointed for Huntingdon that the weather forced the fixture to move, but as part of Jockey Club Racecourses we are delighted the race will go ahead thanks to the hard work of everyone involved."