Slick hurdlers, targets set and a comeback queen: the best of the week's action
Performance of the week
To borrow a term from the Winter Olympics, this weekend is the Cheltenham Festival repechage – unless you are a juvenile hurdler. It was duly Redicean that impressed most in winning the Adonis and he looks quicker and classier than anything Triumph Hurdle favourite Apple's Shakira has beaten so far.
We now know the festival aims for hotly-tipped novice Samcro and old favourite Cue Card, the Ballymore and Ryanair respectively. Both feel right – practical rather than over-ambitious. Although whether anything could be over-ambitious for Samcro is debatable.
Picture of the week
Back once again
Hayley Turner revealed on Saturday that she will return as planned to race-riding after serving her three-month ban for betting breaches, handed down by the BHA in December.
Turner stated that she had spent her period out of the sharp end of the sport in Florida with Christophe Clement, but when she does return will ride most in France, as had been the case most of last year.
Free Carp Kid!
One of the most bizarre incidents of the week came under the lights at Wolverhampton on Saturday, where the John Flint-trained Carp Kid was left encased in his stall for a short but significant amount of time after the other runners had been sent on their way.
Flint was adamant his charge would have won and it is difficult to say he is wrong given the three-year-old almost certainly lost more than the margin of less than two lengths that he was eventually beaten.
The stewards' justification for taking no immediate action (a report was forwarded to BHA head office), included the statement that "the malfunction had not materially prejudiced a sufficient number of runners". Surely one runner is sufficient, when there is reason to believe that runner might otherwise have won.
Quote of the week
"Katchit was a thorough stayer and I think Redicean would have more gears. We've always thought he was pretty good and he looked it yesterday."
Alan King does not hesitate to drop the big names when comparing his latest juvenile prodigy Redicean to his illustrious forebears.
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