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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Handicap hope Ibis Du Rheu should run a big race in finale

Ibis Du Rheu (right) won the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival
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Leading jockey Sam Twiston-Davies runs through his book of rides at Cheltenham on Tuesday

Robinshill (2.10)
He will be the rank outsider of the five runners, but there is plenty of prize-money all the way down. My job will be to get Robinshill nicely warmed up and be in the right place to be able to pick up the pieces if anything happens to the principals.

The other four are all very good horses - Footpad has looked a really smart recruit to fences, while Petit Mouchoir had the class to finish third in the Champion Hurdle last year.

However, we're under no pressure at all, and Robinshill deserves his place in the line-up after the season he has enjoyed with two commanding Ludlow wins late last year.

Vicente (3.30)
Vicente is a spring horse who has been waiting for better ground. The wet weather has proved a nightmare for his season so far, but there's still time for things to come right for him.

Obviously he won't get his preferred ground conditions on Tuesday, but he ran well at Cheltenham when second to Perfect Candidate on soft going in November, and you never know.

Ibis Du Rheu (5.30)
He won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at this meeting two years ago, so has strong festival form, and I think he'll run a big race.

Ibis Du Rheu did a bit too much in the early and middle stages over three miles on his seasonal reappearance at Newbury last month, and that will have put a real edge on him for Cheltenham.

This drop back in trip looks ideal, he won't mind the ground, and I'm really looking forward to riding him.

This drop back in trip looks ideal, he won't mind the ground, and I'm really looking forward to riding him
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