Malton trainer John Quinn stops off at Stratford en route to the Cheltenham Festival today and is fancied to make his mark.
Quinn, who could have as many as seven runners at the most prestigious four-day jumps meeting of the year, saddles Forced Family Fun in Stratford’s opening race, a horse who still holds a Festival option.
The four-year-old finished unplaced in handicap company at Musselburgh on his latest start, but Quinn has freshened him up since and this dual winner has leading claims in the Follow @AtTheRaces On Twitter Juvenile Hurdle, especially with Dean Pratt claiming a valuable 7lb off his back.
Forced Family Fun continues to hold an entry in the Fred Winter Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, where Quinn has such talented runners as Rutherglen, Pearl Castle and Cockney Sparrow.
The Highfield trainer has a couple of other chances on the Stratford card and Scots Gaelic, who runs in the Visit attheraces.com/ cheltenham Handicap Hurdle, is not without each-way prospects after a creditable effort at Musselburgh on his latest start.
Sam Twiston-Davies, who has a great week ahead with The New One and Big Bucks among his Festival rides, can warm-up for Cheltenham with a productive afternoon at Stratford.
Twiston-Davies is fancied to score on Riddleofthesands in the Visit At The Races Virgin 354 Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. Trained by the jockey’s father, Nigel, Riddleofthesands came good at Ludlow last month and may be capable of follow up.
Twiston-Davies also teams up with nap selection Caulfields Venture in the At The Races Sky 415 Handicap Chase, the feature race on the card.
Emma Lavelle’s gelding has won his last two starts, a chase at Fontwell and a jumpers’ bumper at Kempton. He can utilise his light weight in this staying contest.
Colin’s Brother, another horse from the Twiston-Davies stable, can complete a treble for the jockey in the closing National Hunt Flat Race.
The four-year-old went down by only a nose at Kempton a couple of weeks ago and is fancied to go one better.
In the Try The New Carvery Selling Hurdle, Gigondas is fancied to win for trainer Gary Moore, another man with high hopes at Cheltenham.
Moore will be represented by Sire De Grugy, the favourite in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and a horse who has already enjoyed a hugely successful campaign in top events.
At Plumpton, Charlie Longsdon, who had three winners at Market Rasen yesterday, can follow up with another brace with Sergeant Mattie (2.00) and Whispering Bob (2.30).
2.10 Forced Family Fun, 2.40 Riddleofthesands, 3.10 Gigondas, 3.40 Caulfields Venture (NAP), 4.10 Scots Gaelic, 4.40 Bermuda Boy, 5.10 Colin’s Brother.
2.00 Sergeant Mattie, 2.30 Whispering Bob, 3.00 Our Phylli Vera, 3.30 Dynamic Idol, 4.00 Brntingham Breeze, 4.30 Tarraco, 5.00 Hold The Bucks.
Today’s other meeting: Taunton.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Cheltenham, Sedgefield, Southwell and Wolverhampton.