Horse Racing - Poste to make the short hop from Towcester to Newbury

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Jump jockey Charlie Poste is keenly expecting to make the short hop from Towcester to Newbury on Saturday to enable him to ride in the day’s feature race – the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Poste, who has nine winners to his name this season at a strike rate of nine percent, is booked to ride recent course winner Valrene in the opening Mares ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle at 12.25 at the Northants track.

Yet he then faces a quick dash down the A43 and A34 to Newbury where he is keen to continue his association with the Matt Sheppard-trained Ikorodu Road in the £150,000 feature race at 3.10pm, a horse he partnered in the Scottish Grand National in April.

Poste has partnered the nine year-old in his last seven races, including back-to back good ground victories in long distance chases at Newbury and Doncaster in March, and the Welsh Grand National winning pilot said: “I had a good association with Ikorodu Road last season and these are the types of horse you want to be connected with.

“I’m not sure completely how it will pan out but the plan at the moment would be to ride Valrene and then go to Newbury.”

Punters at Towcester on Saturday will be able to watch the Hennessy Gold Cup action on the big screen, as well as the delights of their own seven race card.

In addition to the racing at Towcester, it also stages the second day of a Real Ale Festival...

County trainer Alex Hales will be hopeful Royaume Bleu can get his head in front with a choice of chase entries at Towcester. The seven year-old, who found the ground too quick for him on his last appearance at the Northants track in October, is entered in both the 2m 3 1/2f handicap chase as well as the 3m conditional jockeys’ affair.

Hales’ partner Sally Burnell said: “Royaune Bleu has plenty of ability but his jumping sometimes lets him down on a racecourse. He always seems to be a bridesmaid.”

Keen Towcester Racecourse supporters Mick White and Simon Hunt were among those ruing the loss of last Sunday’s waterlogged fixture but both were able to draw decent weekend consolation prizes.

Hunt’s seven year-old David Bridgwater-trained star The Giant Bolster, a horse which has taken Church Brampton-based Hunt to ‘places of which we could only have dreamed’, was third on his seasonal bow in Haydock Park’s Betfair Chase, behind Silviniaco Conti and Long Run. This in itself was worth over £21,000.

The Giant Bolster finished ahead of the Robert Waley-Cohen-owned horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup back in March and the previous Sunday, Hunt and his wife Liz had been guests of the Waley-Cohens in the ‘Royal Box’ during the Paddy Power Open meeting.

Hunt said: “We will take Saturday’s run. We are very pleased as we will come on for the outing, Haydock Park probably wasn’t his track and the ground may have been a little softer than ideal for him.”

He added: “The winner also had race fitness on his side.”

Cotswolds trainer Bridgwater is now likely to weigh up various options over the Christmas period, namely the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28 and the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, White was able to cheer his 5f sprinter Rylee Mooch to victory at Lingfield from the comfort of his Harpole home, and the four-year-old grey gelding made a quick re-appearance at Wolverhampton on Wednesday in a Class 3 handicap.

Before the latest run, Rylee Mooch had won five and been in the first three of 23 of his other 39 starts, statistics that show him to be an ultra-consistent animal. His previous outing at Southwell nine days earlier was lost after the runners spent too long in the stalls, and he reared up on exit.