Those subscribers who purchased the November Update will recall that Irish expert Declan Phelan highlight point-to-point winner Teeshan (10/11) as one to look out for on his Rules debut. A 41 lengths winner on his debut 'between the flags' in the same four year old maiden at Loughanmore in October which had been won by Ballyburn twelve months earlier, he was bought privately soon afterwards by Paul Nicholls on behalf of leading patron Johnny De La Hey. The gelded son of Westerner made his Rules debut in the concluding bumper at Exeter on Sunday and didn't disappoint stretching away for a seven lengths success. The five year old travelled kindly for Harry Cobden before being pushed clear inside the final furlong and a half. A single figure price for the Cheltenham Festival bumper next month, it is not hard to imagine him lining up in something like the Grade 2 Persian War Novices' Hurdle in the Autumn. He looks another smart prospect for Team Ditcheat.
Despite running well in second in the Listed novice hurdle, the defeat of Favour And Fortune was frustrating. Admittedly, Alan King's runner was conceding ten pounds to the winner Fun Fun Fun and she is a useful mare who was a Grade 2 bumper winner last season. However, one can't help thinking Daryl Jacob outrode his opponents dictating matters and quickening the tempo in the homestraight. Only half a length separated the pair. On a positive note, Favour And Fortune has now raced four times over hurdles and is therefore eligible for the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival and it would be no surprise to see him given an entry in the County Hurdle.
Earlier on the card, the Value Racing Club owned Absolute Steel (200/1) caused a surprise when taking the two miles two novices' hurdle. Trained by Tom Lacey, the Mount Nelson gelded hadn't been in the shake up on his two previous outings but produced a much improved effort here making virtually all and showing a willing attitude on the run-in to beat odds on favourite Lowry's Bar a length and a half with the pair clear.
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