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O'Brien hoping Poetic can continue winning rhythm at Cheltenham
16 Nov 2017 | Cheltenham Racecourse 

Poetic Rhythm will bid for his second G2 success of the season in the £30,000 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (3.35pm, 14 entries) at Cheltenham on the first day of The November Meeting, Countryside Day, Friday, November 17.

Poetic Rhythm (trained by Fergal O'Brien) captured a Listed bumper at this fixture 12 months ago and subsequently acquitted himself well in novices' hurdles at Cheltenham during the campaign, including when third behind Wholestone in a G2 contest on Festival Trials Day in January.

 

The six-year-old returned this season with a hard-fought success over Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle contender Amour De Nuit in the G2 Persian War Novices' Hurdle at Chepstow on October 15, with Vision Des Flos (Colin Tizzard) just over six lengths back in third.

 

Vision Des Flos was making his debut over hurdles, having been bought for 270,000 euros at the Punchestown Festival after his victory in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper.

 

Poetic Rhythm's in-form trainer Fergal O'Brien, based not far from Cheltenham near Guiting Power, is also planning to run Aye Aye Charlie, who was third behind another intended runner, On The Blind Side (Nicky Henderson), in a maiden hurdle at Aintree on October 29.

 

O'Brien, who has sent out six winners from 18 runners over the last two weeks, said today: "Poetic Rhythm is as tough as teak and came out of Chepstow fine.

 

"He worked well this morning and is in good form, so we are looking forward to Friday.

 

"He has a 5lb penalty, which makes things tougher, and Vision Des Flos would have benefitted from that run at Chepstow. Vision Des Flos is a Punchestown Festival bumper winner and clearly a very good horse, but our lad is tough, genuine and will be doing his best.

 

"Aye Aye Charlie will most probably take his chance in the Ballymore as well. He is a nice horse and ran a nice race at Aintree."

 

Asked about other entries he is looking forward to during the three days of The November Meeting, O'Brien added: "I would hope the bumper horse on Saturday, Grageelagh Girl, will have a good chance in the Listed mares' bumper. We like her, so fingers crossed she will run well."

 

Other potentially exciting runners for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle include Momella (Dan Skelton), who has won her two starts under Rules impressively, and Calett Mad (Nigel Twiston-Davies), a decisive winner over hurdles at The Showcase last month.

 

Irish point-to-point graduate Palmers Hill (Jonjo O'Neill) is also in line to run after scoring comfortably on his hurdling debut at Uttoxeter on October 8. The son of Gold Well was sold for £310,000 at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Sale during The Festival in March.

 

The most valuable race of Cheltenham's six-race programme on Friday is the £45,000 BetVictor Handicap Chase (1.50pm) over two miles, in which recent Ascot victor Exitas (Phil Middleton) heads the 13 entries.

 

The £25,000 Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase (2.25pm, 13 entries) has been won by some very good horses, notably future Cheltenham Gold Cup heroes Denman (2006) and Imperial Commander (2007).

 

This year's entries are led by Finian's Oscar (Colin Tizzard), a dual G1-winning novice hurdler last season and successful on his chasing debut at Chepstow last month.

 

The November Meeting continues on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19, when the higlights are the £160,000 G3 BetVictor Gold Cup and the £100,000 G3 Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.

 

The going at Cheltenham is currently Good to Soft on the Chase and Hurdle courses, and Good on the Cross-Country Course.

 
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