Cheltenham preview: Brillare Momento bidding for more glory

Thu 26 Oct 2017

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By staff

Martin Keighley is hoping Brillare Momento can end her novice days on a high in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday.

The six-year-old mare can only run in those races until the end of the month, after which she will have to take on more experienced company.

However, Keighley feels the future is bright for Brillare Momento, who won twice in the spring, including at Cheltenham, and the trainer blames himself for defeat on her final start.

"She's in really good form. She's a course-and-distance winner round there in the Listed race last season," said the Condicote handler.

"I probably shouldn't have run her again in that race at Newton Abbot. She'd just gone off the boil a bit at the end of the season, but she did bump into a very good horse of Dan Skelton's (Momella) that has since come out and bolted up, so it's probably good form anyway.

"I think she's a really exciting mare and it's her last chance to run against novices. She's only a novice until the first of November. It looks an ideal race and she'll like the good ground. I'm looking forward to running her.

"She's done really well over the summer. She's strengthened up. Aidan Coleman has sat on her and said she has come on from last season."

Jabulani is the most inexperienced horse in the line-up, having had just the one run over hurdles, but trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies wants to give the four-year-old a taste of Cheltenham.

"He ran well first time, but it's a very hot race. He's just having a feel and hopefully we'll get some place money," said the Naunton handler.

Pat Griffin is likely to giver Chitu a break after the seven-year-old bids to make it four wins from six starts this term in the Novices' Chase.

"We're hoping he'll put his best foot forward," said the Dublin handler. "I just hope they stop watering and that he's able to get lively ground and not yielding ground. He's in good form, but this will test him and I think this could be his last run of the year.

"We'll keep him on the good ground and when the soft ground comes, we'll give him a break and bring him back for the spring. He's run five times this season and won three, so he's paid for his oats."

Twiston-Davies saddles Ballyhill, who has a 5lb pull for a four-and-a-half-length beating with the Alan King-trained Sceau Royal when the pair met at Warwick three weeks ago.

"It's going to be very tricky, but if he can run well and be thereabouts, that would be good," said Twiston-Davies.

He is represented in the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Novices' Chase by Ballymilan, whose four rivals include Paul Nicholls' Black Corton and Beat That from Nicky Henderson's yard.

"It's a hot contest, but you have to start these novices somewhere," he said. "He won first time out and has done well since."

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