Martin Pipe at Cheltenham 'of interest' to Ian Williams and Poker School

Wed 4 Jan 2017

Poker School could revert to smaller obstacles for a tilt at the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Ian Williams has earmarked the big prize on March 17 as a potential option for the seven-year-old, whomade it two wins from four starts over fences at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The Alvechurch handler said: "I thought he did very well at Kempton and he enjoyed the ground."

He went on: "His jumping early on took a bit of time to warm up but Richard Johnson showed great confidence in him.

"For me, the jump at the first down the back straight was the race defining obstacle as he made up so much ground there.

"The handicapper, as you would expect, put him up 7lb now, which is fair enough.

"He will have a little break now as he does enjoy better ground. I am not sure where he will go.

"He could miss Cheltenham and slip into the consolation race at Kempton (Silver Bowl) that Portway Flyer won last year.

"He might have the same entries as Portway Flyer and we might just enter him in the Martin Pipe as he would be of interest off 127 if he could sneak into that."

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