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Cheltenam de Vaige loses maiden hurdle tag at Stratford

25-August-2023 16:50
in General
by Russell Smith

Great store is made of the success of Irish pointers graduating to the top flight in racing on this side of the Irish Sea. With the might of a government-sponsored sales promotion agency behind it, the sales bandwagon has a powerful source to trumpet success.

The British are something of a reserved race, which is why you can bet your bottom dollar that a maiden win by an 11 year old gelding in a novice hurdle won't make headlines over the next few days  against the big news from York. 

But Pointing fans will relish the success yesterday at Stratford of Cheltenam de Vaige, seen frequently these past few years on the Point-to-Point circuit, and winner already of five chases under Rules and another 6 between the flags for Fergal O'Brien and Hannah Lewis respectively. 

By a small quirk of fate, Matt and Sally Burford's multiple winner remains a novice over hurdles. And so it was that he lined up against 4 others in a lowly novice event in Stratford's series of summer fixtures. Self-evidently, the experience appealed. Prominent throughout, he took it up halfway, and sauntered home 16l ahead of his nearest pursuer. 

This is not a precursor to a belated challenge on the Ballymore however. I think we can safely say he'll be back over fences by the end of the autumn, but whilst there remain uncompetitive novice races to win, a penalty or two is unlikely to trouble him. 

A West Mercian Area runner of which we can continue to be proud.

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4m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)


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