Malton-based trainer John Quinn is hoping to plunder some of the tremendous prize- money on offer at Cheltenham this weekend by sending Crow Wood to contest the £200,000 Grade Two Boylesports.com International (3.15pm) on Saturday, December 9.
The seven-year-old produced a fine performance to take the Grade Two Elite Hurdle at Wincanton on his penultimate start, defeating Desert Quest by half a length, but was unable to land a blow last time out in the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on November 25, coming home sixth behind impressive scorer Straw Bear.
John Quinn revealed this morning: "The plan is to run Crow Wood in the boylesports.com International on Saturday. I was a bit disappointed with his run last time, but the ground was too soft for him, and he probably wasn’t good enough to tell you the truth.
"He’s come out of the race well though and he seems fine. Being realistic, however, you would have to say he has no more than an each-way chance. The principals will be very hard to beat - I’ve been very impressed with Detroit City this year and he looks the best hurdler about at the moment.
"I’m not sure about future plans for our horse. I had thought about going novice chasing but the owner wasn’t that keen. We’ll see how he runs on Saturday first."
The £200,000 Boylesports.com International offers fabulous prize money with £114,040 going to the winner, £42,780 to the second, £21,420 to the third, £10,680 to the fourth, £5,360 to the fifth and £2,680 to the sixth.
A total of nine entries have been received for the Boylesports.com International at the five-day stage, including Detroit City, who destroyed the opposition in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at The Open at Cheltenham last month, despite the burden of top weight. The grey will be looking to enhance his claims for the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle at The Festival in March, while Irish challenger Hardy Eustace, twice successful in Cheltenham’s showpiece hurdle in 2004 and 2005, bids to follow a facile victory in Grade Two company at Ascot last month.
The ground at Cheltenham is currently good to soft on all courses, with further showers forecast for the remainder of this week.
The Boylesports.com International is the feature race of the mouth-watering Boylesports International, which comprises of two days of fantastic racing on Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9. All races will take place on Cheltenham's New Course, which has not been used since May.
The Boylesports.com International is the season's premier race for Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle candidates. Boylesports, Ireland's fastest growing independent bookmaker, has transformed the prize money and is also offering a huge £200,000 bonus (£180,000 to the owner, £10,000 to the trainer & £10,000 to the yard's stable staff) to any horse that can win the Boylesports.com International and the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on March 13.
BOYLESPORTS PRICES FOR THE BOYLESPORTS.COM INTERNATIONAL
4/9 Detroit City
5/2 Hardy Eustace
20/1 Blazing Bailey
50/1 Crow Wood
Tickets will be available on the door for both days of the Boylesports International.
Admission prices for both days are Club/Tattersalls: £20 (16-24s: £15); Best Mate £8.
Parking is free on both days.
Gates open at 10.00am.
On Friday, December 8, Doncaster Bloodstock Sales (DBS) will be holding a Breeze-Up sale at Cheltenham racecourse.
Now in its third year, the DBS Breeze-Up sale at Cheltenham has been a great success with the 2006 Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle victor Noland having passed through the ring in 2004.
All lots will breeze-up over four furlongs on the track before racing, with the first lots appearing from 10.00am onwards. The sale itself takes place in the Centaur at 5.00pm. To book a table or for further information, please contact DBS on 01450 372222.