MELISSA JONES: The Welsh trainers dreaming of Festival glory
9:06am Saturday 8th March 2014 in Sport
IT'S the weekend before Cheltenham when all through the house, the tipsters are studying with clicks of the mouse.
Longing for a hefty win and few betting slips in the bin.
Let's stop the rhyme- it's nearly time for Wales to launch its attack on the Festival.
While there are a few horse box loads Cheltenham bound, it's two from different corners of Wales which are more likely to have some silverware going back in them.
Call on Curtis and Stephens, At Fishers Cross and Modus.
Both are towards the head of the market and I'm being brave here to say they should both trouble the judge.
Last time out was the former's first "proper" run of the season according to Curtis, owing to jumping mishaps which upset him earlier on and the stable being hit by a bug.
No physical problems have been apparent since his last run, said Curtis, where he finished ahead of champion Big Buck's. They meet again in the World Hurdle.
"He's really good, he does seem to have come on for the run and having AP on board is nice as he knows the horse so well," said Curtis, who saddles O'Faolains Boy in the RSA and Teaforthree in the Gold Cup.
Modus has a tough act to follow in that he won the same race as Champion hurdler elect The New One did in his younger days.
Trained in Gwent by Stephens, Modus completed his last piece of work on Wednesday.
"Mentally he's more nature now," reported the trainer. "We are hopeful of a big run, not nervous just excited."
Evan Williams, who pulled his favourite Court Minstrel out of today's Imperial Cup because of the ground, says he's looking forward to seeing a horse run that's not in his stable: "He hasn't got the credit he's deserved. I can guarantee nothing in the race will have a career like him."
Williams said King Massini would be the best of his Cheltenham team this year.
John Flint told the Argus he plans to skip the Festival with big improved Kayf Moss and wait for Aintree instead.
SATURDAY SELECTIONS: Sandown 2.05 Knight of Noir (NAP) 3.15 Fourth Estate, Chepstow 3.55 Simply Wings
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