Racing Round up: Ebony Express departs for Cheltenham bonus

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Sent off a 33/1 shot for Saturday’s Imperial Cup at Sandown, Dr Richard Newland would have been hopeful at best for his charges chances at the Esher track.

But under a strong ride from jockey Will Kennedy, the Grand National winning trainer now has a live chance to bank a whopping £100,000 bonus should his charge go on to victory at the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old had to dig deep to hold off all-comers up the home straight in Surrey and will have to pull out even more if that famous Prestbury Park hill isn’t going to halt the gelding.

With a matter of a few days between the Imperial Cup and the Festival, the double will be tricky, but not impossible to do.

The most common route would be to head to the County Hurdle on Thursday, a double taken by the likes of Blowing Wind and Gaspara in recent years.

That is certainly the race his trainer seems to fancy, with his horse now a 20/1 shot from after his Sandown success.

However, not all of the big news took place on the racecourse this week, with Cheltenham news coming from both sides of the Irish Sea with jockey bookings, race confirmations and a late withdrawal to a championship race all major talking points.

Everything is discussed in Ladbrokes’ latest Racing Round-Up podcast which you can hear below…


With just a day to go, the excitement is ramping up towards the action at Prestbury Park and with a monumental double on the cards for one of the relatively smaller stables in operation; fairytales could yet be written in Gloucestershire.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.