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About Simon:

Simon Clare joined Coral in 1997 as Racecourse PR representative and was promoted to Coral PR Director in October 2002. Between 2008 to 2011 Clare added Trading to his responsibilities in a new role as Coral Trading & PR Director. In 2011 he relinquished his Trading responsibilities and assumed a new wider role of PR & Broadcast Director responsible for all Coral Public Relations activity, CoralTV and Social Media. Clare has extensive broadcast experience on radio and television commenting on a diverse range of betting events from the obvious - horse racing, football and sport - to the more obscure - politics, reality TV, showbiz and the weather. Simon Clare is a keen sports fan, still turning out for Carshalton FC on a Saturday when work allows.

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Joe Tizzard “Kilbricken Storm must have a favourite’s chance”

I  thought it was a big jump forward from Thistlecrack in the King George. He jumped and travelled supremely well, and I think he needed the run again, but we are definitely getting there with him.

Thistlecrack has come out of the race well. We haven’t got as far as making a plan for him. Whether we go for another race before the Gold Cup or not we’ll have to see. We haven’t really discussed that yet. He had a hard enough race and so it’s just a case of keeping him ticking over. We are still working from the Gold Cup backwards.

Fox Norton didn’t run his race in the King George at all. It wasn’t like he travelled well for two and half miles and then ran out of steam, he just didn’t jump or travel well enough. He’ll go straight for the Festival now. We’ll enter him for both the Champion Chase and Ryanair next week, and make a decision nearer the time.

I watched the Leopardstown Chase last night. It was interesting to see Outlander run really well. Cue Card’s form from Haydock has been franked left, right and centre. Sizing John was very disappointing but I’m sure something will come to light and we’ll see the real Sizing John back at Cheltenham. It just shows how open a division it is at the moment. Might Bite wasn’t as crazily impressive in the King George either.

It just shows how hard it is to keep good horses performing, and it’s even harder to make them keep peaking for Cheltenham. You keep coming back to Henrietta Knight and the amazing job she did with Best Mate to keep producing him to win three Gold Cups. People complained about not seeing enough of him but she always got him there in March to perform to his best.

SATURDAY

12.50 Taunton – Sparky’s Spirit

He is a point to pointer that needs to get a handicap mark. He got round at Chepstow a long way back the other day. This is a another stepping stone for the horse.

3.15 Taunton – Flo’Sboy Sam  

I think the handicapper has been a bit harsh on him giving him a mark of 112 on what he’s shown. But he wasn’t quite right the last time he ran. He came back with a slightly dirty nose, but he’s fine now. It looks like a competitive boys’ race but he’s certainly capable of a big run. His first run for us when he came 4th was a solid enough performance and that would put in with a shout.

2.25 Newbury – Grand Vision

It was brilliant to see him win last time out but that was a Veterans’ race and this is a very competitive handicap. He has come out his race really well and is in lovely form, and he will handle the ground which may catch one or two others out.

He ran in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham last season and he might go back there next March, but he’s fit and well now and it’s better to run in these handicaps for decent prize money than in Hunter Chases for £1500.

3.00 Newbury – Kilbricken Storm

I was over the moon with Kilbricken Storm last time. We never dreamed of him being a 147 rated horse but he just keeps producing it on the track. He’s a six year old, turning seven next week, and he’s a stronger horse and when he’s in this kind of form he needs to be running. He can handle the fact that he ran only a fortnight ago and he’ll also handle the ground. He must have a favourite’s chance.

It was a good performance last time out and we’ve just kept him ticking over. We know he stays further and we know he’ll act on the ground. I’m not saying yet that he’s going to win an Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham but you never know, and he’s going in the right direction. His rating says he’s there or thereabouts for that race.

SUNDAY

12.30 Warwick – Queen Of The Wind

Queen of The Wind ran a solid race last time out. She’s a mare we are in no real hurry with but she’s ready to run.

2.05 Warwick – Sartorial Elegance

We are dying to go chasing again with Sartorial Elegance, but we want to get is confidence back over hurdles. He is on a decent mark so when it all clicks he should go close. He will handle the ground and the trip if the meeting is on.  

Joe