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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 “Robinsfirth is ready and should have a good chance”

Battle of Ideas Update:

Battle of Ideas came back from Taunton with a dirty nose. We’ve had a couple of them like it. You look at them in the paddock and they look superb, he travelled beautifully for the first circuit, and then went out like a light. Then by the time we loaded him on the lorry, it had brought it out of him. That explains the below par run. We’ll put him on a course of antibiotics for a few days but just like humans, when it’s coming out of you, it’s close to getting better. So that will run its course and he’ll still be cantering every day. As soon as it’s cleared up we’ll look to get him back on track in the second half of January.

Thistlecrack & Native River Updates:

Thistlecrack and Native River have come out of the King George absolutely fine. Thistlecrack will go straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and we will need to make a decision on whether Native River goes straight there or runs in the Denman Chase at Newbury in February. We will see how he is in the next few weeks and make a decision off the back of that.

We were really pleased with both their runs, and they’ve both just been ticking along since. Thistlecrack ran an absolute blinder and Native River looked like the track wasn’t suiting him all the way round but we were then really pleased with the way he stayed on.

Elegant Escape Update:

Elegant Escape came out of Chepstow really well. It was a lovely performance. Tom O’Brien gave him the perfect ride, and it was especially sweet for him after he’d lost the ride in the Ladbrokes Trophy. The horse has got a bit of class and he’s only turning seven tomorrow so he’s got a massive future. He won off 151 and the handicapper will have his say, so he’ll have an entry in the Gold Cup and that’s almost certainly the way we’ll  be looking and hoping there will be a bit of cut in the ground. He’s looks ideal for the Grand National one day but whether that’s this year I don’t know. It will be difficult to win another handicap now that’s for certain, after finishing second in a Ladbrokes Trophy and then winning a Coral Welsh Grand National.   

New Year’s Day Runners:

12.15 Cheltenham – Darlac

It’s a graded race and ultra-competitive as you’d expect but Darlac has certainly not shown himself up in his last couple of runs in Grade 2s. He’s a good, strong horse. This race will take some winning but we are expecting him to run his race

12.50 Cheltenham – Robinsfirth

He’s been off since he won at Cheltenham last year, so he missed the second half of that season. He’s been back in training for a long time and been aiming at this for a while. He’s a very capable horse on his day. He’s a big horse so he’s entitled to improve a fraction but he’s ready and hopefully he should have a good chance.

1.25 Cheltenham – Lostintranslation

His form is looking really good now but he can’t afford to make a mistake like he made at Newbury last time. He has schooled lovely since then a couple of times. This is a good looking race but we think he’s up to this class and we want to get some Cheltenham experience into him. 

At Newbury he made that big mistake but he found a leg, which is important, and he then jumped the next two carefully. I don’t think he’s the sort of horse that would necessarily do it twice. He’s been immaculate jumping since at home. I think it was just a novicey mistake at the point they started to get racing. He’s in good form, and whilst it’s a wide-open race he deserves to be in it.

3.10 Cheltenham – Cyrus Darius

He disappointed at Ascot just before Christmas. Nothing came to light at all after that so we just wanted to get another run into him, stick a tongue strap on him, and see how well he can run. We may well go chasing soon with him.

12.40 Exeter – Carrick Roads

He ran well the first time round Exeter and then disappointed last time for no particular reason. If he runs back to his Exeter form then he’ll be in the shake-up. He’s a nice young horse that we are learning about all the time.

1.50 Exeter – Helford River

He’s a nice young horse, that’s learning his job. This hurdles run will help us learn a bit more about him.

2.25 Exeter – Wizards Bridge

He’s been a good servant. He’s paying the price for having a really good season last year in terms of his handicap mark. Exeter suits him and we probably ran him at Wincanton too soon after his race at Fontwell. He’s been freshened up for this and it looks the right race.

3.00 Exeter – White Moon

This race has cut right up. It’s the easiest race he’s run in for a while and I imagine he’ll be a short priced favourite. He deserves to be. It was a bit of a flat run last time but he had taken a heavy fall the time before. He’s certainly sharpened up at home and looks magnificent. He jumped superbly when he schooled on Friday. This will hopefully be a confidence booster for him.

3.35 Exeter – Sizing Brisbane

He’s been off for a long time. He ran well at Lingfield for a long way on really heavy ground. He’s sharp enough for the race. He has very few miles on the clock and I think there’s a bit of ability there. 2m3f around Exeter should be perfect for him and we are expecting him to run a nice race.

 

2018 Review and Look Ahead to 2019

It was a good year. We had a great end to the 2017/18 season winning the Gold Cup last March, and we’ve had a brilliant start to this season. We’ve passed the £1million prize money mark, we’ve won a Ladbrokes Trophy, we’ve won a Coral Welsh Grand National, and we’ve been second and third in both of the big Gold Cup trials, so it’s been one hell of a year. The yard has got bigger at home so it’s all going well, and hopefully we’re on an upward curve still as well.

We don’t really set goals but we are looking forward to getting Fox Norton back on the track. He hasn’t been on the track since Boxing Day last year.  The cows have gone now, so there’s a lot more time being aimed towards the racing side, so we are really focused on making more progress this season and then go buying more nice horses in the spring and keep the ball rolling.

Joe