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Cheltenham Festival 2015: Brown Advisory & Merriebelle preview (16:00)

| 12.03.2015

Trainer David Pipe looks to have major claims of landing back-to-back runnings of the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (16:00) with Monetaire.

The Pond House handler saddled Ballynagour to win the race 12 months ago, and Monetaire has a similar profile to his stable companion and carries the same colours of owner Allan Stennett.

This nine-year-old had some decent form when trained in France and has looked potentially ahead of the handicapper in two runs since joining Pipe.

In the first of those, Monetaire ran a remarkable race to finish third of 10 to Bold Henry over 2m at this venue after 523 days on the sidelines.

The gelding made a catalogue of errors, but travelled strongly for the majority of the contest and held every chance at the last until weakening on the run-in to be beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

Monetaire got put up 3lb for that effort, but had no difficulty overcoming it to easily land a 2m 1f contest at Newbury back in November.

The son of Anabaa scored with far more in hand than the 2 1/4 length winning margin suggests, and despite having been hit with a further 12lb rise looks the type who has plenty more left in the locker.

The Pipe team have also resisted the temptation of running Monetaire to protect his mark, and he comes into the contest a fresh horse who looks to have been primed to run a huge race.

There are plenty of dangers in a wide open and competitive affair at the Cheltenham Festival, and Edgardo Sol is one that could go well at a big price for each-way backers.

The gelding had some very smart form to his name when trained by Paul Nicholls and was rated as high as 157.

Now in the care of Emma Lavelle, the eight-year-old is able to race off 149 having shaped well in three runs this season.

The last two of those have come over course and distance, and Edgardo Sol hinted that he was coming to the boil nicely when third of 12 to Niceonefrankie in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup last time out.

If Edgardo Sol can build on that I can see him running a big race in the hands of Noel Fehily.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.