Dickin's mixed feelings for Crapper

Robin Dickin is confident that Thomas Crapper will line-up at the Cheltenham Festival, but isn't sure in which race yet.

The four-time winner is due to face three rivals at Kempton on Friday, but Dickin knows that victory could come at a cost for his 137-rated Alne Park inmate.

Dickin, speaking to www.cdhorseracingtours.com, said: " It's a joy to have such a good horse, but ahead of his run at Kempton we risk him being put up a few pounds by the handicapper.

"If he were to go and win by eight lengths or something, that might well end up ruling him out his intended target The Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase (0-140) at the Cheltenham Festival.

"If that was the case it would be frustrating, but we'd then look at running him in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. He's a real Cheltenham horse, there is a lot of mania around the whole Cheltenham thing and running horses there, but Thomas Crapper has certainly got the certificate and deserves to be there!"

The eight-year-old has won twice at Cheltenham and was a fine second to Don Poli in last year's Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Another Prestbury Park-bound hopeful will be Garrahalish who is set to hopefully run in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase in March.

Dickin explained: "Last time out at Cheltenham I thought the race was run at a cuckoo pace, he's very much a bridle horse and Charlie (Poste) didn't think the ground helped as it was sticky and dead. I think the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir will be his cup of tea and he'll have a nice weight.

"The Grand National would be a race which in time would suit him as they could go as quick as they like for him."

Restless Harry, who has been sidelined with stress fractures to both front and back, is due to return to walking work in the next 10 days or so.

However, a 'team' decision has been made for the 10-year-old to have a lazy summer with a return to the racecourse most likely in October or November.

Dickin said: "Restless Harry needs soft ground and I just don't think we'll get that for the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (in April), he'll be aimed at the long distance chases such as the Welsh Grand National and the Hennessey Gold Cup.

"Another possibility will be those veterans races will also be right up his street and we could see him taking his chances in those as well," he concluded.


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