Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Whateley a potential contender for leading Cheltenham owner

The name Diana Whateley might not be immediately recognisable to everyday racegoers or punters on National Hunt racing, but the owner who has at least 16 horses in training at present (12 with Philip Hobbs) is not without a chance of landing a hatful of Cheltenham Festival 2011 success at next month's stellar four-day fixture, writes Elliot Slater.

Last year Whateley's Menorah carried off the Supreme Novices' hurdle and this term appears to have very strong claims indeed of being crowned champion hurdler. In everything he has done so far this term Menorah has looked championship class and will surely run a massive race on March 15.

Other Whateley-owned horses include Wishfull Thinking, winner of the Grade 3 Murphy Group Handicap chase at Cheltenham recently where he got the better of Calgary Bay. The eight-year-old is a contender for the RSA Chase and also has the option of the Jewson Novices' Chase if the ground comes up soft. Another potential Jewson Chase candidate to run in Whateley's colours is Captain Chris, a half-length second to Medermit in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown recently, although a decision has yet to be taken as to whether he goes for the 'Jewson' or the Arkle Chase, over the minimum trip of two miles so anyone looking for Cheltenham tips will need to keep an eye on this.

With Nicene Creed a possible for the Neptune Investment Management Hurdle on day two of the festival, Tarablaze still under consideration for the RSA Chase, Keki Buku an outsider for the Arkle or a contender for one of the handicap events, as well as a number of other possible runners, the name of Diana Whateley could easily jump to prominence alongside JP McManus, Andy Stewart, Clive Smith and Trevor Hemmings, at what promises to be a very exciting fixture for the owner and her husband Graham.

No comments:

Post a Comment