SCOTTISH racing trainers are looking for success at the Cheltenham Festival which takes place between Tuesday March 14 and Friday March 17.

The Cheltenham Festival is regarded the Olympics of horseracing and the pinnacle of the Jump racing season, where the best of the sport will be on show.

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The racing at the Festival is of the highest quality, and behind such a prestigious sporting event is the training of the equine stars, a profession which requires great skill and dedication.

Three Scottish-based training facilities including Harriet Graham & Gary Rutherford, Sandy Thomson and Lucinda Russell are looking for success during the week of the Festival.

Border Telegraph: Ahoy Senor – Trained by Lucinda RussellAhoy Senor – Trained by Lucinda Russell (Image: Great British Racing)

Graham and Rutherford, based in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, are looking to take on the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Chase on Thursday 16th March with Brandy McQueen.

The pair are the first joint-license holders in Scotland, having taken out their license on the January 30 2022. Brandy McQueen has won two of his last three starts, both at Musselburgh Racecourse.

Sandy Thomson, based near Kelso, is aiming for both the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle on Wednesday March 15 and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle on Friday March 17 during the Festival.

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Benson will run in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle on Wednesday March 15, and on Thursday March 16, Bass Rock will run in the Magners Plate Handicap Chase.

Hill Sixteen will take on the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockey’s Handicap Chase on Thursday  March 16.

Prior to his racing career, Thomson had a successful Rugby career, even winning the Scottish Championship with Kelso in 1984.

Renowned trainer Lucinda Russell OBE, is the leading Jumps Scottish Trainer, training over 800 winners during her career.

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Corach Rambler won the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022, and Brindisi Breeze won the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle in 2012, the first training success at the Festival for Russell.

During the 2017 Aintree Grand National, she found success with One For Arthur, and then later down the line in 2021 during the Ayr Scottish Grand National, Russell had a winner with Mighty Thunder.

Border Telegraph: Corach Rambler – Trained by Lucinda RussellCorach Rambler – Trained by Lucinda Russell (Image: Great British Racing)

Russell runs her yard with her partner Peter Scudamore MBE, the retired eight-time Champion Jockey.  Russell is due to have runners every day during the Festival.

 Key contenders include, Corach Rambler who will run in the Ultima Handicap Chase on Tuesday March 14, which he won last year.

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Ahoy Senor is aiming for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase on Friday  March 17 (3.30pm), the feature race of the Festival which will be aired live on ITV Racing.

Last year at the Festival Ahoy Senor came second to L’Homme Press, trained by Venetia Williams in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, so Ahoy Senor will be one to watch.


Tuesday March 14

2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) Corach Rambler – Trained by Lucinda Russell (Odds 15/2)

Wednesday March 15

1:30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)Serious Operator – Trained by Lucinda Russell (Odds 200/1)

2:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) Benson – Trained by Sandy Thomson (Odds 20/1)

4:50 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)Douglas Talking – Trained By Lucinda Russell (Odds 25/1)

5:30 Weatherby’s Champion Bumper (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race)(Grade 1)

Esprit Du Potier – Trained by Lucinda Russell (Odds 66/1)

Thursday March 16

2:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap)

Brandy McQueen – Trained by Harriet Graham and Gary Rutherford (Odds 80/1)

4:10 Magners Plate Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)

Bass Rock – Trained by Sandy Thomson (Odds 66/1)

5:30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

Hill Sixteen – Trained by Sandy Thomson (Odds 40/1)

Friday  March 17

2:50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

De Legislator – Trained by Lucinda Russell – (Odds 100/1)

Inis Oirr – Trained by Lucinda Russell – (Odds 100/1)

3:30 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)

Ahoy Senor – Trained by Lucinda Russell – (Odds 16/1)