Emma Lavelle is looking forward to seeing Captain Sunshine run
Last Updated: October 17, 2013 2:31pm
Emma Lavelle: Saddles Captain Sunshine
Emma Lavelle is looking forward to seeing Captain Sunshine return to action in the Pertemps Qualifier at Cheltenham.
The rules have changed this year in that to qualify for the Final horses must finish in the first eight of a qualifier, rather than just be declared to run in one.
Heading the field is Emma Lavelle's Captain Sunshine who was second in the Final in March but his handler hopes he will prove too good to run in this season's race.
"This is a nice starting point but in an ideal world it's hopefully a step towards him running in graded races," said Lavelle.
"He finds it quite hard in handicaps as he needs to be led in at the start and he can throw a few lengths away which makes it very difficult for him. In graded races the fields are smaller and he wouldn't be losing as much ground.
"The Pertemps Final could be his aim again but I'm hoping he might be a bit better than that.
"After last year when the horses were wrong he could either be thrown in off 140 or that's as good as he is, we'll find out tomorrow."
Cross Kennon, seventh in the World Hurdle, smart chaser Rare Bob and Restless Harry are in the 20-runner field.
The opening contest, the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, looks an informative affair with Nigel Twiston-Davies' Pure Science boasting Festival form having finished sixth in the Champion Bumper.
"I thought his progress was good last season and he ran a very nice race at The Festival, so that was good, but the ground was a bit too firm for him at Ayr," said Twiston-Davies.
"He has done well over the summer and has been schooling and working nicely, so we will see how he gets on."
Taking him on are Donald McCain's Clondaw Draft, already twice a winner over hurdles, Rebecca Curtis' Cloud Brook, a 10-length winner of his only bumper, Paul Nicholls' Saint Roque and Jonjo O'Neill's Rum And Butter.
Twiston-Davies' The New One took the corresponding race 12 months ago.