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Gallops Report

Last Updated: 12/12/13 2:15pm

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Time For Rupert (centre): Ready for return after surgery

Time For Rupert (centre): Ready for return after surgery

Sky Bet

Our gallops reporter has found Time For Rupert to be going well as he nears a return from surgery.

TIME FOR RUPERT delighted Paul Webber in a recent visit to Compton and is on course to return to the track in the Long Walk Hurdle on Saturday week.

The former top staying hurdler has recovered from a career-threatening condition that required emergency surgery, and is showing much of his old panache.

By chance, it was discovered the gelding had an ethmoid hematoma - a growth in his head that was heading towards his brain - that was surgically removed by the Royal Veterinary College.

The work with THOM THUMB and SOLE SURVIVOR was the latest of a total of five away trips to work on private grass gallops at Compton and neighbouring Edgcote.

His rider Denis O'Regan believes Time For Rupert is moving as well as ever, a view that is encouraging connections to look towards high-profile targets both over hurdles and fences for the chestnut.

The gigantic Thom Thumb has shown a good deal of promise in his own right and may run in a novice hurdle at the next Newbury meeting.

Sole Survivor is being pointed towards a novices' handicap chase at Bangor.

CANTLOW is shaping up as the flagship of Webber's operation and when breezing up the all-weather strip looked bright and alert ahead of the Stewart Family Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Tony McCoy has not surprisingly chosen to ride Paddy Power runner-up Colour Squadron, leaving Robert Thornton on Cantlow in the feature race.

KOOLALA opened her account in silk-smooth style at the second attempt and has been in good form subsequently. She is being targeted at a mares' Listed race at Taunton.

DOG OR DIVORCE has shown promise and will probably surface in a bumper at Lingfield, while DEVON DRUM was found an excuse for his Doncaster defeat, having scoped badly afterwards.

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