Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Monkerhostin Hot Stuff with Hobbs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Monkerhostin Hot Stuff with Hobbs

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Moscrop

Thrown in on his hurdle form, Monkerhostin will be very difficult to beat if he puts in a clear round in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham today.

These fences take no prisoners and it will be a stiff examination of his jumping, which was suspect when he had two spells of chasing with his former trainer Oliver Sherwood. He did win over the bigger ones but his fencing generally let him down.

Monkerhostin seems to be a more reliable performer these days and the much-improved form he showed over hurdles last season reflects great credit on his new trainer, Philip Hobbs.

He turned in a string of good efforts, notably when landing the Grade Three Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, and he ended the season with a hurdles rating 21lb higher than at the conclusion of his previous campaign. It was a decent little handicap he contested over fences on his Stratford reappearance last month and, after losing the initiative when jumping left two out, he fought back well to head the progressive Vodka Bleu near the finish.

With Richard Johnson injured, Tony Dobbin has been snapped up as his replacement and this talented Northern rider can prove a most capable deputy by steering Monkerhostin home up the final hill.

Hobbs also runs Farmer Jack who created a favourable impression when winning as he pleased at Aintree recently and he survived a late scare to take his chance.

Martin Pipe has won five of the last eight renewals and saddles both Celestial Gold and It Takes Time. The former was runner-up in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival on his penultimate outing last season before returning to the track to land a decent novices' chase.

He is well weighted and has the scope to do much better in his second season. His obvious liking for the course could well see him improve Pipe's outstanding record in this event. It Takes Time hasn't been seen since pulling up in the King George at Kempton last season. …

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