Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Thunder Ready to Storm Back

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Thunder Ready to Storm Back

Article excerpt

Byline: Racing Preview

I Hear Thunder can storm back to form after a Boxing Day fall to take the feature race at Ludlow tomorrow.

Racing prominently, the Montelimar gelding unshipped Ben Hitchcott at the 14th fence at Wincanton in the race won by Yardbird.

After a two-month rest, the eight-year-old can give his connections hopes of a trip to Cheltenham by winning the pounds 20,000-added Forbra Challenge Cup (3.50).

Bob Buckler's charge holds entries in the Sporting Index Handicap Chase over the cross-country course and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

I Hear Thunder invariably runs well after a break as he was successful at Chepstow in early October in his first race since March.

He also went on to win at Wincanton just two weeks later so his supporters will have reason to believe lightning can strike twice with the Festival just around the corner.

Another horse with possible Cheltenham aspirations is the Nicky Henderson-trained mare Perle de Puce.

The seven-year-old, owned by Robert Waley-Cohen, has a choice of Festival engagements in the Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase and the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle.

A smart novice hurdler a couple of years ago Perle de Puce can get her fencing career back on track in the EBF/Tattersalls (Ireland) Mares' Only Novices' Chase Qualifier (2.50).

She has only got round once in three outings over fences so far.

There is no better trainer than Henderson in sharpening up a horse's jumping and Perle de Puce is certainly worth another chance.

Ginger McCain is having his best season numerically for winners and the veteran Cholmondeley trainer can keep up the good work with Temple Place in the Novices' Hurdle (2.20).

The five-year-old has shown enough ability in two outings at tracks as far afield as Kelso and Taunton to suggest he can make his mark over jumps. …

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