Alan Shearer sweats on cup tie as Augusta Kate set for Champion Bumper at Cheltenham

Augusta Kate will sidestep an engagement at Sandown on Saturday and instead take on the boys in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
Alan Shearer sweats on cup tie as Augusta Kate set for Champion Bumper at Cheltenham

A daughter of the mighty Yeats and out of Grade One-winning hurdler Feathard Lady, Augusta Kate has made a huge impression in winning her two starts to date at Listowel and Navan.

The five-year-old carries the colours of the Masters Syndicate, a group of celebrity owners that includes Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer and Lee Westwood.

The syndicate is headed by owner Graham Wylie, who confirmed Willie Mullins has agreed to let her line up at Grade One level next Wednesday.

Wylie said Westwood would definitely be in attendance at Cheltenham, but that Ant and Dec would not be present.

Shearer is hoping to make the trip if work commitments allow.

He said: “We are all very excited.

“There’s one stumbling block, though. I’ve just found out that if Chelsea and Everton draw in the FA Cup this weekend, the replay will be on that Wednesday and will scupper my plans as I will be part of the BBC team covering the replay.

“The game is live this Saturday and it’s a game I’m doing so I will be praying for a positive result.

“I’d be gutted to miss Cheltenham.”

Jockey plans for Augusta Kate have not yet been firmed up, but the trainer’s son Patrick is not expected to take the mount as he is unlikely to be able to do the weight, with her mares’ allowance meaning she will carry 10st 12lb.

Ante-post favourite Min is one of 25 horses still in contention for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle following the six-day confirmation stage.

The Mullins-trained five-year-old has made a big impression in two Irish starts to date and is a warm order to provide his connections with a fourth successive victory in the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser next Tuesday.

Mullins has also left in the well-backed Yorkhill, as well as Babbling Stream, Bachasson, Bello Conti, Bellshill, Long Dog, Petit Mouchoir and Thomas Hobson.

Other leading hopes include the Nicky Henderson-trained duo of Altior and Buveur D’Air, Gordon Elliott’s pair of Ball D’Arc and Tombstone and Supasundae from Henry de Bromhead’s yard.

Douvan could face as many as 13 rivals in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy.

The six-year-old, an impressive winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago and unbeaten over fences, is a long odds-on favourite.

Mullins has also left in Shaneshill and Outlander.

Henderson has two possibles in Vaniteux and L’Ami Serge, although the latter is more likely to tackle the JLT Novices’ Chase.

Fox Norton and Baltimore Rock could take their chances for Neil Mulholland, with Venetia Williams leaving in Aso and Zamdy Man.

The Game Changer is Elliott’s representative while De Bromhead has Sizing John and Sizing Codelco in the frame.

Evan Williams’ On Tour is also still in the mix as is Garde Le Victorie, but a decision over whether he runs in this or the JLT has still to be made.

Among those taken out were Ttebbob, Velvet Maker, Arzal and Rock The World.

Vroum Vroum Mag is set to be the headline act in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.

Mullins has also confirmed Annie Power at the six-day entry stage, but she looks set to bid for glory in the Champion Hurdle earlier in the afternoon after being supplemented, as expected, at a cost of £20,000 (€25,800).

In her absence, Vroum Vroum Mag is set to go off a hot favourite, having won each of her eight starts for the Mullins stable.

Mullins could also call upon Gitane Du Berlais and Whiteout.

Other contenders among 26 to stand their ground include last year’s runner-up Polly Peachum, trained by Henderson, the Rebecca Curtis-trained Aurore D’Estruval and the Harry Fry-trained trio of Bitofapuzzle, Desert Queen and Jessber’s Dream.

Flute Bowl, who defeated Jessber’s Dream at Warwick last time, has been supplemented for the race by trainer Gary Moore.

More in this section

RacingCheltenham 2016CheltenhamAugusta KatePlace: CheltenhamPlace: SandownPlace: ListowelPlace: NavanPlace: WarwickPerson: Alan ShearerPerson: Augusta KatePerson: YeatsPerson: Feathard LadyPerson: AntPerson: DecPerson: Lee WestwoodPerson: Graham WyliePerson: Willie MullinsPerson: WyliePerson: WestwoodPerson: ShearerPerson: PatrickPerson: MinPerson: MullinsPerson: BachassonPerson: Bello ContiPerson: BellshillPerson: Long DogPerson: Petit MouchoirPerson: Thomas HobsonPerson: Nicky HendersonPerson: AltiorPerson: Buveur D’AirPerson: Gordon ElliottPerson: Ball D’ArcPerson: SupasundaePerson: Henry De BromheadPerson: DouvanPerson: HendersonPerson: VaniteuxPerson: L’Ami SergePerson: Neil MulhollandPerson: Venetia WilliamsPerson: ElliottPerson: De BromheadPerson: Sizing JohnPerson: Sizing CodelcoPerson: Evan Williams’Person: Garde Le VictoriePerson: TtebbobPerson: Velvet MakerPerson: ArzalPerson: Vroum Vroum MagPerson: Annie PowerPerson: Gitane Du BerlaisPerson: WhiteoutPerson: Polly PeachumPerson: Rebecca CurtisPerson: Aurore D’EstruvalPerson: Harry FryPerson: Gary MooreEvent: ChampionEvent: Weatherbys Champion BumperEvent: Cheltenham FestivalEvent: FA CupEvent: Arkle Challenge TrophyOrganisation: Masters SyndicateOrganisation: ChelseaOrganisation: EvertonOrganisation: BBCOrganisation: Sky Bet SupremeOrganisation: YorkhillOrganisation: StreamOrganisation: Fox NortonOrganisation: Baltimore RockOrganisation: AsoOrganisation: JLTOrganisation: MullinsOrganisation: Desert QueenOrganisation: Jessber’s DreamOrganisation: Dream

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox