Air Force One targets Cheltenham

AIR FORCE ONE will bypass the rescheduled Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday and go straight to Cheltenham.

The seven-year-old would have taken his chance at the Dublin track had the race been run as planned last weekend, but his trainer Charlie Mann has now scrapped the idea.

With the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup less than four weeks after the Hennessy and the horse having missed work because of the bad weather, Mann has decided to save his stable star for next month’s blue riband.

“He’s not going to run, he’s missed two bits of work. He’s in very good form but I want to keep him in one piece for the Gold Cup.

“I’m not worried about the Gold Cup. He’s just a gallop short and it’s getting a bit close to Cheltenham now so I am going to leave him under wraps.”

Voy Por Ustedes heads a field of five declared for the Betfair Ascot Chase tomorrow.

The eight-year-old, trained by Alan King, is dropping down to two miles five and a half furlongs in a bid to open his account for the season.

The three miles of the King George VI Chase stretched the 2007 Queen Mother Mother Champion Chase hero’s stamina when he finished third to Kauto Star.

Kauto Star took this prize 12 months ago and his trainer Paul Nicholls looks to Gwanako for victory this time.

David Pipe saddles Tamarinbleu. The nine-year-old captured the valuable Victor Chandler Chase over two miles and one furlong here last winter.

Completing the quintet are Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Knowhere and Bob Buckler’s The Sawyer.

Francois Doumen has very nearly given Ladbrokes World Hurdle favourite Kasbah Bliss the green light to run at Haydock tomorrow.

Runner-up to Inglis Drever last year, the seven-year-old is as low as 9-4 with Victor Chandler to go one better this season after showing improved form on the Flat.

Conditions are set to be testing in the Blue Square Hurdle (registered as the Rendlesham), but Doumen says this is the gelding’s last chance of a run before the Festival.

Kasbah Bliss won the Haydock event last year under Barry Keniry.

“I just need need to make one more call to Kirkland Tellwright (clerk of the course) at Haydock tomorrow morning before I put him in the van but I’m pretty sure he’ll go,” said Doumen.

“He’s handled the very soft ground before but he’s very much better on good.

“The horse is giving me a lot of satisfaction at the moment, I’m very happy with him and I’m looking forward to running.”

Keith Reveley will probably rely upon Accordello at the weekend.

The eight-year-old mare ran very well in the race 12 months ago.

“Accordello is likely to go for the Rendlesham, she was third in it last year. We’ll have a go again,” said the Saltburn trainer.

Reveley also has Tazbar in that race, but he has an alternative engagement in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) over the same distance on the same card.

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