sport

Pipe duo book Cheltenham tickets

Dell' Arca and Swing Bowler have booked their places in David Pipe's Cheltenham team following excellent efforts at Newbury.

Dell' Arca and Swing Bowler booked their places in David Pipe's team for Cheltenham with excellent efforts in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

Dell' Arca finished well to take second spot in one of the toughest handicaps in the calendar with Swing Bowler staying on to finish fifth on her first start for 11 months.

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle or one of the handicaps at the Festival beckon for Dell' Arca while Swing Bowler could take on Quevega in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle or run in the County Hurdle.

"Dell' Arca proved himself a tip-top performer here, failing by only one and three-quarter lengths to concede 9lb to the winner Splash Of Ginge despite taking a knock three from home," the Nicholashayne handler told www.davidpipe.com.

"He has an entry in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' hurdle at next month's Festival although he will also receive entries in all the handicaps around this sort of trip.

"Swing Bowler was making a belated seasonal debut in the big race and ran a cracker considering she had not run since last season's Cheltenham Festival.

"She was another to be involved in the jostling three out, but she stayed on in pleasing fashion under Conor O'Farrell, failing only narrowly to grab fourth close home.

"She had suffered a few minor niggles which had held her up, but this was a very good effort and she will probably now go for the mares' race or the County Hurdle at Cheltenham.

"She didn't appear to get home last year, but she is stronger this time around and the manner in which she finished at Newbury would suggest that she should get the trip this time around."

Pipe has added Edmund Kean to his Festival squad after his triumph at Ludlow.

"While it was only a three runner contest, I was very pleased by the success of Edmund Kean in the three-mile novices' chase at Ludlow on Wednesday," he said.

"According to official figures he had to improve to concede weight to the useful The Romford Pele and he did just that. Jumping well in the main (if a little left), he was more fluent than his nearest rival and did enough to hold on having appeared to put the race to bed early in the straight.

"His sound jumping will continue to stand him in good stead over fences and he could still go to the Cheltenham Festival where at present he has entries in the RSA Chase and amateur riders' National Hunt Chase over four miles."