sport

Tizzard using Hennessy as guide

Connections are confident Theatre Guide can build on his Hennessy run in Friday's Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase.

The six-year-old was a 33-1 outsider for last month's Newbury feature, but ran a fantastic race to pick up minor honours behind Triolo D'Alene and Rocky Creek.

Colin Tizzard's charge turns out little under a fortnight later for this Grade Three assignment at Cheltenham, but rather than being worried the race will come too quickly, the trainer's son and jockey Joe feels his mount could even improve on his excellent Newbury effort.

Tizzard said: "He came out of Newbury well and we think the Hennessy might just have made a man out of him.

"He's a horse who has taken a while to come to hand, but he's a low mileage horse and we think that he can use the Hennessy run to help him go forward.

"He ran a fantastic race at Newbury and travelled through the race seriously well, so we're looking forward to him doing the same tomorrow."

Last year's Welsh Grand National hero Monbeg Dude has started the new season in good form, running well at Cheltenham both over hurdles and over fences.

The Grand National at Aintree is his long-term target this term and trainer Michael Scudamore is confident of a bold show on Friday.

Scudamore said: "He ran very well there (at Cheltenham) last time and hasn't gone up in the weights at all. You'd like to think a repeat of that performance would see him go close.

"He was a bit unlucky on his last run as he just got caught late on, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

"He's rated 138, which was bottom weight in the National last season. It would be nice if we can get into the early 140s to hopefully guarantee ourselves a run.

"We'll get this race out of the way before we look beyond that."

George Charlton's Knockara Beau was a couple of places ahead of Monbeg Dude when second at Cheltenham last month, but the Northumberland-based trainer is concerned his stable stalwart has to carry a big weight on his return to the track.

He said: "We're looking forward to going back to Cheltenham with him, but it won't be as easy for him as his last run there.

"He had 10st 13lb on his back last time and thought he was running loose, but he has to carry 11st 10lb tomorrow, which is a big difference.

"The race is a bit shorter this time around, which might also be against him, but the horse is in good form and I'm sure if he gets a clear round without making a mistake, he'll run a good race."

Former top-class chaser Burton Port has not looked the same horse in two starts since returning from a lengthy absence, but heads the weights for trainer Jonjo O'Neill.

Prince Of Pirates, Quentin Collonges, Duke Of Lucca and Pigeon Island also feature in a 10-runner field.