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Swindon runners and riders to look out for today at Cheltenham
Alan King Cheltenham
All eyes will be on the Gold Cup clash between Kauto Star and Long Run today, but with a little bit of luck Alan King may be in the spotlight as well.
The Swindon trainer has a very real chance for his first Festival winner with Grumeti in the opening race - the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
At 11-2, he's second favourite, and King is confident, as a trainer who has won this race twice in the last seven years.
"The quickening ground will definitely suit him, but Pearl Swan, of course, is the threat," commented King.
In the 2.05pm, Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle, King has Raya Star strongly fancied.
With 'Choc' Thornton on board also looking for his first win, this top-class hurdler looks a good each-way bet at 12-1.
In the 2.40pm, Thorton also rides Lovcen for Alan King, another good each-way opportunity at 12-1.
And although King unfortunately doesn't have a runner in the Gold Cup, he will be looking to finish the week on a high with Kumbeshwar in the last race, another one that he has previously trained the winner of.
"He's stepping up in trip and has every chance if he gets round," King said.

Swindon jockeys
Rider-wise, it may pay to look out for local Stanton jockey  Felix De Giles and well-kown Swindon Jockey  Wayne Hutchinson. Both have a number of good-quality rides today.
Thursday 15 March

Alan King is still looking for his first festival winner this week, but has a good chance with Medermit [Finished 3rd] in the 2.40pm Ryanair Chase.
"After a fine effort at Ascot last time out, I think the trip will suit him," King said.
Medermit is 7-1.
Other runners today for the Barbury Castle trainer include Midnight Appeal [Fell] in the 4.40pm Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at 12-1, and Smad Place [Finished 3rd] in today's feature race - the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
"He [Smad Place] is up against Big Bucks in that race, so it's a very tough challenge, but you never know," commented King.
Wednesday 14 March
Swindon is well represented again at Cheltenham today, with Alan King having a number of well-fancied runners.
The best of the bunch is most definitely Vendor [Finished 3rd] - the 7-2 favourite in the 4.40pm Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
King also saddles Ardlui [Finished 15th].
"I am not surprised that he [Vendor] has been favourite since the bookies started betting on the race, and I hope that they have got it right," King said.
In the first race of the day, Iron Chancellor [Unseated rider] is also considered a threat, despite being an outsider.
"I donít think the trip will be an issue. He might not have the class but I like to think he will be staying on towards the finish," King says of the horse.
In the 2.40pm race, Walkon [Finished 5th] may also be worth a bet at 25-1 with King optimistic for a good run.

"If he does settle down and get into his stride he is capable of surprising a few people. He has bags of class, thatís for sure."
Disappointingly, in the 2.05pm race, second favourite Batonnier has been withdrawn due to injury.
Tuesday 13 March

You'll probably hear the famous Cheltenham roar in Old Town today if Alan King wins the first race.
The Supreme Novices' Hurdle always gets the Festival week underway and the Swindon trainer has the well-fancied Montbazon in with a great chance.
"I'm delighted with him, he's worked exceptionally well," King told SwindonWeb.

"No other horse will start the race in finer form."

Montbazon is 7-1.
Finished 4th.
Another one well worth a bob or two is the favourite Hold On Julio [ Finished 10th]  in the 2.40, which King believes deserves to be favourite.

And finally, Bless The Wings [ Finished 10th] in the 5.15 has done what King describes as 'everything right' in preparing for the race.

"He could well be in at the business end if he gets round and the stable have won this race twice before so we know what we have to do to win."
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