Andy aiming to strike Gold at Cheltenham
Andy Turnell is hoping Bible Lord can give his stable a much-needed boost with a good run in Saturday's Boylesports.com Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
It is almost six weeks since the Swindon trainer had a winner and his horses have been performing below par on the track recently.
“He's on course for Saturday, but I'm a bit worried as some of mine have been off,” said Turnell.
“We can't find anything wrong with them, but they're a bit like Alan King's. They are not firing, but this fellow seems well in himself.”
Bible Lord won at Wetherby on his seasonal bow back in October but came unstuck over the Grand National fences in the Grand Sefton at Aintree last time.
“I'm going to take 7lb off him by putting my conditional Ed Cookson on him as Nick (Scholfield) is banned,” added Turnell.
“Bible Lord has not been affected by his fall at Aintree last time.”
Bible Lord is around a 25-1 shot while Tim Vaughan's Atouchbetweenacara currently leads the ante-post betting.
The eight-year-old has been off the track since slamming his rivals by 24 lengths over course and distance in April, when trained by Venetia Williams.
Vaughan is regarded as one of the up-and-coming trainers in the National Hunt sphere and in Atouchbetweenacara, he is hoping he has a horse to aid his rise through the ranks.
“I rode him myself on our grass gallops this morning over about three furlongs and he is in very, very good order. I'm delighted with him actually,” said Vaughan.
“I'm just counting down the hours until Saturday and I'm obviously excited to have a horse of this calibre in the yard. Hopefully he can propel me on to the next stage.
“He is absolutely looking a million dollars in his coat and when he first arrived he was quite gassy, but we have relaxed him and he seems in good order.
“I'm tremendously excited and hopefully he can prove he is a proper horse this weekend,” he said.
“He has got to contend with a 19lb rise and it's a different calibre of a race, but hopefully if he can get a clean run round, he can prove his worth.
“There is no question that in time he'll want further, but he won over course and distance in April and we felt for his first run of the season, a shorter trip would be better because he is quite a free-going sort.”
Vaughan has a fine second string to his bow in the shape of Stan, who has been off the track since falling at the seventh in last season's Grand National.
“He has won twice over course and distance at Cheltenham and is in absolutely tremendous order,” the trainer said.
“He's gleaming in his coat and has done everything we've asked of him.
“He's off a mark of 148 and his highest winning mark is 143, but we couldn't have him in better order.”
Atouchbetweenacara is the 5-1 favourite with the sponsor while Stan is a 25-1 chance.