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    Theatre Man shines under the Festival's spotlight
Theatre Man shines under the Festival's spotlight
Image courtesy of Racing 365

Theatre Man shines under the Festival's spotlight

Theatre Man, under the guidance of Richard Bandey, has set his sights on the Cheltenham Festival handicaps following his impressive silver medal finish on Trials Day at Prestbury Park.

The eight-year-old displayed his prowess by triumphing in two out of his four hurdles starts last season. Although he is yet to clinch a victory over fences, his performances in the three novice chase starts have been nothing short of commendable, consistently remaining in close contention.

Despite a slight blunder four fences from the finish line, Theatre Man finished less than three lengths behind Ginny's Destiny, the hopeful from Paul Nicholls' stable, illuminating his undeniable potential for success at the esteemed Festival. With such promising prospects, Theatre Man's connections now face the pivotal decision of choosing between the Trustatrader Plate, which mirrors the track and distance of his recent outing or venturing into the three-mile challenge of the Ultima Handicap Chase. As the event draws near, the prevailing ground conditions will undoubtedly serve as a crucial factor in shaping this consequential choice.

Bandey expressed his contentment with Theatre Man's performance at Cheltenham, asserting,

"He finished very strongly".

Yet, the astute trainer believes that Theatre Man's true proficiency lies in the realm of a formidable two-and-a-half-mile horse rather than a definitive three-miler. Bandey revealed that after Theatre Man's minor misstep on the Cheltenham circuit, the horse encountered some difficulties navigating through gaps, which affected his pace. Nevertheless, Theatre Man demonstrated unwavering determination and concluded the race with an impressive display of tenacity, much to the delight of his connections.

"All roads will lead back to Cheltenham now, all being well,"

Bandey declared.

Both the Plate and the Ultima beckon as viable options, contingent upon the ground conditions and the race dynamics. Theatre Man's performance thrives on softer ground, a contrast to the good-to-soft conditions witnessed on Trials Day. If the ground resembles the prior event or turns drier, the three-mile race will be given due consideration.

Bandey regarded this conundrum as a delightful predicament and expressed gratitude for the involvement of Mr Syder, Mr Burke, and jockey Harry Bannister in collectively devising a strategic plan. As a small and fortunate yard, Theatre Man holds the esteemed title of their flagship horse for the ongoing year.

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