Redknapp hoping for Cheltenham wins after rejecting Leeds for meeting

Frankie Dettori announces retirement as horse racing legend confirms farewell plans

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Former Premier League manager Harry Redknapp could land himself a Cheltenham Festival hat-trick this week, if lady luck is on his side. The Tottenham legend has four runners at the meeting, and he will be hoping to at least pick up some place money from them.

Redknapp has made it no secret that he loves racing, regularly confessing that he owns more horses than he has told his wife, Sandra, about. So much so that the ex-Portsmouth boss joked that he would not become Leeds manager because the season coincides with Cheltenham.

With speculation linking him with the post, Redknapp joked to talkSPORT: “I would do it but it coincides with Cheltenham week. I’ve got a couple of runners so I really can’t give that up.”

Redknapp goes to the meeting with several chances, and he will be hoping that one of his geldings confirms their promise and books themselves a spot in the Grand National. Express Sport takes a look at the 76-year-old’s runners at Cheltenham…

Karl Philippe (Ultima)

Redknapp could kick off his festival with a bang if Karl Philippe can return to winning ways in the Ultima Handicap Chase on Tuesday. The eight-year-old is a 50/1 shot for the race, having never been tried over the 3m trip previously.

The Fergal O’Brien-trained gelding will be carrying 11st 1 on the day, with Jack Hogan doing the steering. As the price suggests, it would be a shock for connections if Karl Philippe did manage to get home in front at Cheltenham.

Back On The Lash (Cross Country)

Grand National hope Back On The Lash is Redknapp’s most likely source of a winner at the Cheltenham Festival. The gelding – trained by Martin Keighley – is an 18/1 shot in the Glenfarcas Chase (Cross Country) and will be looking to prove why Redknapp is so hopeful of his chances at Aintree later this year.

Speaking about Back On The Lash’s Grand National chances last month, Redknapp said: “It would be amazing to have a runner in the Grand National. I would love to have a runner. It’s one of my favourite races. This would be my first runner in the National and I would love it. I’d love to go and watch him run. I really hope he gets in. He’s a game horse, he’ll go to Cheltenham now and we’ll see where we go. Let’s hope he gets in. It would be fantastic. I love the racing, it’s my big passion.”

Shakem Up’arry (Magners Plate)

Named after the man himself, Redknapp runs Shakem Up’Arry in the Magners Plate Handicap Chase on Thursday. The nine-year-old runs off of a mark of 139 and is a 33/1 shot, having failed to justify favouritism in a Class 1 handicap chase on New Year’s Day.

Bowtogreatness (Magners Plate)

Redknapp has two runners in the Magners Plate – as it stands – with Bowtogreatness also an outsider for the 2m4f chase. The Ben Pauling-trained gelding has struggled on his last few outings, having shown promise previously and appearing to be the sort to land a big handicap.

Bowtogreatness was pulled up on his last outing at Warwick, having finished fifth of five in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase previously. The seven-year-old is a general 66/1 shot for Thursday’s race, and he will need to improve markedly if he is to have his say.

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