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Cheltenham `99: Fahey sweet on Butterwick bid; Tongue-strap fitted after Newcastle flop last time; STAKIS CASINOS FINAL.

RICHARD FAHEY will be buying Jeremy Noseda a drink if The Butterwick Kid puts his recent Newcastle disappointment behind him and lands a gamble in the Stakis Casinos Final Handicap Hurdle.

The race formerly known as the Gold Card Hurdle looks tougher than ever this year following the declaration yesterday of Galant Moss and Shannon Gale, who both had alternative targets, and The Butterwick Kid's carefully planned preparation almost came unstuck when Lorcan Wyer pulled him up at Newcastle a fortnight ago, seemingly with a wind problem.

However, hopes are high that Noseda has saved the day by recommending not only that The Butterwick Kid wears a tongue-strap for the first time, but also a drop noseband.

"He's never made a noise in his life, but Lorcan said he choked, and felt that he swallowed his tongue," revealed Fahey, who availed himself of what he considered an insulting 33-1 before the odds were slashed at the weekend.

It might seem surprising that Fahey should go to a Flat trainer for advice, when he has Peter Easterby for his father-in-law, but he explained: "Jeremy spent a lot of time in the States, where they tie everything down, so I asked his advice and he suggested a drop noseband as well, as that's what they usually do over there. I'll buy him a drink if it works!"

The Butterwick Kid is bidding to make amends for the unlucky defeat of Kilgariff, the first of only two previous Festival runners from the stable, in the corresponding race in 1994.

"Kilgariff was only beaten a length into third despite a horse falling in front of him at the fourth-last," Fahey recalled.

"I thought he was very unlucky, and The Butterwick Kid is better than he was."

Malcolm Jefferson won that race with Tindari, and he too reckons he has a better candidate this time in Kings Measure.

"Kings Measure is a better class of horse than Tindari," said the trainer. My one little worry is the trip, as he's never been three miles, let alone three and a quarter.

"But he's always doing his best work at the finish and he's in great nick after a trip to Carlisle last week to stretch his legs and get away from the yard."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Dench, Graham
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 16, 1999
Previous Article:Cheltenham `99: Maid heads Henderson challenge.
Next Article:Cheltenham `99: Martin's aiming to turn back the clock with Lotto; FULKE WALWYN /KIM MUIR.

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