Martin Plans Grand Annual For Ted Veale
2013 Cheltenham Festival winner Ted Veale is set for a return to the meeting this year, but this time for a shot at the Grand Annual, the curtain raiser to the week at Prestbury Park.
Tony Martin’s runner won the Vincent O’Brien Country Handicap Hurdle 12 months ago when going off at 10/1 for the race. He was able to finish just over a length of Tennis Cap, with Manyriverstocross and Shadow Catcher filling the remainder of the placings.
Since his success at the Festival, the seven-year old has won just two of his seven starts. Those have included runs on the flat over the summer, while he returned to national hunt racing in November in preparation for Cheltenham.
His opening assignment over obstacles was the Arkle Trophy Novices’ Chase Trial during the Opening Meeting at Prestbury Park. He had to settle for third place on that occasion despite some heavy market support which saw him go off as the 2/1 second favourite in the betting. The race was won by Dodging Bullets, with Raya Star coming home second.
Ted Veale was stepped up in class on Boxing Day for a shot at the Racing Post Novice Chase in Ireland. The field included some of the best novices in the country and was taken by Paul Nolan’ Defy Logic. Martin’ mount was the last to finish as he was unable to make any impression in the final three furlongs.
The Irish horse received his final outing before the Festival at Leopardstown once again in another Grade One contest. This time he ran a respectable fourth as Trifolium too the prize.
Ted Veale is the only horse currently single figures for the Grand Annual, while Next Sensation and Ned Buntline sit behind him in the market.