Tag Archive for: Philip Rothwell

Rothwell forced to abandon Kempton trip with Prince Zaltar

Prince Zaltar will miss the Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday after suffering a minor setback.

Philip Rothwell’s charge has run two fine races in Britain already this season, finishing sixth at Cheltenham in November before filling the runner-up spot behind Sonigino at Aintree last month.

Rothwell had been eyeing a third successive trip across the Irish Sea for this weekend’s feature handicap, but said on Wednesday: “I’m not running. He’s had a little setback, so he won’t go.

“He worked well yesterday, but we just weren’t happy afterwards. I haven’t a clue how long it will hold us up for, it won’t be long I’d say, but we’re not going to make Kempton anyway.

“The horses are flying, thank God, but their welfare is the most important thing and we’ve got to make sure they’re 100 per cent right. If it was an Irish race I might still plan on going, but when you’re going across to Kempton and things aren’t 100 per cent right I’m definitely not going to go.”

Prince Zaltar’s non-participation is a rare blip in an otherwise excellent campaign for Rothwell.

Numerically the Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer is enjoying his best ever season, with a tally of 33 winners and prize-money totalling over €390,000 putting him fifth in the trainers’ table behind the powerhouse quartet of Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins, Henry de Bromhead and Gavin Cromwell.

He added: “We’re doing really well and getting huge support for a small yard. We’re just trying to turn them over and thrash the winners out as best we can and we’re really happy with how it’s going.

“The last three or four seasons have been very strong and we have a very strong team of staff and people working here in a very small environment.

“We’re very specific about what we’re doing, the whole thing is a team job and I’m just very lucky that the players on my team at the moment are very good.

“We’ve been building this for the last few years and hopefully we can keep at the kind of level we’re at now as we’re not going to get further. I’m fifth in the trainers’ table, we’re not going to hassle the top four and I’m sure some of the lads behind us can pass us at some stage.

“We have 55 or 60 boxes, whereas the lads in front and some behind have 200 boxes. Their average spend is in excess of £80,000 and my average spend is about £5,000, so we’re boxing way above our weight and we’re very happy to be doing that.”

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