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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Colin's festival preview part one

Colin the Tipster
The kind of moment Colin dreams about for 361 days a year


This season we have lots of changes with three of my favourite trainers - Dr Philip Pritchard, David Wintle and the loveable Peter Wegmann - calling it a day, well for now anyway.

Now aged 70, Peter has decided to spend more time with his wife and their son Henry who is only 18-months-old.

Peter was born in Switzerland; he came to this country in the 1960s as an amateur rider before becoming a trainer saddling his first winner in April 1996 with Captain Stockford, a horse named after his best friend.

His base at Maisemore Park where he has been since 2000 also has a point to point course, with a hill overlooking the whole site which makes it one of the best point to point courses in the country, well Mrs Tipster thinks so and that is good enough for me.

The site is used by the Ledbury hunt for two meetings in April and May and if you have never been to point to point before it is a great day out.

Dr Philip Pritchard has decided to have a season off due to his wife, Theresa, not being very well (get better soon and lots of love from all of us).

Philip is a man of many talents, as well as being a practicing GP in Gloucestershire earlier in his life he played on the wing for Gloucester RFC in the 1982 John Player Cup final at Twickenham and he also designed and built his own house.

His stable motto has always been "affordable fun", the galloping doctor's best win has got to be when on the final day at the Open meeting in 2004 Davoski had one of his wonderful days and romped up the hill to win.

The horse was owned by Lady Maria Coventry, who is sadly no longer with us, but I've never seen so many happy faces as on that great day.

David Wintle took out a trainer's licence back in 1967 and his biggest career wins include the Great Metropolitan handicap at York and the Doncaster Cup.

He is well known for having a punt, which saw him featured in a controversial TV documentary, but as far as I could see he did little wrong.

David's reason for stopping is that his stable has been sold, he still hopes to train one or two horses himself, but who knows?

All the best and good luck to you three.


Martin Keighley who trains out of Condicote Stabiles is all set to have his first Cheltenham festival runners and Martin tells me hopefully he will have several runners.

I will try to give you lots of winners at the festival, yes Mrs Tipster thinks I'm mad too!

Colin the Tipster

On the Wednesday Benbane Head is set to run in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper having had a first and fourth so far, he has ran on heavy ground, but loves good ground, so hopefully that is what he will get and all being well he will run a big race.

On Gold Cup day Martin should have two runners in the Albert Bartlett novices hurdle: Any Currency (who is owned by Cash Is King) has come second four times this season. I would settle for another second at the festival so long as his stable mate Picture In The Sky wins, well we can all dream and that is what the owners Rupert Dubai Racing are doing.)

Rodrigo Gonzales will run too, he is owned by Nicholson Racing Syndicates a group which is managed by Dinah, widow of "the Duke", the legendary David Nicholson.

Let us hope it is a wonderful meeting for all, I certainly cannot wait. In the next update I will try to give you lots of winners at the festival, yes Mrs Tipster thinks I'm mad too!

Gloucestershire trainers championship 2008-09 handicap:
Season runs 17/10/2008 - 17/04/2009

Tainer Wins Chelt wins 25-1 wins Points per win Points

Nigel Twiston-Davies 30 5 0 15 525
Tom George 13 0 0 30 390
Jonjo O'Neill 35 1 0 10 360
Charlie Longsdon 5 0 1 60 360
Giles Smyly 2 0 1 100 300
Martin Keighley 3 0 0 100 300
Kim Bailey 4 0 1 50 250
John O'Shea 2 0 0 90 90
Richard Phillips 2 0 0 40 80

A trainer's points per win handicap is based on the number of horses he or she has in training.

They score points for each win, with double points on offer for winners at Cheltenham and at odds of 25/1 or longer.

Nigel Twiston-Davies still looks favourite to win, but it could be close finish with Tom George's horses going well while Jonjo O'Neill, Charlie Longsdon and Martin Keighley all look to be close enough to strike - good luck to you all!

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