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Carruthers all heart on Valentine’s Day 16/02/09

Carruthers jumped his way into joint-favouritism for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with a superlative display in the G2 Sodexho Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot on Saturday, 14 February, as Tarablaze made it a G2 double for Kayf Tara and Tarateeno scored at Wincanton.

With his links to the much-loved Lord Oaksey, Carruthers has attracted attention since his racecourse debut in May 2007 but he has proved worthy of his place in the limelight, with five wins and three seconds from nine runs to date. These victories include the G2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick last season but his most recent front-running triumph was arguably his best to date as he made the most of pole position to post an impeccable round of jumping.

Jockey Mattie Batchelor, who has partnered the six-year-old in each of his starts, said: ‘I don’t have many good horses to ride but this is a very good horse. The ground is hard work out there but he made it look easy.’

William Hill have installed Carruthers as 7/1 joint favourite for the G1 RSA Chase, in which he could face his paternal half-brother Kornati Kid.

Odds-on favourite Tarablaze travelled strongly throughout the G2 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock to win under champion jockey AP McCoy. He too boasts highly consistent form figures, this being his third win from four starts under rules. He also won on his debut in an Irish point-to-point and has finished second on his two other outings. The six-year-old is now on course for Cheltenham to contest the G1 novices’ hurdle also sponsored by Albert Bartlett.

Tarateeno brought up Kayf Tara’s treble for the day when recording his first win for owners Michael and Angie Conway, landing the 2m6f handicap hurdle in heavy going at Wincanton. The six-year-old, who was bred by Mr and Mrs G Palmer from the Teenoso mare Shalateeno, had previously been placed three times.