Twiston-Davies’ Ballyandy heads the weights in the Unibet Greatwood Hurdle.Second to Sceau Royal, who has franked the form since, in the Welsh Champion Hurdle on his first run of the campaign, he is giving upwards of 8lb to all his rivals.They include Alan King’s pair Edwardstone and Harambe, Tom Lacey’s Sebastopol, Paul Nicholls’ Thyme White and Sir Psycho and the sole Irish runner Tudor City.Ellison’s Cormier, Dan Skelton’s Proschema and the Olly Murphy duo of Hunters Call and Strong Glance are others fancied in a strong heat.Colin Tizzard’s promising The Big Breakaway is scheduled to have his first run over fences in the opening mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase. Defi Du Seuil faces five rivals as his bids for a second win in Cheltenham’s Shloer Chase.Philip Hobbs’ stable star is reappearing after a mysterious flop in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March when it appeared he had been left with little more than a penalty kick following the late withdrawals of Altior and Chacun Pour Soi.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Riders Onthe Storm, so impressive in the Ascot Chase but a faller in the Ryanair, is yet another Grade One winner in attendance.Brian Ellison’s Forest Bihan reappears for the first time since winning last season’s Old Roan Chase at Aintree, with injury keeping him off the track, while Harry Whittington’s Rouge Vif is back at Cheltenham after an impressive win in a handicap last month.Duc Des Genievres, the Arkle winner in 2019 who is having his first run for Paul Nicholls, completes the field.- Advertisement – However, in just about the only disappointment for the now-retired jockey Barry Geraghty during the 2020 Festival, Defi Du Seuil never looked like winning at any stage and was only fourth to Politologue.Previously last season, Defi Du Seuil had won Sunday’s race – beating Politologue – the Tingle Creek and the Clarence House, taking his Grade One tally over hurdles and fences to seven.He faces last year’s impressive Arkle winner Put The Kettle On, from Henry de Bromhead’s yard, who won at this meeting 12 months ago and never ran again before the Festival.- Advertisement –
Rio Tinto’s exclusion, made in 2008, was based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage related to the company’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia, but the company has now agreed to sell its interest in the mine, NBIM said.Mexican company Grupo Carso was blacklisted for tobacco production in 2011, but has since made it clear to the council that it is no longer involved with this activityGeneral Dynamics was excluded from the GPFG’s investment universe in 2005 because of its production of cluster munitions, which, NBIM said, has since been terminated.The Canadian fertiliser company Nutrien, formerly named the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, was added to the blacklist in 2011 following an assessment of the risk of violations of fundamental ethical norms linked to the company’s operations in Western Sahara. These activities had now ceased, NBIM said.NBIM said the revocation of these exclusions meant that the GPFG was now allowed to invest in the companies, and the Ministry of Finance would decide when the securities would be re-introduced into the fund’s benchmark index. However, it was up to the fund manager to decide if and when to purchase shares in the companies, NBIM said. The manager of Norway’s NOK9.1trn (€938bn) sovereign wealth fund has brought a number of blacklisted companies back into its investment universe.Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), revoked exclusions applied to a range of companies including US retailer Walmart, mining company Rio Tinto, aerospace firm General Dynamics and Canadian fertiliser specialist Nutrien.NBIM said in a statement: “The executive board’s decisions to revoke the exclusions were made on the basis of recommendations from the Council on Ethics, which regularly shall assess whether the basis for observation or exclusion still exists.”The sovereign wealth fund said Walmart and its Mexican subsidiary Walmart de Mexico were originally blacklisted in 2006 based on an assessment finding serious or systematic violations of human rights. However, the grounds for this exclusion no longer existed, according to NBIM.