Despite our main man not being amongst the squad this year, we have our biggest contingent heading to the festival, with some exciting chances Amongst them. Here is a little bit about each intended runner.
Grade 1 Albert Bartlett and Ballymore
With entries in both Grade 1 novice hurdles this lovely horse is likely to go to the Albert Bartlett on the Friday of The Festival.
This smart recruit from the Irish Point to Point Field has shown some impressive form this winter and heads to The Festival off a back of a win up at Doncaster after beating the Grade 2 runner-up Paisley Park. He has some great form against the Nicky Henderson trained Mr Whipped and he heads there in good form we don’t doubt this honest horse will give his all on the day.
Grade 1 Champion Bumper
He is quite simply a gorgeous horse who has shone bright this season and if the ground is soft will take up his place in the Champion Bumper. He won impressively at Ascot after a ding dong up the home straight with Portrush Ted he then was beaten a few lengths in what has been described as the hottest bumper of the year at Newbury in the Listed Contest. He has come out of that race superbly.
Ultima and The Close Brothers
MARKOV's form has been nothing shy of spectacular this year and it has been a pleasure to watch this horse mature into the class animal we had always hoped he was.
Unbeaten until he sadly tipped up at Haydock last time out he goes to the festival in good order. We have our fingers crossed that he gets into The Close Brothers but this might be unlikely so if he doesn’t make the cut for that he will go for the Ultima.
KILDISART - RED INDIAN - LE BREUIL
All entered in - Coral and Martin Pipe
These three horses will all head to Cheltenham after impressing this season in big Handicaps. The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned Novice Kildisart has shown fantastic form against the Handicappers and whichever route he takes this classy individual has bags of talent.
LE BREUIL a horse that we have always believed could be a graded horse and to be honest we hope he shows this as his season has been a bit chequered. He is great fettle and we hope that he shows what a classy individual we know he is. He is also in the Pertemps handicap hurdle which we will have to give some serious thought.
RED INDIAN has had a cracking season and the form of the Lanzarote has been phenomenal. If it comes up soft watch out he could be a serious contender in whichever race he heads to.
OISTRAKH LE NOIR
This lovely French recruit has had two runs for us, he was second on his debut at Ascot and went onto win impressively at Market Rasen. He was given a mark of 128 after that day but has been dropped 4 pounds in his box subsequently so we have everything crossed that he will creep into the bottom of the Fred Winter.
A HARE BREATH
As I mentioned in last week's newsletter this lovely horse is better off fresh. He has been seen on the course once and won a Listed hurdle at Sandown back in November, that day he showed the class he has. He heads to The Festival with as good a preparation as we could have hoped for and work fabulously at Kempton on Tuesday.
This smart hurdler has had a great campaign this season, he is two from four with a Listed win under his belt. He heads to Cheltenham after an impressive win at Towcester, asserting his authority on good bunch of Novice Hurdlers.
So fingers crossed and let’s hope for a good week.