The anticipation is building in the yard ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. We have seven likely runners spread over the four days. Geraldine will be cooking a beautiful breakfast each morning and the weather looks like it will be on our side.
ACTIVIAL (IRE) will start things off tomorrow in the Ultima Handicap Chase over 3m1f. He finished a close sixth in the race last year off six pound higher and the good to soft ground should suit, Johnny Burke rides.
SPRINGFIELD FOX (IRE) will bid for a hat trick of wins in the Amateur Riders National Hunt Challenge Cup over 3m6f. He faces a big step up in class but he’s looked very impressive on his two 3m chase starts to date and the extended trip should play to his strengths. Noel George is booked to ride and will be doing the rain dance tonight!
BUN DORAN (IRE) faces a small but competitive field in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday. He’s looked very progressive this season and has a brilliant C&D record; we wouldn’t be surprised to see him run into a place at 66/1! Johnny rides. SUMKINDOFKING (IRE) will take on a new challenge in the 3m6f Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. He’s a small horse with a huge heart and rarely finishes out of the frame. He’s schooled well over the unique obstacles and the trip should suit but he has a tough task ahead giving weight away to Tiger Roll. Noel George rides.
SUMMERVILLE BOY (IRE) will be declared in the Stayers Hurdle on Thursday. He’s thrived since stepping up in trip this season. We learnt plenty about him after his second behind Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle last time out and now we are confident he gets the trip it could prove a tactical affair trying to reverse the form, Johnny Burke rides. THE WORLD’S END (IRE) also has an entry in the race but looks likely to head straight to Aintree.
CLONDAW CASTLE (IRE) is entered in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase over 2m4f but will only line up if the ground continues to dry out. He produced a career best effort at Warwick last time out and we are confident he can continue to build on that. He should have a big Spring ahead.
SINGLEFARMPAYMENT (IRE) bypassed the Ultima in favour of the longer trip in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase. He would be one of the most popular winners of the week if he managed to get his head in front for Heather Haddock & Neal Griffith after several narrow seconds at the track. As expected the handicaps have been ultra competitive this year and both of our entries on Friday look likely to be balloted out. Fingers crossed for a safe and successful week for all!