Cheltenham Preview- Despite our main contender not being in the squad this year, we have our largest contingent heading to The Festival, with some exciting chances amongst them. Here is a little bit about each intended runner.
Gowiththeflow (below) - 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 the back of a win up at Doncaster, after beating the Grade 2 runner at Paisley Park. He has some great form against the Nicky Henderson trained Mr Whipped, and he heads there in good form. We have no doubt this honest horse will give his all on the day.
Nestor Park - Grade 1 Champion Bumper
He is quite simply a gorgeous horse, who has shone brightly 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 was then 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.
Markov (below) Entries in the 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 would become..
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, in which case he will go for the Ultima.
Kildisart/ Le Breuil / Red Indian Entries in the Coral and the 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 Handicapper, and whichever route he takes, this classy individual has bags of talent.
Le Breuil, is a horse that we have always believed could be a Graded horse, and we hope he shows as much, as his season has been a bit chequered. He is in great fettle, and we hope that he shows what a smart individual we know him to be. He is also in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, to 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 the ground is soft, he could be a serious contender in whichever race he runs.
Oistrakh Le Noir – Fred Winter.
This lovely French recruit has had two runs for us. He was second on his debut at Ascot, and went on to win impressively at Market Rasen. He was given a mark of 128 after that day, but has been dropped 4lbs in his box subsequently, so we have everything crossed that he will creep into the bottom of the Fred Winter.
A Hare Breath- County Hurdle.
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 last November, when he revealed his class and quality. He heads to The Festival with as good a preparation as we could have hoped for, and worked fabulously at Kempton on Tuesday.
Delire D’estruval - Entry in the Martin Pipe.
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 over a good bunch of Novice hurdlers.
So fingers crossed and let’s hope for a good week.
For a great view of Ben Pauling yard in operation watch the video below-