Brown Advisory Novices
He has won four from four. He won that handicap very nicely at Newbury the other day and is rated 164 which is a high mark for a novice. He is a super horse. He has got class and he jumps. If you can jump like him then they have got a chance of fulfilling their potential.
You can only beat what you are up against and if the good ones turn up it will be an interesting race. We are going into the meeting with a stronger horse than last year. I think he is rated higher than when Denman won this race as he was 161 and this lad is 164 already.
Ultima Handicap Chase
He is off 164 which is the same mark he won his last handicap off two years ago on the same course (Old Course) as the Ultima. He is 10 going on 11 and he has had some amazingly hard battles but they can’t go on competing at the highest level forever.
The thing is the first day at Cheltenham might be on the slowest ground. Carrying that weight he has to have everything in his favour to be competitive.
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
He has won all three novice hurdles this season. In the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle, Harry (Cobden) was really impressed with the way he did things and you never know how good he might be. He is probably one of our best chances of the week I’d say. He will be a lovely horse to go chasing next season.
Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
He has now won his last four. He is going to run in the Brown Advisory alongside Bravemansgame. It would be no surprise if he won a big race. He stays and he jumps and that is what you need.
You would just never know with him as he is one of those that is never flashy. He stays forever. That is what he does - he stays and jumps quite nicely.
He is rated 150. I see he has got 11st 8lb and I reckon bottom weight might be 11st 1lb or 2lb. A lot of these handicaps will be condensed so 150 is not so bad.
He ran well in the Relkeel first time and stayed on. He needed the run badly so went for the Cleeve and blatantly, like before, he didn’t get three miles up the Cheltenham hill.
I thought ‘let’s go run him in the Coral Cup’. That is two miles five and it is the absolutely perfect trip. He went to Wincanton this morning and worked beautifully. We definitely haven’t seen the best of this horse by a long way yet.
Betway Queen Mother
He is a Champion Chase winner and a dual Tingle Creek winner but he is 11 years old now.
It looks a lot hotter race this year. He will be running in his sixth Festival race.
He went up to Wincanton this morning and worked really nicely. He is ready to go and we’ve kept him fresh, hence why he hasn’t run since Cheltenham when he was second to Nube Negra in the autumn.
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase
I think he has got a lovely chance in the Grand Annual. He is off 142.
He went to Ascot and I don’t know what happened at the first but he unseated Harry (Cobden). We went to Doncaster the next day and he jumped brilliantly with Bryony on him and he dotted up.
He went to Wincanton again today and he really caught my eye this morning. He worked beautifully on soft-ish ground.
He ran very well in the King George when I think he got there too soon really. I think spring ground will suit him better. The other day that real deep ground at Ascot didn’t suit him.
Simply The Betts
Plate Handicap Chase
He is now rated 155 which means he has to carry 11st 12lb in the Plate which is the race that he will run in.
I think in handicap company, riding him really positively over two and a half miles, will really suit him. I think he has got it all to do to win off 155 and I think he is paying for that success (2020 Plate). He is a tough and genuine horse that never gets dropped.
Bob And Co
St James’s Place Festival
He was travelling very well last year when he unseated Sean Bowen at the third last. This year we have trained him for the race. I’m very hopeful he will run well for David.