It was a near-miss for our columnist aboard Sceau Royal on Wednesday but he has four interesting rides at Cheltenham on Thursday.
I was absolutely thrilled with Sceau Royal's run in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday. Going to the last I thought I was going to win, my horse travelled so well through the race, but Altior is a champion and found plenty up the hill. But it was a wonderful run from Sceau Royal on ground I was worried would be too soft. I hope there's going to be some big days for him as when he's good, he's very good.
I think Janika is my best chance of a winner on Thursday in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate.
He has progressed all season and would love soft ground. I’d be one of the few who’d want another shower or two just to freshen it up and get the tackiness out of it, but my horse ran well when touched off Sirruh Du Luc here last time and we’re a pound better of for a head defeat.
I’ve always loved Top Notch, he’s been a real star for us, and runs in the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle. It’s his first run over three miles here at Cheltenham but he got the trip in the Long Walk at Ascot earlier in the campaign, where he just needed it. He improved plenty for the outing.
I’d expect him to stay on Thursday – and run well.
Terrefort also has a chance in the Ryanair Chase. He’s coming back to the boil and working really well at home. He’s taken a couple of steps back in the right direction in the Cotswold Chase and again when chasing Clan Des Obeaux home at Ascot last time. The ground is in his favour and I’d give him an each-way chance.
The one I was slightly concerned about very testing ground for was Kildisart in the JLT so the drying conditions on Wednesday were in his favour. He won very well here last time and while Highway One O One didn’t do much for the form on Tuesday, I do think my fellow is very much on the upgrade. His recent work has been very good.
My final ride is Allez Dance for Willie Mullins in the National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares' Novices' Hurdle. It’s great to have a mount for him at Cheltenham and while I don’t know much about her, she made a winning start for the stable at Punchestown and wouldn’t be heading here if they didn’t think something of her.