Summer & Natalma
Jockey Club Derby
Prince of Wales Stakes
The Cheltenham Festival is now fast approaching, with expectation building ahead of the famous 'Cheltenham Roar'. This is ahead of the horses kick-starting the meeting for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle on the Tuesday. There already appears to be a number of horses worth following but which are banker material? Here we cover the leading two horses worth following ahead of the Festival.
Where better to start than with two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll, who will be looking for his fifth Cheltenham Festival victory in his record-breaking career. This would be a remarkable achievement and further add to his legacy as one of the all-time greats of National Hunt racing. His trainer Gordon Elliott recently gave a bullish update on the horse, who is coming back off a minor injury. This has led to strong support for the horse with punters using the different options available at cheltenhamguides.com. The horse is currently best-priced 7/4 at present to defend his crown in the Cross Country Chase.
Tiger Roll has now landed the Triumph Hurdle in 2014, the National Hunt Chase in 2017 and two consecutive victories in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He always brings his best performances to the track, so is again going to take the world of beating. This includes his remarkable 22-length victory in the race last season.
The second horse is the Emma Lavelle-trained staying hurdler, Paisley Park. The eight-year-old improved no end last season, winning five races in succession. This started with a 2 ½ length victory in a handicap hurdle at Aintree, resulting in an RPR of 147. Two further victories followed, before he was sent to contest the Grade Two Cleeve hurdle at Cheltenham. He was sent off at odds of 100/30, and produced a breath-taking display to power up the hill and win very impressively by 12 lengths from the Colin Tizzard-trained West Approach.
That performance saw him made the strong favourite for the Stayers Hurdle at the festival, and many people's idea of the banker of the Cheltenham Festival. Paisley Park was sent off at odds of 11/8 and hit his usual flat spot, before powering through the field to take up the running going to the last. He made a bad mistake at the final flight but this made no difference as he stayed on to win by just under three lengths from Sam Spinner.
The horse has now returned this season with an impressive victory and is going to take the world of beating come March.
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