Rebecca Curtis may have had a terrible Cheltenham Festival by her standards, but she’s already looking forward to the Grand National Meeting at Aintree. Five of her six runners at Cheltenham may have been pulled-up, but she has high hopes that one of her Grand National runners may go two-places better than the stable’s Teaforthree did in 2013.
She had a few words to say about the Grand National chances of Shantou Flyer and O’Faolains Boy, as well as a few of her other runners who she thinks it may pay to follow for the rest of the spring months.
The handicapper has kindly dropped him 9lb since he finished third at Bangor in December, and his trainer is very hopeful that she’ll manage to find him at least one winning opportunity on decent spring ground when the weather turns for the better.
No surprise that this 137-rated chaser found the RSA Chase to hot a race, and his best form has also come on flatter tracks. Probably isn’t hiding much from the handicapper, but might be interesting in a handicap at Aintree.
Pulled-up in the National Hunt Chase, but he may have still been feeling the effects of winning a gruelling Reynoldstown Novices in February. The sort of novice chaser who could go well in a Scottish National.
Won on his seasonal debut and, having failed to fire on his latest three starts, the stable are very hopeful that the Spring will be the perfect time to pitch him into a novice handicap chase. Potentially well-handicapped if finding his form.
GEORDIE DES CHAMPS
Was fancied to run well in the Martine Pipe Hurdle at Cheltenham but, having not been rated high enough to get in, a novices’ handicap hurdle should prove easy picking over the coming weeks.
Promising sort for the future but, with a hope of getting more experience into him before he embarks on a novice hurdler career next season, he should be found a winnable good-ground bumper.
Again found a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup beyond him, but he has gone well at the Punchestown Festival before, and he’s one to watch out for if returning this season.
Easy winner on his chasing debut from a horse who has won since and, though disappointing next time, that may mean he gets into the Irish Grand National on a decent mark. Owned by J P McManus, who likes to target that race, and the right-handed track and step-up to 3-miles 5-furlongs could be right up his street.
The Grand National has always been the target this season for the former RSA winner, who has actually had his handicap mark reduced further since the weights were announced. That won’t do him any good, as the National weights are framed, but a win operation since his last run could have the desired effect.
Yet to be given a real test of stamina, but the way he stayed-on to win a Cheltenham Handicap earlier in the season suggests he’s worth a try at the Grand National. Others are potentially better handicapped though.
Bold front-runner who tends to be at his best when fresh and on flat tracks, and he could be an interesting contender for the Topham Chase at the Grand National Meeting.