Roll With It

The treble Cheltenham Festival winner and reigning Grand National champion, TIGER ROLL nonchalantly strode to victory on Sunday afternoon in the Group Two Boyne Hurdle at Navan.

According to his trainer Gordon Elliott, he was only 75% fit coming into the race so what is he going to be like back at 100% in a months’ time?

Tiger Roll is now the 11/10f for the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.


Tizzard's Touch

ROBINSFIRTH swooped late to win the Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday and looks highly likely to contest the Ultima Chase next at the Festival for which he is a 16/1 chance.

Assistant trainer Joe Tizzard said: "He's always had bags of ability, but he's very fragile. That's like his Gold Cup.

"Sean (Bowen) gave him a super ride. He got mugged here last time, but he timed it right today.

"His owners have had to be patient, but they've been rewarded today. They weren't interested in Aintree, though.

"Were he to run in the Scottish National he'd need it to rain, but it's almost four weeks to Cheltenham, he could run in the Ultima.”

Meanwhile over at Ascot on Saturday afternoon, the Colin Tizzard-trained MISTER MALARKY put in a superb round of jumping to fend off a high-class field in the Reynoldstown Novices' Chase.

Jockey Robbie Power was quick to give his opinion on the six-year-old’s Cheltenham Festival chances, saying the National Hunt Challenge Cup for would be the perfect target for which we quote him at 16/1.


Hey Mona

The Henry de Bromhead-trained MONALEE has a couple of Cheltenham options on the table for now after taking in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park over the weekend.

Speaking after the race, Bromhead said: "He jumped brilliant and Rachael (Blackmore) was super on him," said de Bromhead.

"I'm delighted to win it; he's giving away 7lb to a couple of them there. It's great to win this race and I'm delighted with him.

"It was great to get a run into him on that ground today. Obviously we'll head for Cheltenham and we'll see.

"He's in the Ryanair and the Cheltenham Gold Cup and we'll work it all out between now and then.

"I wouldn't be leaning any way to be honest. I don't know yet and I'd say the ground will be quite telling.

"We'll see nearer the time and make sure he comes out of this OK. We'll discuss it with the Maloney’s (owner) and hopefully we'll make the right decision."

Monalee is priced up at 6/1 with us for the Ryanair and 25/1 for the Gold Cup.


Date With Destiny?

An all-the-way success for QUEL DESTIN in the Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle at Haydock cemented his claims for the Triumph Hurdle and he is a 10/1 chance to lift that prize.

Defeated on his UK debut after arriving from France, Quel Destin now has five consecutive victories to his name this season.

Speaking at Ascot, Paul Nicholls said: "That is probably one of his best performances, because he has sharpened up. He liked that better ground, and he won despite the ground at Chepstow the other day.

"I've left plenty to work on, and he will improve. He just gets better with every run. He is a leading player in the Triumph.

"That is where he will go now, and he won't run before that. He is tough and keeps galloping, and the one thing at Cheltenham is he will be hard to pass."


Leaving On A Jet Plane

JESTER JET finally put a string of seconds behind her with a hard-fought victory in the Mares' Hurdle at Haydock, a race which was rescued from Warwick.

"I wouldn't say it's a relief, because she's lost nothing in defeat most of the time," said her trainer, Tom Lacey.

"It's just easy for the media to say she's got seconditis - but she's a pleasure to train, and you couldn't question her attitude.

"I think she's just as good over fences, but there was no suitable race, so we'll just mix and match. She's in the Coral Cup, so we'll give that due consideration."


Private Dancer

AL DANCER maintained his unbeaten record this season with victory in the Betfair Hurdle at Ascot.

After registering wins at Carlisle, Ffos Las and Cheltenham this season, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Al Dancer went off the favourite in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies and the pair came away nicely after the last flight to score by three and three-quarter lengths.

Sam also confirmed to his father the Supreme over an extended two miles, rather than the Ballymore over two miles and five furlongs, was the right target to aim at.

"We were thinking about the longer race but Sam said he didn't settle well enough early and we have to go for the Supreme now," said his father, Nigel.

Here at 888sport we make Al Dancer a 9/2 prospect in the horse racing betting to land the Supreme Hurdle honours.


Gold Cuppin'

The Paul Nicholls-trained CLAN DES OBEAUX backed up his King George VI success with a resounding 11-length beating of Terrefort in the Denman Chase at Ascot.

Nicholls said after the race: “I was a bit nervous running because you don’t want anything to go wrong this close to Cheltenham.

"Every time he runs, he learns a little bit. Last year, he was a big baby, looking about in front, but this year he has come together. That will have done him the world of good. 

“It is now about putting the finishing touches to him to get him to perfection for Cheltenham. Like a lot of horses, it has taken him a while to get to that mature stage, but he is there now.

“Kauto Star was seven when he won his first Gold Cup, and this horse is the same age, so we are very much where we want to be.”

Clan Des Obeaux is now the clear 9/2 second-favourite behind Presenting Percy who is a 5/2 shot.


*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National.