Only 13 days remain until the 2022 Cheltenham Festival gets underway, with anticipation beginning to build for the biggest week in jumps racing.
In our latest edition of the news segment, the team look at two interesting novice hurdlers as well as a promising sort that could be underestimated in the Triumph Hurdle.
Here are the Daily News Notes for Wednesday.
TRIUMPH PRESCRIBED BY THE DOCTOR
Despite the Triumph being ‘flooded’ with Irish talent, trainer Dan Skelton has put his cards on the table in the form of promising sort Doctor Parnassus.
The gelding has won both starts since joining the Warwickshire trainer back in January, establishing himself as a nice prospect ahead of Cheltenham.
Speaking to the Racing Post, Skelton believes the four-year-old should not be written off for the two-mile contest just yet.
“He’s built like a tank, really strong and experienced.
“He’s a half-brother to Metier and we all know what he’s done over hurdles. I thought he’d be an add-milk-and-stir juvenile. I didn’t know how good he’d be, but thought it would be a simple transition to hurdles.
“He hasn’t taken me by surprise because he’s got the physical make-up and attitude to do it. He’s not flashy, but he’s a grafter and I think you need that type for a Triumph.”
Doctor Parnassus is a 14/1 shot for the Triumph Hurdle currently.
HESITANCY ON HILLCREST
Hillcrest may well be popular in the Albert Bartlett market for the Cheltenham Festival, but his connections are still very much undecided on whether the seven-year-old will be heading to Prestbury Park later on this month.
Talking to Racing TV, trainer Henry Daly spoke out on Hillcrest’s potential trip to Cheltenham.
“I’m very undecided and it very much depends on how he is in the next couple of weeks.
“I just think there’s no point in getting hamstrung and saying we’re going to come here, as I’m very conscious of people that have ante-post vouchers and that sort of thing.
“We’ve given him a bit of time off since and a bit of a quiet time. He will continue to fiddle around this week and we’ll do a bit of work, but he’s very straightforward and has come out of the Haydock race absolutely fine.
“It was only 10 days ago that he ran in the Prestige and that’s really the issue. He was very impressive and did some remarkable times, but I’m very conscious of the fact that it really isn’t about hurdling with this horse – he’s about next season and novice chasing.
“I’m thinking about that bit rather than this bit. Obviously, to win a race at the Cheltenham Festival with him would be fantastic, but there’s no guarantee in that and he could always go to Aintree and run there in the Sefton.
Hillcrest holds a 9/2 price tag for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase.
MY MATE’S IN THE COUNTY
Gavin Cromwell has stated that My Mate Mozzie will target the County Hurdle over the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival this season.
The six-year-old has shown promise in Graded company this season, but he was disappointing on his last outing at the Dublin Racing Festival last month.
Speaking to Attheraces, Cromwell pointed out the preferred contest for his recruit.
“He flopped the last day in ground that wasn’t to his liking. I said from day one he wasn’t for proper winter ground but he seems to be in good nick.
“He has an entry in the County Hurdle. Looking at the way the Supreme is shaping up, I think we’d be better off going for the County Hurdle. That’s the plan at the moment.”
My Mate Mozzie is currently a 14/1 shot for the County Hurdle.