He’s headed to the race without penalties and would always be superior over fences, and he’s exciting over them as well.
Cheltenham is back, and the race is an absolute delight for the early season. The last year’s Dovecote winner Aucunrisque is set to go against Tolworth’s second-placed Jetoile for the second time at the fences in the space of three weeks. there are a number of other promising horses set to be in the post.
Aucun risque dominated the contest with Jetoile, as they fought on their respective debuts in chasing at Uttoxeter But Jetoile was certainly more confident of the two at his fences. He has 5lbs of pull on the weights to give him an advantage of three-quarters of a length. Could he change the odds?
He was able to keep going following the previous race and suggested that he could be best suited to this tough final, and it is like a thrilling match-up. Jetoile sparked the trainer Ryan Potter into the limelight in the last year and now he’s looking to win his second Cheltenham victory in eight races on the track.
On the other side of the spectrum of training, Gordon Elliott is in search of Cheltenham winner number 54 through Ash Tree Meadow and is adamant about the experience he has gained from six chases.
He finished fourth of 21 runners in the Galway Plate behind subsequent American Grand National winner Hewick in July. He was later placed in an event of grade 3 in Tipperary. This could be an upgrade from that race however only if the skilled hurdlers can transfer their skills to fences.
Uhtred achieved exactly what he did winning his debut in chasing in Downpatrick in August. He was a runner for Joseph O’Brien but has been purchased by Dan Skelton’s stable.
Skelton is 14-71 and has runners debuting for his yard following the departure of another stable earlier in the century. However, 13 of them won from hurdles and one was the bumper. The yard is currently 0-13, with runners who have jumped fences.
Analysis of the race from Graeme Rodway
‘To have a horse like him was amazing’
This is where it gets interesting that occurs in the early portion of the core jumping season when trainers who were hoping their skilled hurdlers would be able to fly through fences higher, get the chance to try it out.
Trainer Ryan Potter and his stable Jetoile could mean the most difficult of days, based on what the horse could overcome hurdles in the last season.
The horse is owned by Jane Bennett, Jetoile was successful in two novice hurdles. Then, she produced the best performance of his career when he finished third behind the formidable Constitution Hill in the Grade 1 Tolworth Novices Hurdle.
This season, Jetoile switched to fencing Jetoile showed an impressive performance to place just a few points behind Aucunrisque in her debut at Uttoxeter three weeks ago. Potter is excited about going back to Uttoxeter along with the seven-year-old.
“We’re excited about the race,” the racer said. “He has good form for the course for hurdles which is great to have. He likely needed to run for the first time in the race at Uttoxeter the last time. He’s entered the race without penalty, and he was always likely to be better at fences, and he’s excited too.
“He enjoyed a wonderful first year and I was riding for the first time in my time that I had a full license therefore to have horses as good as he was amazing. It wasn’t a costly horse, and hopefully, there’s more of him to come.”
This Uttoxeter race marked his first attempt at crossing fences following an untrained hurdle season during which he won in grade 2. Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.
The chances of a return to Jetoile rest on the extent to which rain is available at Cheltenham for coach Chris Gordon to give his gifted six-year-old the green light to race.
“I’m praying the rain is going to come, although that’s not looking likely to happen now,” the runner stated. “I hope it will be on the smooth side of a good track and if he decides to run, his form is in top shape, and I’m sure he’ll be able to run smoothly.
“It’s simply annoying having to find yourself in such a state. It was this way for all of the spring when it appeared that rain was coming, but it never came. We’ve got some horses that are ready, but they won’t be until the rain is here.”
What they say
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Ash Tree Meadow
He’ll likely take some time off until the spring, following this weekend’s race. we’ll bring him back in for a lovely handicap chase later in the year. He’s really taken to fences.
Fergal O’Brien Trainer of the Byzantine Empire
We’ve had a great time this year, and have likely been excused during the last two runs. He’s been a good performer at Cheltenham and has been successful over hurdles and I’m sure he’ll be running his race once more.
Norman Lee, trainer of Sole Pretender
He’s our first participant at Cheltenham which is why we hope it will be a huge race. I believe that two miles in this area will fit him, and he’s been able to come forward from his previous race at Roscommon.
Sheila Lewis, trainer of Straw Fan Jack
I was extremely pleased by his victory in Ffos Las as we always believed that he’d be a winner in fences. We gave him another year to allow him to compete in bigger handicaps to make him more focused before going after the race, but he’s increased in size and strength the last year as well. The main reason why we’re going to Cheltenham is the quality of the surface before it gets overly soft. We feel it’s well worth taking some bites of the cherry with the horse.