Cheltenham Festival News
Wednesday 22nd February 2017
   

Henderson Quietly Confident Before The Festival

Nicky Henderson said today at a media stable visit organised by Cheltenham Racecourse ahead of The Festival that his strong team for the four days next month has "a bit of strength and a bit of depth".

Nicky Henderson

The Festival's leading trainer, with 55 successes, enjoyed two winners last year, Sprinter Sacre in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and Altior in the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Altior is the trainer's number one hope this year, going for the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase on the first day, Champion Day Tuesday, March 14, though Henderson suggested somewhat mischievously that perhaps he ought to switch the seven-year-old to the Stan James Champion Hurdle later the same day.

Altior
© Racehorse Photos
Altior

The trainer said: "I was very confident about Altior at this time last year. I think he has transferred his ability to chasing and not made many mistakes.

"The one nice thing is that he has learnt from his two mistakes in four runs - he has done everything right.

"One's only thought is, goodness, what price would he be for the Champion Hurdle if we were still going down the hurdling road? The big question at the moment is will we dare switch him to take on Douvan in the Champion Chase. No, we won't. We want to win the Arkle, that is the objective and that is where he will stay.

"You cannot be confident, instead seriously hopeful that you have a horse that can win. You hope he can on the first day because then you have the ball rolling.

"All you need, no matter how many you have got running, is one success at The Festival. If you can have one on the first day, as we did with him in the first race last year, then you have got the show on the road and from then on you can add to it - the world ends if you do not get one.

"This Stan James Champion Hurdle is particularly open and you can see why we have brought back Buveur D'Air from chasing. It was not because he was doing anything wrong over fences but because we thought there is more to come over hurdles. This was before Faugheen was taken out of the Champion Hurdle.

Buveur D'Air
@Ladbrokes
Buveur D'Air

"Altior was always going for the Arkle so Buveur D'Air would have found it difficult to beat him in that race. It seemed an obvious thing really.

"I know the Sandown race (which he won easily) did not tell us anything because he did not beat much. He goes on soft ground and is in good form. He ran third in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last year at the Festival and most of our very good horses of the future have been placed in the Supreme.

"He finished the Supreme very, very strongly and then he went on to Aintree and beat Petit Mouchoir, which is very solid form over two miles and he is a better horse now.

"Noel Fehily rode him throughout last year and knows the horse very well so if Barry does not ride Buveur D'Air, because he has a number of choices including My Tent Or Yours, who is J P's (McManus) as well, I don't think there will be a jockey issue.

"My Tent Or Yours is the forgotten horse in the Stan James Champion Hurdle. He finished second last year and, if you took Annie Power out, he would have been a very good winner. He was also second to Jezki (in 2014). It is an open year and I have been very pleased with My Tent Or Yours recently.

Brain Power
© Racehorse Photos
Brain Power

"Brain Power has come by a different route through handicaps, winning two lucrative ones impressively, but is going straight to a Grade One. That is a big step up but there hasn't been a suitable opportunity to run him since he won at Ascot because of the ground. He likes to race when fresh, experience better ground and is going the right way. He will have a racecourse gallop at Kempton on Saturday or next week.

"Charli Parcs is a very high-class horse and the natural race for him would be the Triumph Hurdle, though he would be competitive wherever he goes. He is running in the Adonis at Kempton on Saturday first.

"We have always loved Top Notch because he has been so consistent - he is just a tough, honest sort. He was fifth in the Champion Hurdle and that is what he is. He has grown in confidence over fences and been brilliant. He is going for the JLT Novices' Chase.

"Whisper has been targeted at that race too but I am just having thoughts about the RSA Chase. Davy Russell gets on really well with Whisper - neither are in their apprentice years but they have been fantastic together. Whisper might be better going three miles."

Nicky Henderson - Seven Barrows, Wednesday, February 22

Synopsis - Nicky Henderson is the all-time leading trainer at The Festival with 55 successes. He has won the Jump trainers' championship three times - 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013.

Winner of The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award at The Festival:

1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2010, 2012 (7 - new record - surpassed by Willie Mullins 8 in 2015)

Born - Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950

Background - The son of financier and amateur jockey Johnny Henderson MBE, who founded Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses, and helped save Cheltenham Racecourse, he was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College.

He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing.

Henderson first made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown's Imperial Cup in the same year. Henderson recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978.

He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn, Berkshire. He moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992, after swapping yards with Peter Walwyn.

One of Britain's leading Jump trainers, Henderson has sent out over 2,500 winners and been at the top of his profession since 1985. His unprecedented tally at The Festival includes a joint record five Stan James Champion Hurdles, six JCB Triumph Hurdles, five Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chases, four Betway Queen Mother Champion Chases, two Timico Cheltenham Gold Cups, two Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdles and two Ryanair Chases.

First Winner as a Trainer - Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978.

Cheltenham Festival Wins (55)

Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle - 3 (1986 River Ceiriog, 1992 Flown, 2016 Altior)

Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase - 5 (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev, 2012 Sprinter Sacre, 2013 Simonsig)

Ultima Handicap Chase - 1 (2000 Marlborough)

Stan James Champion Hurdle- 5 (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular)

Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase - 1 (2013 Rajdhani Express)

Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle - 1 (2012 Simonsig)

RSA Novices' Chase - 2 (2005 Trabolgan, 2012 Bobs Worth)

Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase- 4 (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian's Rainbow, 2013 & 2016 Sprinter Sacre)

Coral Cup - 2 (2010 Spirit River, 2014 Whisper)

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - 1 (2012 Une Artiste)

Ryanair Chase - 2 (2006 Fondmort, 2012 Riverside Theatre)

Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle - 2 (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal)

Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate - 4 (1985 & 1986 The Tsarevich, 2005 Liberthine, 2006 Non So)

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase - 3 (1990 Master Bob, 2002 The Bushkeeper, 2005 Juveigneur)

JCB Triumph Hurdle - 6 (1985 First Bout, 1987 Alone Success, 1999 Katarino, 2009 Zaynar, 2010 Soldatino, 2015 Peace And Co)

Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle - 2 (1993 Thumbs Up, 1997 Barna Boy)

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle - 1 (2011 Bobs Worth)

Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup - 2 (2011 Long Run, 2013 Bobs Worth)

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle - 1 (2009 Andytown)

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase - 2 (2006 Greenhope, 2012 Bellvano)

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle - 1 (2015 Call The Cops)

Cathcart Chase - 4 (1990 Brown Windsor, 1994 Raymylette, 1999 & 2000 Stormyfairweather)

The Festival Wins by Year

1985 : 3 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (The Tsarevich), JCB Triumph Hurdle (First Bout)

1986 : 3 - Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (River Ceiriog), Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (The Tsarevich)

1987 : 2 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Alone Success)

1988 : no winners

1989 : 1 - Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle (Rustle)

1990 : 2 - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (Master Bob), Cathcart Chase (Brown Windsor)

1991 : 1 - Racing Post Arkle Chase (Remittance Man)

1992 : 2 - Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1992 Flown), Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Remittance Man)

1993 : 2 - Racing Post Arkle Chase (Travado), Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Thumbs Up)

1994 : 1 - Cathcart Chase (Raymylette)

1995 : no winners

1996 : no winners

1997 : 1 - Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Barna Boy)

1998 : no winners

1999 : 2 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (Katarino), Cathcart Chase (Stormyfairweather)

2000 : 4 - Racing Post Arkle Chase (Tiutchev), Ultima Handicap Chase (Marlborough), Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle (Bacchanal), Cathcart Chase (Stormyfairweather)

2001 : no winners

2002 : 1 - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (The Bushkeeper)

2003 : no winners

2004 : no winners

2005 : 3 - RSA Chase (Trabolgan), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Liberthine), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (Juveigneur)

2006 : 3 - Ryanair Chase (Fondmort), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Non So), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Greenhope)

2007 : no winners

2008 : no winners

2009 : 3 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (Punjabi), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Zaynar), Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle (Andytown)

2010 : 3 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (Binocular), Coral Cup (Spirit River), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Soldatino)

2011 : 2 - Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Bobs Worth), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Long Run)

2012 : 7 (new record number since broken) - Racing Post Arkle Chase (Sprinter Sacre), Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Simonsig), RSA Chase (Bobs Worth), Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Finian's Rainbow), Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Une Artiste), Ryanair Chase (Riverside Theatre), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Bellvano

2013 : 4 - Racing Post Arkle Chase (Simonsig), Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Radjhani Express), Betway Champion Chase (Sprinter Sacre), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Bobs Worth)

2014 : 1 - Coral Cup (Whisper)

2015: 2 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (Peace And Co), Pertemps Network Final (Call The Cops)

2016: 2 - Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Sprinter Sacre), Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Altior)       Nicky Henderson's entries at The Festival 2017

CHAMPION DAY - TUESDAY, MARCH 14 (OLD COURSE)

1.30pm £125,000 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f

Beyond Conceit, Charli Parcs, Consul De Thaix, Lough Derg Spirit, River Wylde

2.10pm £175,000 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m

Altior, Top Notch

2.50pm £105,000 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f

Ericht, Hadrian's Approach, O O Seven, Triolo D'Alene

3.30pm £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f

Brain Power, Buveur D'Air, My Tent Or Yours

4.10pm £110,000 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f

No entries

4.50pm £120,000 J T McNamara National Hunt Chase (Novices) (Amateurs) (Grade 2) 4m

Beware The Bear, Lessons In Milan, Premier Bond

5.30pm £70,000 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (0-140) (Listed) 2m 4½f

Gold Present, Hammersly Lake, Kilcrea Vale, Pougne Bobbi, Theinval

LADIES DAY - WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15 (OLD COURSE & CROSS COUNTRY)

1.30pm £125,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f

Baden, Beyond Conceit, Burbank, Consul De Thaix, Phobiaphiliac, Rather Be, Thomas Campbell, William Henry

2.10pm £175,000 RSA Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 3m ½f

Might Bight, O O Seven, Whisper

2.50pm £95,000 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 5f

Bloody Mary, Consul De Thaix, Discours d'Un Roi, Fix Le Kap, Hargam, L'Ami Serge, Protek Des Flos, Volnay De Thaix

3.30pm £350,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m

Altior, L'Ami Serge

4.10pm £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f

Entries close February 28

4.50pm £80,000 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m ½f

Divin Bere, Domperignon Du Lys, Percy Street

5.30pm £75,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m ½f

Daphne Du Clos - Entries close February 28

ST PATRICK'S THURSDAY - THURSDAY, MARCH 16 (NEW COURSE)

1.30pm £150,000 JLT Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f

Different Gravey, Kilcrea Vale, Might Bite, Theinval, Top Notch, Whisper

2.10pm £95,000 Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed) 3m

No entries  

2.50pm £300,000 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5f

Josses Hill, Vaniteux

3.30pm £300,000 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m

No entries

4.10pm £105,000 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 5f

Cocktails At Dawn, Ericht, Full Shift, L'Ami Serge, Pougne Bobbi, Theinval

4.50pm £80,000 Trull House Stud Mares Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 1f

Verdana Blue - Entries close February 28

5.30pm £70,000 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Amateurs) (0-145) 3m 2f

Cocktails At Dawn, Ericht, Hadrian's Approach, Full Shift, Lessons In Milan, Premier Bond, Sugar Baron, Triolo D'Alene

GOLD CUP DAY - FRIDAY, MARCH 17 (NEW COURSE)

1.30pm £125,000 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f 125,000

Charli Parcs, Divin Bere, Domperignon Du Lys, Soldier In Action

2.10pm £95,000 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f

Bloody Mary, Discours d'Un Roi, Hargam, L'Ami Serge, Maestro Royal, Peace And Co

2.50pm £125,000 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m

Baden, Constantine Bay

3.30pm £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3m 2½f

No entries

4.10pm £45,000 St James's Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2½f

Entries close February 28

4.50pm £65,000 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4½f

Argante, Baden, Bloody Mary, Burbank, Days of Heaven, Divine Spear, Fixe Le Kap, Fly Camp, Maestro Royal, Oscar Hoof, Phobiaphiliac, Protek des Flos, Rather Be, Stowaway Magic, Thomas Campbell

5.30pm £105,000 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m ½f

L'Ami Serge, Theinval, Vaniteux     Nicky Henderson's main contenders for The Festival this year  

Horse Breeding Owner Festival Entries Rating Summary
NOVICE HURDLERS
Beyond Conceit 8 b g Galileo - Baraka (Danehill) Owner: Fitri Hay
Supreme, Neptune n/a Returned from 1,267 days off to win easily by 10l on hurdling debut (2m) at Newbury on Jan 18; doubled up in 2m 3.5f novices' hurdle at Ascot on Feb 18, defeating Topofthegame a nk; rated 93 on the Flat.
Burbank 5 b g Yeats - Spring Swoon (Highest Honor) Owner: Ronnie Bartlett
Neptune 134 Started career with eye-catching bumper victory at Newbury on Nov 3; yet to finish out of first two in three hurdles starts, including 7l success at Huntingdon on Jan 13; beaten 1.25l at odds-on in 2m 3.5f novices' event at Musselburgh on Feb 5.
Charli Parcs 4 b g Anabaa Blue - Ella Parcs (Nikos) Owner: J P McManus
Supreme, Triumph n/a Justified strong market support on UK debut when capturing 2m juvenile hurdle (by 8l) at Kempton Park on Dec 27; won only start in France for Arnaud Chaille-Chaille on Nov 2, after which he was sold for 250,000 euros.
Constantine Bay 6 b g Kayf Tara - Alina Rheinberg (Waky Nao) Owner: Grech & Parkin
Bartlett 142 Unbeaten in three starts under Rules; battled on gamely to defeat No Hassle Hoff by a head in the G2 Albert Bartlett Trial (3m) at Doncaster on Jan 28; that followed victories in soft ground novice events (2m 3f) at Haydock Park and Chepstow; welsh point-to-point winner.
Consul De Thaix 5 b g Loxias - Mange De Thaix (Mont Basile) Owner: J P McManus
Supreme, Neptune, Coral Cup 140 Yet to win over hurdles; finished 10th (btn 24l by Ivanovic Gorbatov) in last season's JCB Triumph Hurdle; runner-up to stablemate Brain Power in valuable handicap hurdles at Sandown Park (btn 0.75l) and Ascot (btn 5l) so far this season.
Divin Bere 4 b g Della Francesca - Mofa Bere (Saumarez) Owner: Chris Giles
Triumph, Fred Winter 137 Eight starts on Flat and three over hurdles in France, including hurdle success at Lyon Parilly in March; scored on UK debut at Huntingdon on Jan 13, beating subsequent winner Master Blueyes a nk.
Domperignon Du Lys 4 b g Great Pretender - Milie (Useful) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Triumph, Fred Winter 133 Two from three for current connections; won juvenile hurdles at Newcastle (Nov 26) and Market Rasen (Feb 7) by 8l and 5l respectively; in between was fourth (btn 17l by Defi Du Seuil) in JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham on Dec 10.
Lough Derg Spirit 5 b g Westerner - Sno-Cat Lady (Executive Perk) Owner: Grech & Parkin
Supreme 137 Bought for £190,000 after an Irish point-to-point success in May; scored easily on hurdling debut (2m) at Kempton Park in November before finishing fourth (btn 8l by Capitaine) in G2 event at Ascot on Dec 16; back to winning ways in Sky Bet Supreme Trial at Musselburgh on Feb 5.
River Wylde 6 b g Oscar - Clarin River (Mandalus) Owner: Grech & Parkin
Supreme 135 Bumper winner at Warwick in May; bounced back from disappointing reappearance at Cheltenham with two easy wins over hurdles at Ludlow (both 2m) on Dec 21 and Jan 19; entered in Saturday's Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton Park.
William Henry 7 b g King's Theatre - Cincuenta (Bob Back) Owner: Walters Plant Hire Ltd
Neptune 139 Dual bumper winner during the 2014/15 campaign; off the mark at second attempt over hurdles with 7l victory at Newbury (2m) on Dec 31; runner-up (btn 3l by Wholestone) in G2 Neptune Investment Management Classic Novices' Hurdle (2m 4.5f) at Cheltenham on Jan 28.  
NOVICE CHASERS
Altior 7 b g High Chaparral - Monte Solaro (Key Of Luck) Owner: Patricia Pugh
Arkle, QM Champion 170 Unbeaten in nine races over obstacles & hot favourite for Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase after impressive 13l victory in G2 Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on Feb 11; already a winner at The Festival, having stormed to a 7l victory in last year's Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
Beware The Bear 7 b g Shantou - Native Bid (Be My Native) Owner: G B Barlow
NH Chase, Kim Muir 148 Won last four starts, including twice over fences this season; beat Singlefarmpayment by 2.75l in a 3m novices' handicap at Ascot on Nov 19 and doubled up in similar contest at Newbury on Dec 14.
Different Gravey 7 b g High Chaparral - Newtown Dancer (Danehill Dancer) Owner: Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
JLT 149 160-rated hurdler who scored by 6l on his chasing debut at Ascot (2m 3f) on Nov 18; didn't travel or jump with any fluency when fifth (btn 39l by stable companion Whisper) in 2m 5f novices' chase at Cheltenham on Dec 10; entered in G2 National Spirit Hurdle (2m 3f) at Fontwell Park this weekend.
Might Bite 8 b g Scorpion - Knotted Midge (Presenting) Owner: The Knot Again Partnership
RSA, JLT 154 Favourite for the G1 RSA Chase; fell at the last when clear in the G1 Kauto Star Novices' Chase (3m) at Kempton Park on Dec 26; either side of that recorded wide margin victories at Doncaster on Dec 9 (2m 3f) and Feb 7 (3m) respectively; won over hurdles at Cheltenham in April 2015.
O O Seven 7 b g Flemensfirth - Kestral Heights (Eagle Eyed) Owner: J P McManus  
RSA, Ultima 152 Dual G1 runner-up last season including in Tolworth Hurdle won by Yorkhill; impressive 10l winner on chasing debut at Cheltenham (2m 4.5f) on Nov 11; third (btn 3.5l by Present Man) in three-mile G2 contest at Doncaster on Dec 10; defied top-weight in novices' handicap chase (2m 4f) at Huntingdon on Jan 13.
Premier Bond 7 b g Kayf Tara - Celtic Native (Be My Native) Owner: Middleham Park Racing
NH Chase, Kim Muir 137 Two from three over fences this season; 13l winner of a novices' chase (3m 1f) at Catterick on Jan 1; captured similar contest at Doncaster by a nk on Jan 27; 135-rated hurdler.
Top Notch 6 b g Poliglote - Topira (Pistolet Bleu) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Arkle, JLT 152 Leading British-trained contender for JLT Novices' Chase; won last four starts over fences, culminating with smooth 5l success in G1 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase (2m 4f) at Sandown Park on Feb 4; runner-up in 2015 JCB Triumph Hurdle and fifth in last year's Stan James Champion Hurdle, both at The Festival.
Whisper 9 b g Astarabad - Belle Yepa (Mansonnien) Owner: Walters Plant Hire Ltd
RSA, JLT 151 Two-time winner of the G1 Liverpool Hurdle (3m 0.5f) at Aintree; taken well to chasing this term with two wins over 2m 5f at Cheltenham, latterly holding off Clan Des Obeaux by a half-length in the G2 BetBright Dipper Novices' Chase on Jan 1; captured 2014 Coral Cup at The Festival.              
MAIN HURDLERS
Brain Power 6 b g Kalanisi - Blonde Ambition (Old Vic) Owner: Michael Buckley
Champion Hurdle 162 Improved 20lb in two starts this season; held off Consul De Thaix by 0.75l in a Listed handicap hurdle at Sandown Park on Dec 3 and defeated same rival by 5l in valuable G3 handicap hurdle at Ascot on Dec 17; best effort last season came when third (btn 5l by Don't Touch It) in a G1 novice hurdle (2m) at Punchestown in April.
Buveur D'Air 6 b g Crillon - History (Alesso) Owner: J P McManus
Champion Hurdle 155 Favourite for the Stan James Champion Hurdle; started campaign with a pair of wins over fences; annexed Listed Contenders Hurdle (2m) on the bridle at Sandown Park on Feb 4; top-class novice hurdler last season, finishing third (btn 8l by Altior) in 2016 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle and beating Petit Mouchoir a nk in a G1 novices' hurdle at Aintree.
My Tent Or Yours 10 b g Desert Prince - Spartan Girl (Ela-Mana-Mou) Owner: J P McManus
Champion Hurdle 154 Runner-up in 2014 and 2016 renewals of Stan James Champion Hurdle; two-time G1 winner over hurdles; below best in three starts this season and was last seen out finishing fourth (btn 7.75l by Yanworth) in G1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park Dec 26.
MAIN CHASERS
Josses Hill 9 b g Winged Love - Credora Storm (Glacial Storm) Owner: Alan Spence
Ryanair 158 Eighth in last year's Ryanair Chase at The Festival; produced career-best over fences with 6l success in G2 Peterborough Chase (2m 4f) at Huntingdon on Nov 7; last of five (btn 7l by Thistlecrack) when upped to 3m for G1 King George VI Chase on Dec 26; second and third respectively in 2014 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle and 2015 Racing Post Arkle at The Festival.
L'Ami Serge 7 b g King´s Theatre - La Zingarella (Phardante) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
QM Champion, Coral Cup, BAMS Plate, County, G Annual 152 Third (btn 4l by Black Hercules) in last year's JLT Novices' Chase at The Festival; combined hurdling and chasing this season with best effort coming when second (btn a hd by Agrapart) in G2 Dornan Engineering Rekeel Hurdle (2m 4.5f) at Cheltenham on Jan 1.
Vaniteux 8 br g Voix Du Nord - Expoville (Video Rock) Owner: Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
Ryanair 154 Won Listed chase (2m 4.5f) at Kempton Park on Jan 14, beating Vibrato Valtat by 2.25l; finished third in class two handicaps (both 2m) at Cheltenham (btn 6.25l by Eastlake) and Ascot (btn 5l by Sire De Grugy) prior to that.