Cheltenham is finally here and Gordon Elliott is expecting a couple of his five runners to make a big impression on Champion Day.
"I wouldn't swap him for anything else in the race and I'd like to think that he will be closely involved at the finish."
Staring Cheltenham with a bang
Supreme Novices' Hurdle 13:30 - Abacadabras
He is going to be our only representative in the Supreme Novices and I'm very pleased with him at the moment. He had plenty of racing up to Christmas and picked up a lot of experience so the plan was to try and keep him fresh and well for this and he looks to have come over here in great shape.
He's been working well and seems very well in himself and I was delighted with the ground when I walked the track on Sunday morning as he is a horse who will be well suited by drying ground. His form so far this season would suggest that he is among the best Irish novices and hopefully that will translate to him running a big race here. I wouldn't swap him for anything else in the race and I'd like to think that he will be closely involved at the finish. I'm encouraged by the fact he ran so well in the bumper here last year and he's definitely a stronger horse this season.
Elwood will need to produce something special
Ultima Handicap Chase 14:50 - Elwood
It will be interesting to see how he gets on in the Ultima Handicap Chase. This is a race in which novices have quite a decent record and this horse has been getting his act together since he went chasing.
As a hurdler he was disappointing but chasing has brought out the best in him and he comes here off a couple of solid runs in a graded races behind the likes of Carefully Selected and Captain CJ. He stays well and this sort of test should be quite suitable for him but I just hope he can cut out the sort of errors which he has made on his last couple of starts. In a race like this you will get found out very quickly if you start making mistakes. If everything fell into place he could run well but he will need to produce his best round of jumping yet.
Coeur Sublime could show up in an open race
Champion Hurdle 15:30 - Coeur Sublime
As plenty of people probably know, I've been pleased with how this horse has been working over the last few weeks. He seems to be in great form and while he has something to find with a few of these I think he could run well and Cheltenham brought out the best in him when he was second in last season's Triumph.
On his last run he is going to have to improve to be involved but from his point of view it was a messy race and we have tidied up his breathing ever so slightly since then which should help his cause.
From early on this season he looked a stronger and better horse than last year and I think he will suited by being kept fresh so the fact he hasn't run since Christmas should stand to him. This is the Champion Hurdle and he is going to have to run the race of his life but in a very open race I could see him showing up very well.
One to improve
Novice Handicap Chase 16:50 - Galvin
The novice handicap chase has been Galvin's aim for a while now. He has yet to win over fences and might be a little short on experience but I was happy enough with what he was able to show on his first few chase runs earlier in the season. I think the form of his last two efforts would suggest that he could get involved here and he is open to further progress as a chaser.
The ground will be fine for him and he ran well here as a novice hurdler last season when he was sixth to City Island so, all things considered, I'm hoping for a big run.
In-form Ravenhill an each way chance
National Hunt Chase 17:30 - Ravenhill
The plan for this horse was the Kim Muir but this race looked like cutting up a little and I thought it could suit him well as he is a strong stayer who could well come into his beyond three miles.
For a horse with such little experience over fences I thought he ran very well in the summer to finish fifth in the Galway Plate and second in the Kerry National. That sort of form would entitle him to run well and this sort of stamina test should be right up his street. He has the assistance of Jamie Codd which is another notable positive and I think he's got a lively each way chance.
Best Chance - Abacadabras (13:30)