2021 Cheltenham Festival tips – Nigel Twiston Davies Festival runners
Nigel Twiston-Davies Cheltenham Festival contenders
One of the leading names amongst National Hunt trainers in the UK Nigel Twiston-Davies has enjoyed plenty of success in and out of the saddle and the Cheltenham Festival will see the Grange Hill Farm trainer bid to add to his 17 Festival winners. We’ve looked over some of the possible Nigel Twiston-Davies Cheltenham Festival contenders who could post big performances.
Nigel Twiston-Davies is one of the top trainers in the UK with plenty of success at the Cheltenham Festival, Aintree Festival and the Gloucestershire trainer is sure to enjoy plenty more days in the sun with his runners where he could add to his tally of 17 Cheltenham Festival winners which includes a Gold Cup win with Imperial Commander in 2010.
With jockey son Sam as stable jockey the Twiston-Davies team might lack the strength in depth of a Henderson or Nicholls; but the yard does very well with the horses it has and a strong team will head to the Cheltenham Festival from their Naunton base just a few miles from the home of jumps racing.
We’ve looked over some of the possible Nigel Twiston-Davies Cheltenham Festival team who could post big performances over the course of the four days.
Nigel Twiston Davies Cheltenham runners on day one
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
One of two entries in the Cheltenham Festival day one opening race GOWEL ROAD sports the same colours as the yard’s Ballyandy who won the Champion Bumper and the Flemensfirth gelding is going the right way over hurdles.
There was no caste lost behind Bear Ghylls at Ffos Las on debut, finding only that rival too strong by just over one length. He failed to build on that next time but he’s since struck back-to-back successes at Newbury, latterly running out a five lengths’ victor over Good Ball who had beaten him previously.
He’s clearly progressing well and is likely to have more to offer although this would represent a big step up for him and he has the County Hurdle as an alternative. Nevertheless if he were to challenge for this Grade One prize on the opening day of the Festival he can give a good account.
Ultima Handicap Chase
AL DANCER heads a trio of entries in the race from the yard and the smart hurdler has shown a good level over fences although he’s not a prolific winner.
He does boast plenty of placed form to his name however in decent contests including a defeat of Master Tommytucker at Newton Abbot and that form has certainly been franked. He also finished third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup although he was disappointing in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup although was possibly amiss.
Back from a break at Kempton he didn’t jump well and was pulled up which would be a worry coming into this contest and he’s yet to prove he can get this longer trip so the Al Namix gelding has a few questions to answer.
He’s generally a consistent performer though and he could easily bounce back although with a few doubts he has to do more.
It feels like BALLYANDY has been around forever and it has been five years since the Kayf Tara got the verdict by a nose in the Champion Bumper. He’s proven himself a very smart hurdler since, winning the 2017 Betfair Hurdle and finishing a good fourth in that season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
He didn’t convince as a chaser but since going back over hurdles he’s strung together a number of very good finishes which includes winning the 2020 Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock and there was no disgrace in finishing eighth in the Champion Hurdle twelve months ago.
He’s continued in fine fettle this term but was a well beaten last of three latest and needs to bounce back although he’s probably not up to this level and he looks set to come up short although he can give a good account of himself.
Nigel Twiston Davies Cheltenham fancies on day two
One of two entries from the yard GUARD YOUR DREAMS is fancied for the competitive Cheltenham Festival day two handicap and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Fame And Glory gelding delivered a big run.
He’s proven progressive over hurdles with three wins already which include a Sandown contest in January and he ran well for sixth in the Betfair Hurdle where he made good late gains having been caught further back than ideal.
Likely to have more improvement to come he rates a live player in this competitive contest and could well attract some Cheltenham Festival free bets support amongst punters.
Nigel Twiston Davies day three Cheltenham runners
Al Dancer is in this race but might tackle the Ultima Chase instead although he faces a tough task regardless of which race he heads to. RIDERS ONTHE STORM also features in the entries in this contest on day three of the Cheltenham Festival but he too will face a stern examination stepping back into a Grade One.
He’s fallen twice over fences at this venue in his career, once when trained by Tom Taaffe and latterly when contesting this race twelve months ago having won his three previous starts which included the Grade One Ascot Chase with a wide-margin defeat of Janika although that was a weak renewal and hot favourite Cyrname ran a shocker.
Runs this term have been underwhelming and he pulled up latest when defending his Ascot Chase crown and he looks up against it taking on proven Grade One performers although he can give a good account.
Paddy Power Plate Chase
Al Dancer has an entry in this race also and could well take in the contest with doubts remaining over his stamina for the trip in the Ultima Handicap Chase on day one of the Festival.
TWO TAFFS also features in the race and the former Dan Skelton inmate ran well on his first outing for his new yard when finishing six lengths’ fourth to Theo at Leicester and he’s sure to come on for the run.
Third in a Listed chase back in 2017 behind Tully East at this meeting he struck at Ayr next time but he’s winless since that victory although lightly-raced and he had two years off the track before his return in the 2019 West Yorkshire Hurdle.
Capable of making his mark in this race if at his best he could prove a dark horse for backers.
Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Twiston Davies has four entries in the race and the pick of the quartet might be CRIEVEHILL who has been unfortunate the last twice to bump into Royal Pagaille.
His last win came at Haydock back in November 2019 although he’s largely not been at his best since including over the Grand National fences. Latterly beaten almost forty lengths in the Peter Marsh Chase heavy ground possibly didn’t suit and he could do better on a less testing surface.
His handicap mark is sliding and although he’ll certainly need to raise his game he can give a good account.
Cheltenham Festival Nigel Twiston Davies day four runners
The competitive day four Cheltenham Festival handicap sees four possible runners from the Twiston Davies camp including both Guard Your Dreams and Gowel Road who both hold entries elsewhere at the Festival.
ROBINSHILL is one of the other runners in the quartet and the veteran continues to run well with three wins this term and he ran creditably back from three months off at Ludlow in February when finishing fourth behind Eddiemaurice.
This would demand significantly more and the ten-year old is better suited by sharper tracks. He’s disappointed here in the past so looks up against it but he’ll give it his best again even if it proves ultimately not to be good enough.
Paddy Power Chase
ZAMBELLA has progressed well over fences with a trio of wins which include a Listed contest at Leicester; the Zambezi Sun mare subsequently lost no caste in defeat behind Annie Mc in the Lady Protectress at Warwick.
That is very useful form and while this would demand more from her upped in class she could continue to improve where she can make her presence felt and she’s a lively outsider.