Cheltenham ante-post tips: Five to follow from the Alan King stable
Cheltenham Festival ante-post tips: Five to follow from the Alan King stable
Trainer Alan King has fifteen Cheltenham Festival victories to his credit including the Champion Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Success at the big meeting has been hard to come by in recent seasons but he has a major player in Edwardstone in this year’s Arkle Trophy. He features among our pick of five horses who could represent the yard at Cheltenham in March.
Alan King won the Arkle with Voy Por Ustedes and My Way de Solzen (2007) and he rates Edwardstone right up with that pair. The son of Kayf Tara has established himself as much the best of the home team with victories in key trials at Sandown and Kempton. A smart horse over hurdles, Edwardstone has adapted well to fences after being brought down on his chasing bow at Warwick in November. He outclassed his rivals in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase before comfortably landing the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase by 10 lengths. He is currently 3-1 second favourite for the Arkle on the opening day of the meeting.
Tritonic was a leading fancy for the Triumph Hurdle last season but finished a moderate fifth behind Quilixios. He has taken a while to recapture his best form but ran well in the Greatwood Hurdle before landing the valuable Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot. King gambled by running him just eight days’ later in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton but the race probably came too soon and he never threatened behind Epatante. He is currently being freshened up for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and his performance there will determine whether he goes for the Champion Hurdle or the County Hurdle at the Festival meeting.
North Lodge is a possible runner in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle after beating Balco Coastal on Cheltenham Trials Day. He had won on his racecourse debut over an extended two miles at Aintree in December and successfully stepped up to two and a half miles at Cheltenham. The son of Presenting is still very inexperienced and King will discuss options with the owners before committing to the Ballymore.
The Glancing Queen
The Glancing Queen has always been held in high regard by the stable and has run creditably at the last three Cheltenham festival meetings. Last year she finished fifth to Telmesomethinggirl in the Mares Novices’ Hurdle and was switched to fences in November. She got off the mark at Bangor-on-dee before putting up an impressive display to win by seven and a half lengths at Warwick. She then chased home the highly-rated L’Homme Presse in the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. Her target is the Mares’ Novices’ Chase for which she is currently priced at around 10-1.
Nina The Terrier
King could run Nina The Terrier in the Mares’ Hurdle this year after a consistent run of form by the daughter of Milan. She won at Chepstow and Newbury, showing an impressive turn of foot on both occasions. She was then an unlucky faller at the final flight on the Berkshire track when right in contention. Favourite to make amends at Haydock next time, she finished strongly but could not catch Haute Estime and was beaten half a length. She faces a tough task in a race dominated by the Irish but she is entitled to take her chance and could reward each-way support at 33-1.