Cheltenham Festival – Foxhunters Chase: Nicholls battler looks ideal for this


RACING journalist James Stevens (@JanesStevens180) takes a look at the Amateur Gold Cup for us, the Foxhunters.

Cheltenham 16:10 | Foxhunters Chase | ITV1

Paul Nicholls’ Wonderful Charm has won both starts since switching to hunters. The nine-year-old hasn’t been winning by big margins in his victories at Musselburgh and Haydock, but he’s been battling hard and getting the job done. If the ground goes to good, then it will be very hard to see past this three time Grade Two winner.

Ironic winner

If there is rain then Ask The Weatherman could be an ironic winner. Trained by Jack Barber from Somerset, the eight-year-old has been on a sensational winning run and landed his first rules win at Wincanton by six lengths. With wet ground he should play a big part. On The Fringe is searching for his third straight victory in this race.

The twelve-year-old goes back to the Festival once again in good shape after winning at Punchestown before finishing a runner-up at Leopardstown. That loss is no worry, in the previous two years he’s lost before coming to Cheltenham and then winning.

Warren Greatrex runs Paint The Clouds, whose was only denied by just over a length in this contest last season. The twelve-year-old has done nothing wrong in his preparation, winning at Doncaster and Stratford. He’ll have a good chance in his third crack after finishing third in the last two renewals.

If the ground stays dry I do think Wonderful Charm will prove difficult to beat and lower the colours of On The Fringe. He’s been impressive in his own way and I do think he can step up again. However if I start to see a few drops I will be worrying about his chances weakening.

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