Cheltenham Festival: Video previews with the leading trainers
Last Updated: 09/03/14 12:01pm
It may not be straight from the horse's mouth - but it is the next best thing.
Sky Sports has spoken to all the leading trainers ahead of this week's Cheltenham Festival, as they share their thoughts on the highlight of the jumps season.
Check out what they had to say - there are plenty of winners out there if you can find 'em!
Ireland's champion trainer has a formidable army of supreme National Hunt horses that invade the Cheltenham Festival every year and this could be his most impressive collection of equine talent yet. Watch Mullins discuss his team for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, the chances of dual Festival winner Champagne Fever in the Arkle and the chances of Quevega winning a record sixth David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson has had a tough season with stable stars Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival. However, the Seven Barrows maestro still takes a strong team to Cheltenham headed by the reigning Betfred Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth. While the Gold Cup ends the week the Champion Hurdle begins it as far as the championship races are concerned and Henderson has won the Tuesday feature five times. In this interview, he says My Tent Or Yours compares favourably with his champions of the past and he talks about the strengths that can help him overcome the likes of Hurricane Fly - possibly. Novices with good chances and a fair bunch of handicappers complete the team - and the video.
Paul Nicholls has quickly redeveloped a squad of horses capable of making a big splash at the Cheltenham Festival following some high-profile retirements in recent years. The new kid on the block among his staying chasers is Silviniaco Conti and he is a strong contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup following his impressive win in the King George. One of the old guard - Big Buck's - goes for a fifth Ladbrokes World Hurdle on the Thursday and Paul talks about his preparations for the race and that Cleeve Hurdle defeat. Dodging Bullets, Wonderful Charm and Sam Winner are among a strong team of novice chasers while Hinterland could take his chance in the Champion Chase.
The New One is the stable star down at Nigel Twiston-Davies' Grange Hill Farm and he will bid to follow up last year's Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle victory with a win in the Stan James Champion Hurdle. Set to be ridden by his son, Sam, Twiston-Davies is excited by his star hurdler and can't wait for the Tuesday feature. The local handler nearly always comes away from the Festival with a winner and if it doesn't happen in the big one he has a nice bunch of promising horses who are capable of stepping up to the plate. Watch him talk about the likes of Same Difference, Double Ross, Splash Of Ginge and Kaylif Aramis in this video.
Another local handler with a tendency to come away from the Festival with at least one prize - usually at a big price in one of the handicaps! Taquin De Seuil leads the team from Jackdaws Castle this year and he has a live chance in the JLT Novices' Chase. Alfie Sherrin has been there and done it before at the Festival and he will go for glory again while Johns Spirit has already plundered a few valuable prizes from Prestbury Park this campaign.
Harry Fry rose to prominence when he trained out of Paul Nicholls' satellite yard and prepared Rock On Ruby to win the Champion Hurdle. Now he returns to Prestbury Park with his name next to ROR and he has a live chance of claiming the Racing Post Arkle such is his Festival record. Vukovar and Highland Retreat are also huge players for team Fry and he discusses their chances here.
It's all about The Giant Bolster for David Bridgwater. A fine servant, the Bolster has finished second and fourth in the last two Gold Cups and confidence is high he can hit the frame once again following a fine win in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham on Trials Day.
Champion Court has been the Keighley stable star in recent years and he returns again to have a crack at the Ryanair Chase. However, Annacotty shares the limelight after his Grade One win at Kempton over Christmas and his attacking style of running should be a sight to behold in the RSA Chase.
Charlie is a fantastic up and coming trainer but he hasn't done so well at Cheltenham as he eludes to in this video. The JP McManus-owned Pendra, however, could change all that this time around.