Frodo handed over the Cheltenham Festival disability option

Frodo and Bryony Frost after winning the Ladbrokes Champion Chase (Pic: Focusonracing)

Three-time freshman winner Frodo is among 82 entries for the Ultima Handicap Chase on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, March 15.

Paul Nicholls’ 10-year-old started his season winning the Champion Chase at Down Royal but having disappointed in the defense of his King George crown, his last trip to Ireland was not so successful and he was beaten by far into the Irish Gold. Chopped off.

He has raced at five previous Cheltenham Festivals but has not raced into a handicap since winning Cheltenham by a mark of 164 in October 2020.

Regular runner Bryony Frost told Betfair: “He’s at 164 right now and he’s won at Cheltenham on that mark before. Whether he goes or not, I’ll leave that to Paul and Mr. Vogt (owner), but if he does, I’ll be there with him.

“Freshman races and handicap races are completely different races to race. Freshmen obviously aren’t that busy and you don’t get that much traffic.

“But we’re on a very honest note, that’s (164) who we are.”

Aye Right, Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloudy Glen, Kim Bailey’s Does He Know, The Shunter and Threeunderthrufive are others of note at this point.

Sandy Thomson has entered both recent Kelso winner Empire Steel and smart newbie Dean Breed, second behind Does He Know at Reynoldstown on Saturday.

Thomson said: “Dean Breed hated the heavy ground but we just needed to get some experience in it.

“He didn’t really travel on the ground, but we were absolutely delighted with the way he ran.

“He’s in the Ultima and will need some good ground, but it might be a bit competitive for him at this point in his career.

“We were obviously thrilled with Empire Steel. We know he’s a beautiful horse and he took it very well.

“He’s also in the Ultima and he would like it to be sweet, but he can go to Kelso for a hunt for a week on Saturday.”

There are 50 entries in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Obstacle, half of whom were trained in Ireland. They are managed by the Gaelic Warrior trained by Willie Mullins, who has yet to race for the Irish champion coach.

The ultra-competitive coral cup attracted 110 possible, including 57 trained in Ireland. Dan Skelton’s Unexpected Party is a sponsor favorite along with Sam Thomas’ Good Risk At All.

Surprisingly the Johnny Henderson Annual Great Disability Hunt received just 38 entries, including Gary Moore’s progressive publisher Du Gite and last year’s winner Sky Pirate.

The Pertime Final has 53 entered with Sporting John among them, while last year’s winner The Shunter is one of 67 in the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase.

There are 21 Irish entries among the 63 possible in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase46 of 81 in the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle are trained in Ireland while last year’s finalist Langer Dan is one of 110 in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle.

Comments are closed.