Home » Five horses with a good record at Prestbury Park

Five horses with a good record at Prestbury Park

Andrew Asquith picks out five horses who go particularly well at Cheltenham and, more importantly, have a good record at the Festival.


Langer Dan (Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle/Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle)

Langer Dan has been a regular at the Cheltenham Festival since 2020, where he finished sixth in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. He was incredibly unlucky to bump into Galopin des Champs in the Martin Pipe the following season, 5lb well in under a penalty, but having no answer for the incredibly well-handicapped, subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.

Langer Dan was well fancied for the County Hurdle in 2022, sent off the 7/2 favourite, but he exited the race very early in the day, brought down at the second flight, adding more misfortune for his connections.

However, better days were coming, and he was prepared with distinction to win the Coral Cup from a BHA mark of 141 last season, displaying an excellent attitude in the closing stages to hold off a well-handicapped Irish-trained horse.

Langer Dan hasn’t been at his best so far this season, but all roads will seemingly have been back to the Festival, and he is now back down to the same mark as when winning the Coral Cup 12 months ago. He comes alive at Cheltenham and with some solid course form in his locker, it would be folly to dismiss his claims for Dan Skelton, who is arguably one of the best target trainers around.

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Galvin (Glenfarcas Cross Country Chase)

Galvin finished sixth in the Baring Bingham back in 2019 but he was always going to make up into a better chaser and he ran a cracker when finishing runner-up in the now defunct Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Festival in 2020.

He won a novice chase at Cheltenham’s October meeting ahead of gaining his first Festival success in the National Hunt Chase in 2021, and it is worth remembering he started the 10/3 second favourite for the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup, where he ran a respectable fourth behind A Plus Tard.

Galvin again came up short in the top staying races last season and connections decided to switch him to the Cross Country as a result and he took particularly well to that discipline when runner-up to stablemate Delta Work last season. He led briefly after the last on that occasion but was just outbattled on the run-in.

He has had two spins over the Cross Country course in handicaps so far this season, and he has shaped well both times, stepping up on his reappearance in December while leaving the impression he was still sharpening up. Galvin contested the Boyne Hurdle at Navan last time, a race his trainer Gordon Elliott often used to warm Tiger Roll up for the Festival, and he is sure to be a big player in this years Cross Country chase.

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Stage Star (Ryanair Chase)

Stage Star is a horse who can look right out of the top drawer when on song, and he very much was when winning another strong edition of the Timeform Novices’ Chase on Trial’s Day last season.

He took his form up another notch when following up in the Turners Novices’ Chase at the Festival on his next start, achieving a first top-level success over fences, and there was plenty to like about the manner of that success. Indeed, he did get things all of his own way, allowed a soft lead, but he jumped boldly out in front and found plenty when challenged, forging clear of his rivals in the closing stages.

Stage Star returned this season with a fantastic weight-carrying performance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the November meeting, again given a very positive ride, in control entering the straight and around five lengths to the good when getting the last all wrong. It was also impressive how he picked up again on the run-in following that mistake which must have taken plenty out of him.

He wasn’t at his best in another handicap back at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, but that clearly wasn’t his true running, and he has purposely been kept fresh for the Ryanair since. He will be very dangerous if allowed his own way in front as he has already shown around here on multiple occasions.

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Sire du Berlais (Stayers’ Hurdle)

Sire du Berlais isn’t getting any younger, now a 12-year-old, but he has been at every Cheltenham Festival since 2018, winning the Pertemps Final in 2019 and 2020, and tasted his biggest success to date in the Stayers’ Hurdle last season, so his experience at the track can’t be underestimated.

That victory came as a bit of a surprise (started 33/1), but he seemingly comes alive at Cheltenham in March and he was full value for his win over Dashel Drasher and Teahupoo, always well positioned and once more proving game as ever, still in third position jumping the last but rallying well on the run-in.

The stayers’ division still has an open look to it, with stablemate Teahupoo currently heading the betting, but that rival is yet to win at Cheltenham and all of his best form is on heavy ground. Sire du Berlais looked in dire need of the run in the Boyne Hurdle and you can bet your bottom dollar that he will be much straighter in his bid to defend his Stayers’ Hurdle crown. Admittedly, it will be a tough ask at his age, but in the same breath it would be no surprise if this Cheltenham Festival legend defied the odds again.

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Corach Rambler (Ultima Handicap Chase/Cheltenham Gold Cup)

Corach Rambler has won all three of his starts at Cheltenham to date, notably the last two renewals of the Ultima Handicap Chase and, while he is also entered in that race again this year, his most likely destination in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He clearly has a great affinity for Cheltenham, producing his best performance to date when beating Fastorslow in last year’s Ultima from a BHA mark of 146, and he followed up in some style in the Grand National at Aintree afterwards.

That form is very strong and, while his form figures this season aren’t too inspiring, he was clearly in need of the run on his return in a handicap at Kelso, where he was weak in the market from a career-high mark of 159.

Corach Rambler showed more spark in the Betfair Chase at Haydock when last seen in November, but that race didn’t have the emphasis on stamina it usually does, and he will arrive at Cheltenham a fresh horse. He seems to come alive in the spring and he is another not to rule out at a big price.

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