Sometimes it’s the most obvious that some of us miss. No-one will skim over the chances of the likes of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott at the Cheltenham Festival however, but who might be a little less obvious? We have 3 jockeys and 3 trainers to watch at the 2022 meeting.
1 – Davy Russell – Okay, one obvious one! A doyen of the Festival, he was top rider in 2018 with four winners. Russell has ridden 15 winners at the Festival from the 2014 March meeting to 2020, missing last year through injury. He will be desperate to come back with success and will have a strong book of rides.
2 – Jamie Codd – The top amateur can compete with the professionals any day of the week. Two winners at each of the 2015, 2017 and 2019 festivals along with a single success in 2016 and 2020, Codd remains the first name to look for in the amateur races.
3 – Jordan Gainford – A young jock who has only ever had nine rides at the track, producing two winners and two seconds. One of those winners and both runner-up efforts came at the 2021 Festival. The handicaps should see him kept busy next week and further success would be no surprise to anyone.
1 – John McConnell – A yard who do very well at Cheltenham in general. In the last five seasons, McConnell has sent 25 runners to the track for 5 winners and a further 8 finishing second, third or fourth. Streets Of Doyen and Some Neck were placed for the yard last year in the Albert Bartlett and Cross Country Chase respectively.
2 – Gavin Cromwell – Hitting form at exactly the right time, three winners at Navan on Saturday and another at Wexford on Sunday. A pair of Cheltenham Festival winners were had last year to follow up on one from 2019. Now with the numbers and quality to compete, the Cromwell team can enjoy further success.
3 – Colin Tizzard – A return to some form this season having endured an awful campaign by his own high standards last time around. Tizzard has trained seven winners at the Cheltenham Festival which includes a pair in 2013 and 2018. His is a team built mainly around the handicaps with some solid chances.
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