Five Horses To Follow At A Soft Ground Festival

Kilbricken Storm wins the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle

Due to extraordinary weather conditions caused by the infamous ‘Beast from the East’, last season’s Cheltenham Festival started on ground officially described as heavy for the first time since 1982. Whilst conditions will not be anywhere near that testing this year, rainfall leading up to the Festival could see the meeting start on soft ground. Here at myracing, we have chosen five horses that could run big races if conditions do turn up on the softer side. View our Cheltenham free bets and offers to get the most out of next week’s action.

Fakir D’oudairies

Bidding to become the first four-year-old to win the Supreme since Hors La Loi in 1999. This son of Kapgarde is unbeaten from his two starts since joining Joseph O’Brien. Acquired by JP McManus since running out a thirteen-length winner of a Grade 2 here in January, his high cruising speed looks a notable positive in this contest, and a prominent knee action suggests that the softer the ground, the better his chances.

Un De Sceaux

An admirable sort who has finished out of the first two just once in his twenty-eight completed starts. Looks set to contest the Ryanair Chase, a race he won in 2017 and was runner-up in last year. He was last seen chasing Altior home in the Tingle Creek at Sandown in December. Saves his best form for soft ground and provides trainer Willie Mullins with a strong hand in this contest.

Kilbricken Storm

Caused something of a shock when landing the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (at odds of 33/1) at last year’s Festival. His chasing career has been shelved after disappointing at Newbury in December, and he is now set to contest the Stayers’ Hurdle. Testing ground would bring his stamina into play, and he is unbeaten from two starts at this venue. Entitled to plenty of respect here for Colin Tizzard, who won the race with Thistlecrack in 2016.


Has won both of his starts this season; building on a Grade 3 win at Cork when landing a Grade 2 at Limerick last time out. That aforementioned Limerick contest has been a good trial race for the Albert Bartlett in recent years, with Martello Tower and Penhill doing the double – and that looks set to be Derrinross’ assignment this year. Has a strong preference for soft ground, so the forecast rainfall looks a big plus for his chances.

Native River

Last year’s Gold Cup hero who kept on well for pressure to get the better of Might Bite. His form figures over fences on ground described as soft or worse read 131111, and he has run well in defeat in his two starts so far this season. Bidding to become the first horse since the legendary Best Mate to land back to back Gold Cups. We have looked at Native River’s chances in more depth in our Can Native River win the Gold Cup article.

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