Friday January 22

Everyone is guessing as to which of Alan’s Triumph Hurdle contenders is best, but the boss is happy in the knowledge that we have three solid contenders, and with Sceau Royal having advertised his claims at Huntingdon last week, tomorrow it is the turn of Gibralfaro to rubber-stamp his Cheltenham credentials in the opening Juvenile Hurdle at Ascot..

Alan said:”We won this race with Balder Succes in 2012 and it looks the right route to take. Gibralfaro had smart Flat form in France, winning four of his last five races, and we were very encouraged with his debut victory for us at Kempton over Christmas.

“For most of the Kempton race I thought he was going to run a highly promising second, but he managed to get up in the last few strides. He will have learned an awful lot from that experience, and, while he jumped perfectly well, he will be sharper for it. We haven’t done a lot with him since Kempton, but he seems in very good form and we are looking forward to taking this next step.”

Simply A Legend runs in the £50,000 handicap hurdle and inevitably he is paying for his consistency. He went up 5lb for winning at Sandown, yet ran another blinder to finish second at Kempton on Boxing Day and I even thought he might win going to the last. He got another 6lb hike for that yet will still need to go up a bit more to ensure a run in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.”

Our only other runner this week-end is L’Amiral David in the 12-furlong maiden at Lingfield tomorrow, and he ran really well in a similar race over a shorter trip at Wolverhampton last Saturday.