David Bridgwater eyeing Ultima at Cheltenham for The Conditional

Fri 24 Jan 2020

David Bridgwater is hoping to send The Conditional to the Cheltenham Festival following his effort in the Classic Chase at Warwick this month.

The eight-year-old was a fine second in the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier in the season and was well-fancied to go one better in the Grade Three contest, but finished a distant fourth behind Kimberlite Candy.

While this year’s Grand National looks to be off the radar, Bridgwater has confirmed his stable star will turn up at Prestbury Park in March.

“I don’t know whether he’ll get an entry in the National, but he’ll definitely get a few entries at the Festival,” he said.

“They’ll be in the two amateur races (National Hunt Chase and Kim Muir) and also the three-mile handicap chase (Ultima) – I suspect that will be the race for him.”

The Conditional is also entered for the Grade One RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase.

Despite being beaten 22 lengths at Warwick, Bridgwater was not too disheartened with The Conditional’s performance.

“It was a right puzzle really, I wasn’t disappointed and actually thought he ran really well,” the Cotswolds-based handler added.

“I’m thinking he didn’t like Warwick as he never really got into a rhythm over the fences, but we wouldn’t have got to the really good winner.”

Bridgwater famously trained The Giant Bolster to finish in the frame of two Cheltenham Gold Cups and while The Conditional holds an entry in this year’s renewal, those ambitious plans have been shelved.

He said: “They’re two different horses and we put him in had he won at Warwick, but I think we’ll knock that idea on the head.”

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