The Aidan Coleman column: The less rain the better for Royal Vacation

By Aidan Coleman
Mon 11 Mar 2019

Racing TV ambassador Aidan Coleman tells us his thoughts on day one of the Cheltenham Festival where he will ride Royal Vacation in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

It is a low-key start to the Festival for me, with only one ride on Tuesday.

That comes in the shape of Royal Vacation, a horse I won on at Taunton in January, and he has since finished fourth in the Grand National Trial at Haydock.

Royal Vacation in winning action at Taunton

He runs in the Ultima Handicap Chase and he’s been running well in these types of races all season, so he has got the ability to certainly run well. My one concern is the weather forecast. The less rain, the better his chance.

Rest of the card

Casting my eye over the other races, I think Thomas Darby could run a big race in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

I rode him when he won at Taunton last time, a race he settled very easily. He’s a course and distance winner and providing the ground doesn’t get too soggy, he’d be a decent price.

I don’t think you need to overthink things when it comes to the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase.

Glen Forsa is on a roll, having won three on the spin, and was most impressive at Sandown last time, when he put Kalashnikov away by 19 lengths.

He has not been beaten over fences and looks a very assured jumper, which is vital if you are going to win an Arkle.

Again, I would keep it simple for the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy. Buveur D’Air has been there and done it twice now, and possibly has not got the recognition he deserves; he’s only been beaten once in his last 13 starts after all.

Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins have a terrific record in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle and, given Ruby has already declared that Benie Des Dieux is his banker of the week, that should be good enough for most people.

Aidan is sponsored by Racing TV – the only place to see all 28 races from the Cheltenham Festival, live and in HD. For more, visit www.racingtv.com/join.

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