Trainer Emma Lavelle believes Red Rookie will be well suited to Cheltenham and has high hopes for the 7-year-old at this year's Festival.
The 100/1 outsider takes to the field in the Arkle Chase on Tuesday (2.10pm), ridden by Tom Bellamy, and Lavelle believes that he could be at home when he races at Prestbury Park, although the ground he runs on will be important.
“He’s a lovely big horse and we’d always thought the world of him. He’d won in bumpers and he won over hurdles, and chasing was going to be his game and a natural over a fence,” Lavelle told Betfred.
“And his first one was a very good run at Chepstow, strong staying on second, just beaten, and we went to Ascot full of confidence in how he was. He jumped so beautifully, his eye was just taken off the ball by a loose horse and he had a horrible fall when still going really well.
“So we went to Hereford for a confidence-boosting race and he won really well. I think ground is key to him, he definitely wants the ground to be soft to make two miles a test of stamina. I think Cheltenham as a track will suit him, his jumping was very good around Hereford, he’s a horse with a lot of natural ability, but it’s a competitive handicap for a horse with his experience. But off his rating I think he’s pretty well in.”
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