Providing all goes well today, and it should, all roads again lead to the Foxhunter at Cheltenham where his chance will increase significantly if the ground is anywhere near good. We entered him in the Grand National but his chances of getting in are very slim.
Paint The Clouds is in the same sort of form as he was last year, which ought to be good enough to see him home in front again today, especially as conditions look ideal for him, and this run will put him spot on for the festival.
Earlier on the card, The Missus (2.00) could run better than her price suggests because she will appreciate the return to a sound surface after racing on ground slower than ideal on her hurdles debut. I’ve only had her for her last two runs and I think she’s gradually getting the hang of things. She’s probably more of a handicapper for down the line but it wouldn’t surprise me if she showed a lot more today.
We’ve also been waiting for better ground for Groundunderrepair (5.10) so there will be no excuses for him on that front in the concluding bumper. He ran a cracker on debut at Carlisle behind a horse that’s won again since and his work at home has been good. It’s been a while since that debut but there haven’t been any problems, he’s just a good moving horse who wouldn’t be able to operate on soft ground. Nicky Henderson’s runner was an impressive winner at Ludlow but it’s tough to win under a penalty in bumpers and I'm hoping we can serve it up to him.