1pt win Amarillo Sky @9/1, 1pt win Andy Dufresne @10/1, 16:50 Cheltenham, Wednesday

2m (Old) Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

AMARILLO SKY has been a huge improver during his first season over fences. Trained by Colin Tizzard, he has looked an incredible jumper and a slick traveller and looks to have the right credentials for a race such as the Grand Annual.

Despite being raised 15lbs for his two successes this season in chases vs. his hurdles form, there still could be plenty more progress left in his mark of 143. His last performance over two miles at Newbury when he trounced a decent horse in Shakem Up’Arry was his best yet, that came on soft ground, when he has looked even better over good ground and he has to have a huge chance with any rain no concern to him.

There are plenty of others that make appeal as improvers including course and distance winner, Editeur Du Gite and Thyme White, but the one that looks like a Graded horse in a handicap has surely got to be ANDY DUFRESNE for Gordon Elliott.

A former Grade 2 winning novice hurdler over two miles and with form in Grade 1’s over hurdles behind Monkfish, Andy Dufresne was expected to run in last season’s Arkle having beaten Embittered in December 2020. He didn’t compete there and was subsequently pulled up over 2m 4f in a Grade 1 Novice Chase at Fairyhouse having looked the best horse after two miles – a trip that may have ultimately stretched his stamina.

Andy Dufresne’s only start this campaign came in a Grade 3 finishing four lengths behind Tingle Creek third, Captain Guinness, when giving him 7lbs. He must have been targeted for this contest ever since and I think a stiff two miles at a strong gallop is exactly what he needs.

1pt win Amarillo Sky @9/1, 16:50 Cheltenham, Wednesday
1pt win Andy Dufresne @10/1, 16:50 Cheltenham, Wednesday

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