Bryony Frost is excited at the prospect of teaming up with Old Guard in the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.
The 5lb claimer, who won the Foxhunter Chase as an amateur last season, enjoyed her biggest success to date as a conditional jockey when steering Present Man to a narrow victory in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton on Saturday for her boss, Paul Nicholls.
Frost is hoping her good fortune can continue on a horse she knows well and who took this prize in 2015.
“It’s very exciting,” she said.
“I was very lucky on Saturday and had a very good partner. It couldn’t be going better. I just keep kicking. I’ve got the support of the yard and I couldn’t ask for more.
“I keep pinching myself and at the minute we keep getting the result we need, but in this game there are ups and downs and you try to take them equally. You just have to keep your head and keep working and see what we can do.”
She added: “I’ve schooled him and know him quite well. I see him in his box every day and I rode him at Chepstow. He’s a lovely horse and I’m excited to be sat on him.”
Nicholls, who will also be represented by Amour De Nuit, said: “Old Guard will like the dry week. With her (Frost’s) 5lb off, he ends up with 10st 7lb, which is a real racing weight for him.
“Amour De Nuit won a Listed novice hurdle at Kempton and was a good Flat horse. He has just kept improving.”
Triumph Hurdle hero Defi Du Seuil is set to head a four-horse raid by owner JP McManus.
The four-year-old, trained by Philip Hobbs, won all his seven starts last season, with four of them coming at Cheltenham.
“He’s in good form and Philip is happy with him. He’s going to run on Sunday,” said McManus’ racing manager, Frank Berry.
McManus also has the Joseph O’Brien-trained pair of Ivanovich Gorbatov and Tigris River, and John Quinn’s Project Bluebook.
Berry confirmed: “All four are intended runners at the minute.”
The weights are headed by Nigel Twiston-Davies’ veteran The New One after 23 horses remained at the confirmation stage.
Champion trainer Nicky Henderson has left in Jenkins and Call Me Lord as he looks to win the race for the first time, with the former attracting strong support in the ante-post market.
“Jenkins is a definite,” said the Seven Barrows handler, who feels the one-time Supreme Novices’ Hurdle fancy “has been handicapped on reputation”.
“We are going to start here with him as he has got to start somewhere.
“Hopefully he is back to what he was as a bumper horse when he looked very good. We will see what happens.
“Call Me Lord runs tomorrow (at Huntingdon), but racing managers love to have all sorts of ideas so he (Anthony Bromley) has wanted me to keep him in just in case.”
Harry Fry is looking to run Misterton, who made a winning reappearance at Chepstow last month.
“He won nicely at Chepstow in October and the form has been franked with the fourth Elgin winning at Ascot,” said Fry.
“It will just be interesting to see if The New One is still in there and goes as we will be a pound out the handicap.”
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