down cross

Codd hoping for fifth race win aboard well-backed Squouateur

JP McManus owns the strongly fancied Squouateur
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5.30 Cheltenham
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase | New Course | 3m2f | 5yo+ | RUK

Leading Irish amateur rider Jamie Codd will be looking for his fifth success in this race as he partners the well-supported Squouateur for owner JP McManus and trainer Gordon Elliott.

Codd first took the prize back in 2009 on Character Building and has followed up since with the likes of Junior (2011), The Package (2015) and Cause of Causes, who passed the post first last year.

Although Squouateur has yet to get his head in front so far this season his last outing, when second over two miles last month at Naas, showed that he might be about to hit peak form.

He has all the hallmarks of a horse who has been trained with this race very much in mind and has the sort of profile that might see his legendary owner prepared to put his betting boots on.

Age concern
Over the last ten years it has been seven and nine-year-olds who have dominated proceedings in the race as they have triumphed on seven occasions. but favourites have only obliged three times.

On the boards
Lochroe became the shortest priced winner of the prize back in 1958 when scoring at 10-11, while the biggest upset came in 2004 when Maximise surprised everyone by winning at 40-1.

What they say

Philip Reynolds, owner of Mall Dini
He's in great form. He travelled over nicely and he is fit and well and ready to do himself justice. The more the sun shines, the better chance he has.

David Pipe, trainer of La Vaticane, Doctor Harper and Father Edward
La Vaticane has run some good races this season and will not mind the drying conditions – she should run her race as I think the trip will suit. It might be a case of which Doctor Harper turns up as on his best form he would have a proper chance. If he gets into a rhythm with his jumping in the early stages of the race he should not be far away. Father Edward is at the right end of the weights and has his chance as the ground might have come right for him.

Tom George, trainer of Forgotten Gold and Whats Happening
Forgotten Gold has form at the course and seems to like the place. He will also be suited by the drying ground but he has got a big weight to carry but my son Noel takes a handy few pounds off which should help. Whats happening will also be at home on the ground he is another who has course experience. I expect them both to run their races

Neil Mulholland, trainer of Southfield Royale
He’s come on well for Doncaster and we think he’s in good order. Ever since the handicapper dropped him for that last run I’ve had the race in mind

Nicky Henderson, trainer of Premier Bond, Hadrian's Approach, Lessons In Milan and Sugar Baron
They are all in excellent shape and they all went good ground, except perhaps Lessons In Milan, who might find it on the quick side. Hadrian's Approach is a former Bet 365 winner and has come down the weights a bit, but they are all realistic

Philip Hobbs, trainer of Lamb Or Cod
He will love the ground and this race has been the plan

Jonjo O'Neill, trainer of Another Hero
I am hopeful he has a good each way chance in a race that looks very open. My son Jonjo is on board and the horse should give him a nice ride as he jumps well and seems in good order at home

Gordon Elliott, trainer of Squouateur
He's in good form and Jamie [Codd] will be on board which is always a bonus. He should enjoy the ground and, if he gets a bit of luck in running, I think he could run a nice race.

Fergal O’Brien, trainer of Alvarado
He’s got in at the bottom of the weights. Zac Baker who rides him schooled him yesterday and he jumped well for him. He loves Cheltenham and it will suit him a lot more than Musselburgh last time.

He's in good form and Jamie [Codd] will be on board which is always a bonus. He should enjoy the ground
E.W. Terms
Sky bet