THERE is a big question mark over the participation of several horses prominent in the ante post market. Fago and Arvika Ligeonniere are more likely to run in the Arkle, while Boston Bob and Dynaste look to be bound for the RSA. Captain Conan represents the powerful stable of Nicky Henderson in this race and is unbeaten in three starts over fences. He appeared to answer an important stamina question when landing the Scilly Isles over an extended 2m4f at Sandown last time. Dynaste may not have been seen for 10 weeks, but that shouldn’t worry backers as this improving 7yo has been given a rest following a busy winter in which he won his first three chase outings. The last of those came in the Grade 1 Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton over Christmas (3m, heavy) when he beat Hadrian’s Approach – who is 12/1 for the RSA – by an impressive 9l.
Argocat has won twice from four starts over fences this term and was last seen running away with a Grade Two prize at Limerick on Boxing Day. He has since been kept off the track to ensure he would head to Cheltenham fresh and in top form.
Aupcharlie, who represents the Willie Mullins yard, has finished only second the last twice, first in a Grade 1 to Back In Focus, and then in a Grade 2 to Tofino Bay, both outings came over 3m.
Module swerved the festival last season and has won both starts over fences, beating Colour Squadron at Newbury and following up at Leicester in heavy ground. His handicap win on his debut over here is still fresh in the memory. This horse has a good potential.
Third Intention, Unioniste and Benefficient (if they will run) might be dark horses to take into account.