Alan King confident in Montbazon’s Supreme Novices’ chances

Alan King believes Montbazon, who runs in the opening William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Tuesday, is one of his stable’s best hopes of success at the four-day Cheltenham Festival.

The Barbury Castle trainer has a decent team for jump racing’s biggest meeting and reports his squad to be raring to go.

“Apart from Grumeti, who worked on Saturday morning, having had that little hiccup, all our Cheltenham horses had their last major gallop last Wednesday, and I must say that nothing is going there in better form than Montbazon,” he told

“Montbazon and Smad Place worked exceptionally well. Montbazon has improved so much since he won his prep-race at Newbury, and his work at home has been unbelievable, while, though Smad Place has it to do against Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle, his work has been a revelation compared to what it was last season, and he just seems a different horse.

“If he could finish third or fourth it would be absolutely fantastic.

“Grumeti only missed one day’s cantering for that pricked foot, so there are no worries on the score of fitness, and I am very laid-back as to which ‘Choc’ (Robert Thornton) rides (in the Triumph Hurdle).

“He can decide Thursday morning if he wishes – Wayne (Hutchinson) has won on Grumeti and Balder Succes, so it does not matter which way ‘Choc’ jumps.”