Brian Ellison has his eyes on several handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival, but has his fingers crossed his intended runners make the cut.
The North Yorkshire trainer is particularly keen on the chance of Bocciani, who is being targeted at the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
“His form has been brilliant. He was second at Doncaster last time and the winner, Big Easy, has won again and the third horse Corkage won again at Doncaster on Saturday,” he said.
Ultimate staked his claim for the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase when winning at Doncaster on Saturday while Ellison is hoping Stormy Weather will get in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle.
“Stormy Weather has been put up 4lb. He’s now on 130 so hopefully he might get in the County Hurdle,” he went on.
Ellison is keeping his options open on other members of his provisional Festival team.
“I could have three in the Fred Winter (Juvenile Handicap Hurdle) – Royal Opera, Red Inca and Artisan – while Abergavenny and Marsh Warbler have a choice of races. I’d like to think I’d have seven or eight runners at Cheltenham, if they get in,” he added.