Twiston-Davies pins hopes on Grand Annual Chase

Nigel Twiston-Davies believes Astracad could be the pick of his team for the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old, who runs in the very last race of the meeting, has been laid out for the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase since winning at the track in December.

“Astracad is in very good heart and looking forward to that,” said Twiston-Davies, who trains locally at Naunton.

“He’s in the very last race of the meeting and that will be our best chance. That’s a shame but there you go.

“He’ll not have run for three months but he’ll be fit enough.”

Others he is looking forward to running include Little Josh in the Ryanair Chase and Ackertac in the Pulteney Land Novices’ Handicap Chase.

“Little Josh is 100% and I’m looking forward to running him in the Ryanair,” Twiston-Davies told At The Races.

“Ackertac has come across some very nice types and improving horses and he was unlucky not to win this year, but he’s in great heart and off not too bad a mark.

“We’ve got old Kayf Aramis, Tour Des Champs and Pettifour all going in the Pertemps. They’ve got chances and we’ve got quite a few in the handicaps.

“We’ve got a nice new one called Changing Times, who has just arrived from Ireland. He’ll get in one of the handicaps and he looks quite good.

“He looks a smashing sort. My slight worry would be his last two wins have been on heavy ground and I don’t think we’ll have that at Cheltenham.”