Frodon and Bryony back for more

The popular partnership of Frodon and Bryony Frost take on seven rivals in their quest for back-to-back victories in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham on Thursday.

The pair provided one of the defining moments of last season when holding off Aso to win last year’s renewal.

“He’s unbelievable,” said Frost at the time as she reflected on a performance that would transcend into the mainstream media. “Frodon travelled, my God he jumped, and the moment he got overtaken two out most horses would have quit. He grabbed me by the hands and said don’t you dare give up.”

Currently a 5/1 shot, Frodon comes into the race in good form for Paul Nicholls having won his most recent start, the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton. 

However, the son of Lost World will have to bring his A-game to lower the colours of the 15/8 favourite A Plus Tard. A Grade 1 winner on his most recent start at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting, the Kapgarde gelding bids to continue the excellent Festival enjoyed by his connections Cheveley Park Stud, Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

Min, winner of the Grade 1 John Durkin Memorial Chase at Punchestown in December, is next best at around 11/4.

Last year’s runner-up Aso also returns for another crack for Venetia Williams.

Frodon (right): on his way to a historic victory with Bryony Frost in Thursday’s Grade 1 Ryanair Chase – Photo: George Selwyn

All eyes on Paisley Park

Paisley Park is unsurprisingly a warm order to successfully defend his title in the day’s other feature event, the Grade 1 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.

Andrew Gemmell’s popular gelding ran out the easy winner of last year’s renewal under Aidan Coleman and was last seen extending his winning sequence to seven when successful in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle over today’s course and distance in January.

Cleeve Hurdle runner-up Summerville Boy reopposes among a field of 14 other rivals that also includes former Stayers’ winner Penhill and the brilliant mare Apple’s Jade, who wears blinkers for the first time.

Trainer Emma Lavelle and Andrew Gemmell (second left) celebrate after Paisley Park won the 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival – Photo: George Selwyn

Tatts Cheltenham awash with exciting pointers 

A total of 24 lots will come under the hammer at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale after racing on Thursday.

The source in recent years of the likes of Slate House, Maire Banrigh, The Big Getaway and Santini, today’s catalogue is highlighted by debut point winners Tucson Train (1), Coastal World (2), Chosen Port (4), Kenyan Cowboy (5), Docpickedme (8), Bring The Action (9), Gerri Colombe (11), Hollow Games (14), Amarillo Sky (15), Boher Cailin (17), Indigo Breeze (18), Killer Kane (21), Bareback Jack (22) and Greenrock Abbey.

Last year’s renewal saw 21 lots sell for a total of £3,410,000 and average of £162,380.