Will Smith Get Another Winner At Cheltenham Festival?

Will Smith Get Another Winner At Cheltenham Festival?
Will Smith Get Another Winner At Cheltenham Festival?

Yorkshire-based horse racing trainer Sue Smith pulled off a surprise result at Cheltenham Festival in the 2021 iteration of the event.

Vintage Clouds was a 28/1 outsider for the Ultima Handicap Chase, with few in the industry expecting the 11-year-old to compete for a top-three place never mind the victory. However, Vintage Clouds stunned the field with a fine performance to win the race by 11 lengths.

Smith will now aim to build on her success with another talented charge on the rise, Burrows Diamond.

The improvement of Burrows Diamond over the course of the season will give Smith food for thought about where to pit her charge.

The Ultima Handicap Chase would put Burrows Diamond out of his comfort zone, but there could be a slot available in the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase. Birchdale, Imperial Alcazar and Grand Paradis are the leading contenders in the Cheltenham 2022 betting odds at 10/1 to win the contest, but Birchdale is the one to watch as he will enter the festival in good form having won the Leopardstown Handicap Chase in February.

There could be an opportunity in the Liberthine Mares’ Chase for Smith’s charge to compete, which will also include a strong calibre of horses. Whatever the race, it will take a sublime outing from Burrows Diamond to emulate her stable-mate to have success at the festival, but she is a horse trending in the right direction due to his form over the course of the 2021/22 National Hunt season.

After ending her hurdling career on a high note in the last campaign at Sedgefield, Burrows Diamond began her chasing career at Hexham at the Loraine Coates Birthday Celebration Novices’ Handicap Chase. She was the favourite for the contest but did slightly underwhelm by placing second in the event behind Away At Dawn.

There were further setbacks at Bangor-At-Dee, Wetherby and Newcastle where she failed to compete for the victory, including a fall at Wetherby in the Racing TV Novices’ Handicap Chase. An improvement was required from the bay mare and she responded at Newcastle at the turn of the year in the Mares’ Handicap Chase with a fine performance to beat her nearest rival Maid O’Malley by six lengths.

Smith’s charge arrived at Uttoxeter as an outsider for the Mares’ Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase behind Precious Eleanor among others in the minds of the bookmakers. However, she would soon announce her arrival as a potential Cheltenham horse. Henry Brooke in the saddle ensured that his charge maintained pace with the leading group before making in the closing stages of the race. Brooke shook up Burrows Diamond for one last surge and she responded with a turn of pace that allowed her to coast over the line 11 lengths ahead of Precious Eleanor.

Burrows Diamond does have it in her locker to compete with the best, although she will have to take her performances to a new level to beat out the elite horses of the Cheltenham Festival.

If she does compete it will be her first outing at Cheltenham Racecourse, which can unnerve even the best. Therefore, it will take a first-class effort from all involved to secure a second Cheltenham Festival win in a row for Smith.

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