ULTRAGOLD is set to tackle the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time in his career.
Colin Tizzard confirmed his talented chaser for the race after deciding against running him in the Ultima.
Although accustomed to the unusual test of the Grand National fences, this is the first time the eleven-year-old will have raced over the banks of Prestbury Park.
Trainer Colin Tizzard hopes his star can emulate Tiger Roll, who won the Cheltenham race last year before going on to triumph in the big one at Aintree.
Tizzard said: “We have had a brainwave with him that we are going to run in the Glenfarclas Cross Country.
“It seemed a good prep race for Tiger Roll last year before the Grand National, and that is our thinking with him.
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“We have run him at Cheltenham for the last two or three years, and it has always been a good prep for him before Aintree.
“He is in the Ultima – but the cross-country chase is going to be the plan, because I think he has got a better chance of winning that race.”
“We are taking Ultragold up to Cheltenham to school over the cross-country fences before the Festival – then he will head to the Grand National.
“If he gets into the Grand National with the weights, then that is where he will run.
“He has been superb over the fences, with two victories in the Topham, and we think he deserves a crack at the big one – he is so much better over the Grand National fences, and they just seem to bring him alive.
“We tried him over three miles and six furlongs at Warwick last time out. and he stayed on well. So there is no issue with his stamina – it would be special to see him line up in the Grand National.”