Three Big Races for Lizzie Kelly at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
Lizzie Kelly continues to grow in reputation in the UK and at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, the female jockey could have her busiest meeting as she is expected to have a bagful of rides for her trainer Nick Williams. Here is a look at her three best chances of having a winning at the biggest week in National Hunt racing in the UK and Ireland.
Two For Tea
Kelly made her debut in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year on board Tea For Two. Sadly, the pair did not last very long in the Blue Riband event of the week as the horse came down at the very first fence.
Credit: Great British Racing via Twitter
Tea For Two has provided Kelly with some of her finest moments in the saddle so far in her career as she won on him in the Grade One Aintree Bowl Chase. Kelly was also on board recently when the nine-year-old finished third in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. That kind of form suggests he is a serious player in the Gold Cup, where Kelly can make history by becoming the first female jockey to prevail in the race.
Espirit De Somoza
French-bred hurdler Espirit De Somoza has only had the two runs so far in the UK, however, he has already proven he is a contender for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham where Kelly is expected to partner him once again.
Credit: Samantha Haine via Twitter
The four-year-old won on his most recent start at Huntingdon in a juvenile hurdle, where he was clear of his rivals when crossing the line. He is now 25/1 with Williamhill to prevail in the Triumph Hurdle, which is one of the most wide open races at the Festival this year. Apple’s Shakira currently tops the betting as she is unbeaten from her three starts this season, all of which have come at Cheltenham; therefore, she has course and distance form under her belt going into the race.
Coo Star Sivola
Six-year-old chaser Coo Star Sivola has a number of options available to him at the Cheltenham Festival this year with the RSA Chase or the JLT Novices’ Chase his most likely targets. It has been a busy campaign so far for the bay gelding, as he has already featured on four occasions. He has run consistently well but without getting into the winner’s enclosure.
The chaser’s only previous success came at 2m4f at Warwick, where he won by an emphatic 38 lengths. That makes the JLT Novices’ Chase his most likely option as he yet to prove he can stay 3m which is required for the RSA Chase. Williams’ runner can be backed at 40/1 to give Kelly a victory in the novice race which takes place on the final day of the meeting.
The 2018 Cheltenham Festival begins on March 13 and runs through to March 16. There are 27 races scheduled to take place this year at the Gloucestershire racecourse, all of which has huge significance in the national hunt season.