Some trainers are unflappable when they have a winner. Others get excited. And then there’s Warren Greatrex! When Cole Harden gave him the first of what we’re sure will be many Cheltenham Festival winners he simply broke down under the emotion of the moment. He’s had plenty of reasons to be excited since, but he has usually managed to keep things under control.
Multiple winner La Bague Au Roi has been a big player for Warren in recent seasons and while she didn’t make a major contribution in the latest frustrating campaign she could come back stronger next term given better ground. One horse which did progress after a similarly frustrating start was Emiton. Winner of five of his first six races – his initial defeat was when finishing second to Champ at Aintree in April 2019 – he made a very disappointing comeback at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. However Warren turned him round to such an extent that he won his trial for the Stayers Hurdle in great style next time out at Haydock, making him one of the prime dangers to Paisley Park at the Festival. As we know Paisley Park disappointed whereas Emitom ran a creditable fourth. No doubt chasing will be on the agenda one day for this potential Gold Cup winner. Meanwhile such as Keeper Hill, Bob Mahler and Mulcahys Hill will be challenging for major staying handicap chases throughout the coming months.