Elliott Replacement Denise Foster’s Best Chances At The 2021 Cheltenham Festival

Zanahiyr could be trainer Denise Foster's best chance of a winner at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival

Zanahiyr could be trainer Denise Foster’s best chance of a winner at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival

2021 Cheltenham Festival – Denise Foster Tips

She may not be the most familiar name at this season’s Cheltenham Festival but trainer Denise Foster has inherited a huge string of horses after replacing the suspended Gordon Elliott. Foster has taken over from Elliott, who has been the only trainer to challenge the dominance of Willie Mullins at the Cheltenham Festival in recent seasons.

He was top trainer at the meeting in 2017 and retained the title in 2018, equalling the record of eight winners set by Mullins in the process. So let’s find out which former Elliott starts can shine for Foster.

Escaria Ten (Ultima Handicap Chase, Tuesday)

Escaria Ten is prominent in the ante-post Cheltenham betting for the Ultima Handicap Chase after a good run at Naas at the end of January. The seven-year-old was having only his third race over fences when beaten by Eklat De Rire and the winner is destined for the RSA Chase.

Abacadabras (Champion Hurdle, Tuesday)

Abadacabras, just caught by Shishkin the Supreme last year, could take his chance in the Champion Hurdle. He would have an outside chance on his Punchestown victory in November but was soundly beaten by new favourite Honeysuckle at Leopardstown last time.

Tiger Roll (Cross-Country Chase)

Tiger Roll could make an appearance in the Cross Country Chase on day 2 of the festival. He won this race in 2018 and 2019 prior to winning the Aintree Grand National. He was no match for Easysland last year and was denied an attempt to equal Red Rum’s Aintree record by the pandemic. There has been much speculation about whether he can recapture his best form this season.

Best Of The rest

The Bosses Oscar has been well touted for the Pertemps Network Hurdle final. The six-year-old was beaten by subsequent Grade 1 winner Flooring Porter at Navan. He then chased home Dandy Mag in a competitive qualifier at Leopardstown.

Samcro has already won at two Cheltenham Festivals but has not shown much sparkle since last year’s victory. He could run in the Ryanair while Sire Du Berlais and The Storyteller could well be worth considering for any Cheltenham free bets when they line-up in the Stayers Hurdle. Sire Du Berlais comes good at this time of year, winning the Pertemps for the past two seasons.

Foster has a very strong hand in Friday’s opening Triumph Hurdle with Zanahiyr and Duffle Coat. The former booked his Cheltenham ticket with a comfortable Grade 2 victory at Leopardstown on Boxing Day. A Gold Cup bid looks unlikely for Foster this year after Delta Work was scratched in February but there is still plenty for the County Meath trainer to look forward to at the Cheltenham Festival 2021.