Berties Dream a live outsider in Foxhunter Chase
Berties Dream will be trainer Lauren Braithwaite’s first ever runner at the Cheltenham Festival, and the gelding’s record at the big meeting suggest he is a live outsider at 14/1 in the Foxhunters’ Chase.
The 11-year-old won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the 2010 Festival when trained in Ireland by Paul Gilligan and went on to finish a highly creditable sixth in the World Hurdle, behind the mighty Big Buck’s 12 months later.
He then missed the showpiece meeting in 2012, but was back a year ago and once again showed his love for the big occasion when putting in a cracking effort to finish fifth to Holywell in the Pertemps Final, for trainer Henry de Bromhead.
That was his last appearance under Rules, but he has done well in the point-to-point sphere since joining Braithwaite last summer.
He finished third on his first run at Chaddesley Corbett, before winning very easily at Ampton and following up with an impressive victory in a better race at North Carlton where he won, going away at the line.
Those runs showed that he retained plenty of enthusiasm and ability, and it’s worth noting that the gelding’s last run under rules over fences saw him finish behind former Arkle winner and Queen Mother runner-up Forpadydeplasterer at Thurles off an official rating of 133.
That is strong form in the context of the Foxhunters’, and his rating that day compares very favourably with the ante post favourite On The Fringe, who finished fourth in the 2011 Foxhunters’ when officially rated 134.
It suggests that he is a bit of value at the 14/1 on offer with Coral for the 3m 2f contest on Friday, March 14th, and Braithwaite is hoping the return to Prestbury Park will enable him to put up a bold showing.
The Newmarket-based trainer, who only a month ago gave birth to triplets, said: ” His best form is at Cheltenham and the big days seem to perk him up, so we’re hoping that will be the case next week.”
Berties Dream will be ridden at Cheltenham by Gina Andrews, who has plenty of experience of riding at the track and has partnered him in his three runs in point-to-points.
Outsiders also have a good record in the Foxhunters’ in recent years, with seven of the last 13 winners being sent off 14/1 or bigger.