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The Wiltshire trainer was in fine form when detailing his Cheltenham challengers including Grade One winning novice chaser Edwardstone. 

With the absence of former Festival winner Ferny Hollow in this year’s Arkle, the British look to have one of their best chances of the week in the Alan King trained eight-year-old. 

“Edwardstone has been brilliant for us all the way through this season,” said King. 

He continued, “We thought he’d make a good chaser; whether we would quite get to this level you’re never sure. The potential was always there, it's lovely that it has all worked out the way it has.” 

Brought down when going well on chasing debut at Warwick, he returned to the Midlands track two weeks later in mid-November to brush aside some classy company in the Dan Skelton-trained Stepney Causeway and Grade One placed novice hurdler, For Pleasure.

Following his faultless performance at Warwick, he was sent to Sandown and ran out an impressive winner of the Grade One Henry VIII Novices’ Chase. 

King indicated it was at that point he knew he had a top class chaser at Barbury Castle again, He said: “Well I suppose Sandown was the time when we fired him in the Henry VIII, in a Grade One and he did it extremely well. 

 “The time compared very favourably to the Tingle Creek, so you have to take notice then.” 

After the Grade One demolition, he was turned out quickly for the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton. Another clear round of jumping saw him romp opposition and move strongly into the Arkle picture.

He added to his exceptional profile with a second Grade Two victory in Warwick’s Kingmaker Novices’ Chase and King cited it as perfect preparation for Cheltenham, he explained: “It's just what we wanted to see as his prep, he’s been fine since. 

“He’ll do three or four bits of work, he’ll school next Monday that's it really. It’s just keeping him healthy and not asking too many questions.” 

Building a handsome reputation in novice company, what could the future hold for this potential superstar?  

King laughed off the idea of stepping him up in trip. He chuckled, “He doesn’t need to go up in trip at the moment, if you’re winning at two you stay at two.”  


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