Agrapart, who produced a career-best performance to land the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, has been well supported to follow up in Saturday’s Betfred Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock.
The sponsor cut Nick Williams’ mud-loving seven-year-old to 4-5 favourite (from 11-10) for the Grade 2 contest, and his rider Lizzie Kelly reports him in great form.
“It comes a bit soon after Cheltenham in an ideal world, but he’s really well at home and it’s his ground at the moment,” she said. “He’s very much his flamboyant, excitable self, and is raring to go.
“He ran very well in the race last year and looks to have a great chance as he is clear on ratings.”
Zarkandar, who had Agrapart back in third when landing the race 12 months ago, has also come in for support and was cut to 6-1 (from 8-1) by the race sponsors.
The Betfred TV Victor Ludorum Hurdle, which opens the Haydock card, is a possibility for Agrapart’s stablemate Esprit De Somoza, a fluent winner at Huntingdon on his last start, but connections would not want the ground too testing.
“While the ground looks likely to be perfect for Agrapart, it might not be for Esprit De Somoza so he’s not a definite runner,” Kelly added.
“When he came off the inside of the track and went to the outside at Huntingdon for the nicest ground he travelled much better.
“He’s a lovely horse and came out of that race bouncing. It’s a toss up between the Triumph and Fred Winter in terms of his Cheltenham target at this stage.”
Colin Tizzard is considering a tilt at the Victor Ludorum with Padleyourowncanoe.
“We worked him the other morning and he’s in good form,” the trainer said.
“He looks to have a good chance on ratings, and is a nice horse who is going the right way.”