BY TONY ELVES
PHILIP HOBBS has a more than satisfactory record at the Cheltenham Festival with 18 winners accrued since 1990 and victories in the the Grade 1 races with Flagship Uberalles (Champion Chase), Rooster Booster (Champion Hurdle) One Knight (RSA Chase) and Captain Chris (Arkle Challenge Trophy).
Hobbs experienced a rare blank last year but has previously landed a double in 2014 with Balthazar King (Glenfarcas Handicap Chase) and Fingal Bay (Pertemps Network Final) and the first named is reported well-tuned for the hurly burly of the Cross country race that he also won 2012.
Village Vic, unbeaten in four chases this season, has won twice here this season and has the option of the Ryanair Chase or the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate.
His other main contender looks to be Garde La Victoire, unbeaten in three novices’ chase including victory in a Grade 2 at the open Meeting in November, and another who has the choice of engagements between the Arkle Chase and the JLT Novices’ Chase.
He has plenty of other interesting ammunition for the four-day event and here Philip Hobbs reveals his Cheltenham Festival string.