Nicky Martin desperate for Cheltenham Festival Trial to go ahead so Bear Ghylls has chance to win

Nicky Martin desperate for Cheltenham Festival Trial to go ahead so unbeaten novice hurdler Bear Ghylls has chance for biggest win of training career

  • Cheltenham Festival Trial could take place on Saturday in a test event  
  • Bear Ghylls is an unbeaten novice and is aiming for biggest win of training career
  • Nicky Martin believes the six-year-old could be special and is ‘naturally talented’ 

Nicky Martin is praying Cheltenham’s Festival Trial on Saturday will get the go-ahead as unbeaten novice hurdler Bear Ghylls bids to give her the biggest win of her training career.

The Matt Griffiths-ridden six-year-old is one of five entries for the Grade Two Classic Novices’ Hurdle with Martin hoping to use the race as a stepping stone to the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival in March.

Martin said: ‘Fingers crossed the meeting goes ahead. If it is called off there are not many alternatives to run. The Festival has been our plan and that is where we are aiming for.’

Cheltenham Festival are preparing for a possible trial run on Saturday as a test event

Somerset-based Martin owned grade one winning hurdler Beer Goggles and trains The Two Amigos, runner-up in the Welsh National earlier this month. But she concedes Bear Ghylls, whose three wins this season include an impressive win from useful Make Me A Believer at Lingfield, could be special.

Martin added: ‘I would probably say he is the most naturally talented horse I have had.’

Feature race of Cheltenham Festival Trials day is the Cotswold Chase with entries headed by 2018 Gold Cup winner Native River and 2020 Gold Cup runner-up Santini. Paisley Park is also due to run in the Cleeve Hurdle.

But with standing water already on the track in places and significant further rain forecast, Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse conceded the situation is ‘not looking good’.

Officials are drawing up contingency plans to re-stage feature races but planning is not straightforward with further rain also threatening meetings next week.

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