King Roland: an impressive winner at Exeter

King Roland: an outstanding winner at Exeter

Harry Trump / Getty Pictures

3.00 Cheltenham
Ballymore Freshmen’ Hurdle (Grade 2) | 4yo+ | 2m41½f | ITV/RTV

Tipster Research

This is a large 35 mins for Harry Fry, who saddles If The Cap Suits within the Cleeve Hurdle and King Roland right here. We want him neatly, however it is onerous to justify why King Roland is so quick within the making a bet.

Certainly, he comes into this the lowest-rated of the runners with marks and beat little of word at Exeter on his newest get started.

He can best be judged on his hurdles debut in November when 2nd at Newbury. The winner was once crushed 21 lengths in a Grade 1 subsequent time, so we are speaking cast if unspectacular shape.

The previous intangible ‘doable’ without a doubt applies to him, however this appears to be like a tighter race than the making a bet implies.

Protektorat (yellow silks) leads Imperial Alcazar during the last on New 12 months’s Day

Edward Whitaker (

Protektorat was once nearly at the mistaken finish of the largest miscarriage of justice because the Ascot Gold Cup was once taken off Royal Gait in 1988 when in short demoted after profitable a Ballymore trial right here on his first crack at this go back and forth.

His shape has a little extra substance than the favorite’s and consequences are not any barrier to luck on this.

Space Island, the highest-rated runner on British marks, is a recreation front-runner, despite the fact that the probabilities of him being allowed a comfortable lead glance subsequent to 0 with Irish raider Rocket Lad in opposition.

Any duel resulting in a powerful gallop would without a doubt go well with Protektorat, who got here from final to first when profitable on New 12 months’s Day.

Nicky Henderson has despatched out the final two winners of the race, however the calmly raced Time Flies By means of must support on his hurdles debut 3rd of 4 at Ascot, the place he was once willing and novicey.

I would not underestimate Harry Senior, regardless that. He scored with lots in hand when stepped up in go back and forth at Chepstow over Christmas and may well be on a pointy upward curve. 
Pietro Innocenzi

What the stats say

Since this race was once presented in 2005 there has best been one runner educated in Eire, specifically Rathvinden who completed runner-up for Willie Mullins at odds of 6-Four in 2014. 


Given Eire has accounted for 9 of the final 14 winners of the Ballymore Freshmen’ Hurdle on the competition the Emmet Mullins-trained Rocket Lad is of pastime, particularly when he boasts the absolute best handicap mark of the ones to have certified for a score.

Protektorat should shoulder a 5lb penalty for his reinstated win right here  however Yanworth (2016) and Wholestone (2017) effectively defied this sort of burden.

Cheltenham Pageant antepost costs 

Ballymore Freshmen’ Hurdle
King Roland
Protektorat 25-1 
Harry Senior 33-1
Time Flies By means of 50-1 
Space Island 100-1


What connections say

Tom Messenger, assistant to Dan Skelton, teacher of Protektorat
He is going there in just right shape and we have now at all times idea a little of him. He is taken a little of training nevertheless it all got here in combination final time. He is come ahead since and if working to a identical degree he will have to be there or thereabouts. This run will let us know whether or not to head down the newbie or handicap hurdle course on the competition.

Paul Webber, teacher of Space Island
He ran a great race in a Grade 2 final time however he was once nonetheless working a little in snatches and was once nonetheless a little of a child. I hope he’ll have sharpened up a little. It is Trials day and this can be a trial for him, the place we’re going to see if he’s sharp sufficient to deal with the observe in March, or whether or not he must cross someplace like Aintree. He is in just right shape and I believe he is woken up a little. 

Space Island (proper) was once simply denied via Enrilo at Sandown

Mark Cranham /

Harry Fry, teacher of King Roland
He steps up in go back and forth and grade. The step up in go back and forth will have to be in his favour and we have now no issues with the bottom. He took a pleasing step ahead at Exeter and we are taking a look ahead to seeing the place we’re with him.

Emmet Mullins, teacher of Rocket Lad
We have been pondering of the Pertemps for him, however he has fairly a top mark, so we determined to take a look at the Graded race course to look the place he would possibly are compatible in. He was once disappointing final time however wasn’t proper after the race. He is in just right shape now.

Rebecca Curtis, teacher of Ruthless Article
Preferably he needs higher flooring. We are going newbie chasing with him within the spring however because the handicapper has given him a mark of 140 we idea we might see how just right he’s as a newbie hurdler.

Nicky Henderson, teacher of Time Flies By means of
You could possibly assume he’s going to want two and a part miles and his leaping wasn’t fairly slick sufficient that first day. I would be hopeful he is a little sharper and he’ll recognize the go back and forth.

Reporting via Scott Burton

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