Nigel Twiston-Davies' great young hope The New One spearheads a Cheltenham team which the trainer is treating with his usual optimism.
A dozen key members of the squad cantered up the Naunton gallops at Twiston-Davies' Festival press day on Monday and at 9-2 with William Hill, The New One is by some way his shortest-priced runner as he heads for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.
"I think it (the team) is as strong as we've had for a bit. We've got the (Imperial) Commander coming back and we've got some very, very nice novices," said the handler.
"We haven't got the money to go out and buy expensive horses and it's nice we've got some to do the job. It's hard work, but more satisfying."
The New One was sixth in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and strode through his first three hurdles in exciting fashion. He met with defeat for the first time this season when ridden positively by the trainer's son Sam on Festival Trials Day, eventually giving best to At Fishers Cross.
"It won't be such desperate ground this time," Twiston-Davies said. "He's obviously got a huge burst of speed, and in hindsight probably we used it up a bit soon.
"We will probably take it up at the last, but there's no point sitting there at the last, and then making a mistake at it. The ground cannot be as horrible as it was and I hope he's got a good chance. He's the shortest priced of mine, anyway."
While many of his runners have been seen at the meeting before, two young novice hurdlers represent other major chances for Grange Hill Farm. African Gold heads for the Albert Bartlett on a five-timer, and the same can be applied to Master Of The Sea in the Coral Cup.
Twiston-Davies said: "African Gold has been absolutely superb this season and I hope in years to come he'll be an Imperial Commander-type horse for us. Master Of The Sea has been an absolute revelation. We haven't got to the bottom of him yet, and we're very excited about the Coral Cup."
Other potential runners include Tour Des Champs (JLT Specialty Chase or RSA), Same Difference (National Hunt Chase), The Cockney Mackem (Pulteney Land Investments Chase), According To Trev (Pertemps Final), Pure Science (Champion Bumper) and Pigeon Island (Grand Annual).
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