Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell believes she has the best ever chance of winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Ahoy Senor.
Russell, who had success on the opening day of the Festival, says she’s never had a horse like the eight-year-old at her Kinross yard, so hopes are high ahead of Friday’s flagship race.
Horses have been training at Russell’s stables for the last 28 years at what’s become the most successful yard in the history of Scottish jump racing. She enjoyed Grand National success when she guided One for Arthur to glory in 2017.
This week she’s contesting one of the biggest challenges on the racing calendar and believes Ahoy Senor has what it takes to deliver a Cheltenham triumph.
“He could be a winner,” Russell told STV. “His form is improving and he’s definitely the best horse we’ve ever trained.
“He’s an amazing horse. He’s a big, big horse and actually in races he kind of intimidates the other horses.
“He’s got power, he’s got bravery. He’s got everything you want in a person, really.
“He’s got it. He’s just a wonderful horse and we’re very privileged to be taking him down from Scotland and taking on the best of the best.”
It hasn’t been a flawless path for the eight-year-old so far but Russell believes her star horse has turned things around and is a serious contender to succeed.
“At the start of the season we took him to Wetherby and he didn’t jump well,” she admitted. “It was a bit of a disaster. but since then he’s improved.
“Whether he wins or whether he’s in the first three I’m not sure but to be going for the Gold Cup is fantastic and I think he’s got it. I do.”
The Cheltenham Festival is being broadcast live on STV and streaming on the STV Player.