David Pipe is confident his JCB Triumph Hurdle contender Adagio has ticks in all the right boxes.
A winner of three of his four outings to date, Adagio already has a Grade One win next to his name – having won the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.
That form was let down at the weekend when the runner-up, Gary Moore’s Nassalam, was well beaten at Haydock – but Pipe nevertheless thinks Adagio remains on the upgrade.
Pipe said: “Adagio has made a lot of improvement, although it was a bit worrying to see the second horse get beaten at Haydock the other day.
“I would say that my horse has a lot of ticks next to his name, because he’s already won at Cheltenham and is a very good jumper.
“Let’s see who is the best juvenile – we will only find that out on the day.”
One who may skip Cheltenham is Umbrigado, a winner at Fontwell and Wetherby recently.
“Umbrigado won very nicely at Wetherby – but whether he goes to the Festival or not is uncertain,” said Pipe.
“The owners have had winners there, but they are not hell bent on it, and it’s not out of the question that we will keep things more low-key with him.”