Iroko makes speedy recovery, receives Cheltenham Festival novice chase entries

Iroko makes speedy recovery, receives Cheltenham Festival novice chase entries

Iroko’s victory in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at last year’s festival and his impressive third-place finish in Grade 1 company at Aintree marked the highest-profile wins of jockey Greenall and his training partner Josh Guerriero’s careers. The horse began this season with a successful chasing debut at Warwick, solidifying his status as a contender for the Turners and Brown Advisory at this year’s Cheltenham meeting. However, a foot injury in November forced him to sit out the rest of the season. Despite this setback, Iroko was unexpectedly entered into the Arkle at odds of 25-1 and the Turners at odds of 16-1. Greenall, speaking to the Racing Post while on holiday, revealed that Iroko was back in training, but his participation in Cheltenham was still uncertain. If he does make it to the meeting, he will likely go straight to Cheltenham without a prep race. Greenall stated that they were “playing it by ear” in regards to their plans.
JP McManus only has Iroko as an entry in the Arkle on day one, while he also has Fact To File (12-1) and Corbetts Cross (14-1) entered in the Turners on day three. Both Fact To File and Corbetts Cross are shorter-priced contenders for the Brown Advisory on day two. Iroko had previously won over two miles and four and a half furlongs at the festival last year before attempting a longer distance at Aintree. While bookmakers initially considered him a contender for the Brown Advisory after his win at Warwick, Greenall made it clear that he intended to keep Iroko to two and a half miles this season. William Hill currently offers odds of 6-1 for Iroko in the Turners. Chris Cook, the reigning Racing Writer of the Year, provides daily insights and tips on the day’s biggest stories in horse racing from Monday to Friday.

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