Pendleton 25/1 for Cheltenham Festival glory on Pacha Du Polder
David Metcalf | January 18, 2016
Victoria Pendleton is likely to partner Pacha Du Polder in the St James’ Place Foxhunter at the Cheltenham Festival, and Coral rate the double Olympic track cycling champion at 25/1 to pull off an amazing victory on the gelding.
The ex-Paul Nicholls trained nine-year-old, who carries the colours of Andy Stewart made famous by the legendary four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s, has been made available to Pendleton for the rest of the point-to-point season.
Pendleton closing on Cheltenham dream
Pendleton, 35, took another step towards her dream of riding at the Festival when she completed a race over jumps for the first time yesterday.
She came fourth on the Alan Hill-trained Supreme Danehill at the Black Forest Lodge point-to-point meeting in Devon, and got as far as the second-last fence on According To Sarah in another race before pulling her mount up.
Hill and his wife Lawney have worked closely with Pendleton since her switch to becoming an amateur jockey in March 2014 following her retirement from cycling in 2012.
It was her third appearance at a point-to-point meeting, following a series of rides in flat races, and she is likely to be riding again next weekend.
Pacha Du Polder is solid shout for Cheltenham
In Pacha Du Polder, who is now in the care of Chloe Roddick in Somerset, she appears to have the ideal partner for the amateur riders’ Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
The gelding is a solid jumper who has won five times over fences, and ran a blinder runner-up in the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree last year.
Pacha Du Polder went down fighting by 3 3/4 lengths to On The Fringe, and that rival is currently 4/1 joint-favourite with Coral to land back-to-back successes in the Foxhunter at Cheltenham on Friday, March 18th.
Pendleton and Stewart family a winning match?
Pendleton said: “I’m delighted that Andy Stewart has kindly made Pacha Du Polder available for point-to-points and potentially Cheltenham.
“It’s great that an owner of Andy’s stature is putting his faith in me to ride one of his horses.”
Stewart said: “The Stewart Family are delighted that Victoria will be riding Pacha Du Polder for us in point-to-points, and who knows maybe even at Cheltenham.
“It was thrilling at Aintree as he looked the winner until Nina Carberry joined him at the last and JP McManus’ On The Fringe beat us, so this year it might be a women’s race. We are very excited about the coming months.”
Prince De Beachene currently shares favouritism at 4/1 with Coral for the Foxhunter, with former Gold Cup winner Long Run next best in at 5/1.