FLYING TIGER let down his supporters at Wincanton last week but those that keep the faith can be rewarded in the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham tomorrow.
Winner of the Fred Winter at the Festival back in March, Flying Tiger went on to finish a creditable fourth at Grade One level at Aintree and appeared to signal his intent when turning in a decent effort in the Group Three Cumberland Lodge Stakes on the Flat on his return.
Following that fifth place, hopes were understandably high for the Elite Hurdle and while he was hardly disgraced in finishing third behind the reopposing London Prize, trainer Nick Williams was likely a touch disappointed his charge was caught for second in the dying strides.
Flying Tiger looked certain to come on for that outing and although it is debatable how much progress he can possibly have made in seven days, he will undoubtedly be fit for action.
London Prize is 5lb worse off this time around so Flying Tiger should at least have his measure and as a course and distance winner, Williams' charge looks nicely weighted.
Connections of CLOUDY DREAM slipped up in not confirming him for the BetVictor Gold Cup, but that mishap can yield unexpected joy in the Shloer Chase.
Ruth Jefferson, assistant trainer to her father Malcolm, entered the seven-year-old for the wrong race on today's card but all is not lost as this Grade Two prize is still a great opportunity.
He has the fitness edge over top-rated performers such as Fox Norton and Special Tiara and while he is upwards of 8lb inferior to that pair on the official numbers, he did nothing but improve towards the end of last term and does at least get 3lb here.
His second to Smad Place at Aintree was a decent effort and should have put him spot on for this meeting, even if not exactly for this race.
RIVER WYLDE shaped with promise on his first try over fences at Uttoxeter at the start of the month and he can step up again in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase.
CHELTENHAM: 1.15 Black Ivory, 1.50 River Wylde, 2.25 Cloudy Dream, 3.00 FLYING TIGER (NAP), 3.30 Summerville Boy, 4.00 Crooks Peak.
CORK: 12.10 Churchtown Glen, 12.45 Secret Legacy, 1.20 Hughies Bay, 1.55 Granny Biddy, 2.30 Lyreen Lad, 3.05 Kylecrue, 3.40 On The Fringe.
FONTWELL: 12.20 Easter In Paris, 12.55 Lisp, 1.30 Robin Of Locksley, 2.05 Shelford, 2.40 Raven's Tower, 3.15 Soulsaver, 3.50 Spiritofchartwell.
PUNCHESTOWN: 12.00 Lighting Tunes, 12.30 Icario, 1.05 Tombstone, 1.40 Presenting Percy, 2.15 Jezki, 2.50 Hollow Tree, 3.25 Cosmo's Moon, 3.55 The Holy One.
DOUBLE: Flying Tiger and Cloudy Dream.