The Glancing Queen still looks a major player for Cheltenham

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January 2

The Glancing Queen lost nothing in defeat when beating all but the smart L’Homme Presse on her first race against the boys over fences at Cheltenham on Saturday, and the 12-1 still being offered for the Paddy Power Mares Chase at the Cheltenham Festival might be one of the more generous New Year presents being bandied around by bookmakers.

Though stepping up in class for the Grade 2 Dipper Chase, The Glancing Queen again jumped superbly and travelled as well as anything until the final fence, when L’Homme Presse, who is clearly an above-average novice, asserted her superiority.

Willie Mullins’s recent Limerick winner Concertista is the ante-post favourite for the Festival’s prestigious mares chase, but Alan has always thought the world of The Glancing Queen and nothing has changed after that brave second.

Deyrann de Carjac also ran well at Cheltenham to finish fifth in what was a hot handicap, so now we look to Grandeur d’Ame to get the 2022 ball rolling for Barbury in today’s novice hurdle at Exeter.

Grandeur d’Ame, who has had a little break since making a winning debut for us at Fakenham, looks to have solid chances, too, and he will be running in new colours, those of Tim Syder, whose horses have been running well, the owner having won the Mandarin Chase at Newbury on Saturday with Saint Palais.