A faller at Wincanton earlier this month, River Frost remains a hurdler with enormous potential and should be a major player in Saturday’s Les Ambassadeurs Casino Handicap Hurdle at Ascot.
The former French Flat performer River Frost has thrived since being purchased by legendary owner J P McManus before his run of form came to an end at Wincanton at the beginning of the month. The five-year-old has had four starts in the UK having looked in need of the experience and a step up in trip in a Huntingdon novice hurdle when third on stable debut in November. He duly obliged in style at Plumpton next start before making a successful transition to handicap company at Kempton. His jumping had once again showed notable improvement there and looked to be about to hit the lead when Meet The Legend sadly came down at the last leaving River Frost clear.
Those two wins again came over two miles and River Frost finally got the much anticipated step up in trip next start at Wincanton. Raised 10 pounds for his winning handicap debut, the gelding was staying on when falling three out on what looked unsuitably heavy ground. He may not have got the better of the eventual winner Tornado In Milan there but on less testing ground he looks very well handicapped and an exciting prospect for powerful connections.
River Frost is worth taking a chance on ground that is currently soft but forecast to dry before Saturday night’s card in what is undoubtedly a wide-open contest. Key opponents will be Templeross, Air Horse One, Doesyourdogbite, Theligny, Divine Spear and Tommy Silver.
Nicky Henderson, as pointed out every week, remains in fantastic form and has three entries at this stage with Phobiaphiliac, Oscar Hoof and Divine Spear looking to follow up on last year’s success in this race with Different Gravey. Nigel Twiston-Davies too has enjoyed recent success with Kaylif Aramis in 2014 and is set to be represented by Templeross who bounced back with a fine second in the Lanzarote at Kempton last time where Jonjo O’Neill’s previously unbeaten Doesyourdogbite was a never threatening sixth.
Harry Fry has entered Air Horse One who steps back into handicap company after good wins in maiden and novice company at Exeter and Taunton on his last two starts and like many such as Tim Vaughan’s Theligny is rapidly improving.
Paul Nicholls is represented by Connetable, Cyrname and Tommy Silver as the champion trainer looks to win the race for the first time since Beshabar in 2010.