Calipto seeks redemption
Views from connections ahead of Thursday's Injured Jockeys Fund 50th Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree.
Calipto is out to prove he was an unlucky loser of the Triumph when he returns to the fray in the Injured Jockeys Fund 50th Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree on Thursday.
He was about to make his challenge at the second-last flight when his stirrup leather broke.
Yet somehow, Daryl Jacob managed to get him into fourth place at the line, eight and three-quarter lengths behind the winner Tiger Roll.
With Jacob sidelined through injury it is Sam Twiston-Davies' job to try to put the matter right.
Trainer Paul Nicholls just hopes Cheltenham has not left its mark on the talented juvenile.
"What happened to him in the Triumph, with his stirrup leather breaking, has never happened to one of my horses before but if anything it just summed up the way our week went, very little went right," said the Ditcheat handler.
"To finish as close as he did shows what a good horse he is.
"The one thing I just hope is that this isn't coming too quickly, like with a lot this week. They look bright at home, but you won't know until they run."
Guitar Pete finished one place ahead of Calipto in third at Cheltenham and takes his chance as trainer Dessie Hughes wanted to avoid Tiger Roll.
"He seems to have come out of Cheltenham well, so we're letting him take his chance," said the County Kildare handler.
"I'm trying to avoid Tiger Roll. He's going to Punchestown. He's been very consistent so I hope he can keep it up one more time and get his chance.
"I think the course will suit him. He's got a lot of pace and he jumps well."
Harry Fry decided not to take Activial to Cheltenham and instead aim for this race following his win in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton in February.
"We've been very pleased with what he did since Kempton," said the Seaborough trainer.
"He'll have to step up again. This is a tougher race and has more strength in depth, as you'd expect for a Grade One.
"Hopefully, he can continue on an upward curve and be there or thereabouts.
"He was second to Calipto at Newbury for us on his debut in November then we gave him a break.
"He's improved in leaps and bounds since then as no doubt Calipto will have.
"It will be an interesting rematch, but obviously it's not a two-horse race. It's a good race, but we're happy with our horse and looking forward to running him."
John Ferguson feels he has two unexposed young hurdlers in Broughton and Commissioned with which to go to war.
"They've both taken different paths," said the Newmarket trainer.
"Broughton ran very well beaten a head by Fox Norton first time then won well at Musselburgh in the Scottish Triumph Hurdle.
"He was disappointing at Cheltenham, but he just got a bit wound up beforehand and I just feel he wasn't as relaxed as you need to be to win a Triumph.
"We're trying him with a hood for the first time and we're hoping that will see an improvement in his form.
"He'll have a holiday afterwards whatever happens and we're looking forward to him for next year."
"Commissioned is lightly raced. He was third at Cheltenham in December and was second in the Adonis at Kempton to Activial.
"He had relatively little experience on the Flat and so I feel he's a horse who's going to keep on improving. I'm hoping he'll run a nice race."