sport

JLT aim for Off The Ground

Rapid improver Off The Ground will run in the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next month.

Trained by Emma Lavelle for the Axom syndicate, the eight-year-old won off 119 at Doncaster in November, returned to win off 133 at Town Moor a few weeks later and has not been seen since.

He now finds himself off a mark of 147 which connections felt ruled him realistically out of any of the handicaps.

"Off The Ground will go for the JLT," said Dan Downie, racing manager for Axom.

"His handicap rating suggests that's where he should be running so we'll go down that route.

"I had a chat with Emma and we decided that he deserved to go.

"He's in great form and we've been very careful with him this season as he doesn't like soft ground.

"We haven't run him since Doncaster in December so he'll be going there much fresher than most who have been running in desperate ground - he hasn't had a hard race."

Off The Ground is around a 20-1 chance for the two-and-a-half-mile Grade One.