BRIAN Ellison reports Definitly Red is firmly on course for a second appearance in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday week.
The 10-year-old finished sixth in the blue riband event last year and made a flying start to the current campaign by winning his first two starts – landing the Charlie Hall at Wetherby and the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree – under Yorkshire-based rider Danny Cook.
A shock defeat at the hands of Captain Redbeard in a two-runner race at Kelso last month was not in the script, but Ellison’s confidence in his stable star is undiminished.
Definitly Red runs in the colours of South Yorkshire owner Phil Martin and Malton-based Ellison said: “Touch wood everything is good with him at the moment. They just didn’t go fast enough for him last time. That shouldn’t be a problem at Cheltenham.
“He’ll have another good gallop this week and that will be it. He’ll be going to Cheltenham good and fresh.”
Meanwhile North Yorkshire trainer Phil Kirby, whose Lady Buttons lines up at Cheltenham next week, enjoyed further success when Little Bruce made all to land the marathon Cambridgeshire National at Huntingdon under a fine front-running Tommy Dowson ride.