Nina Carberry: Josies Orders and On The Fringe could give me a delightful Cheltenham double

Get the latest insight from top amateur Nina Carberry on four of the Cheltenham Festival's hottest handicaps

Top jockey Nina Carberry is no stranger to Cheltenham Festival winners

Nina Carberry is a five-time Cheltenham Festival winner and only the second female jockey in history to win the Irish Grand National, so it was nothing short of an absolute delight when she dropped into Power Tower the week before Cheltenham to give some top insight on four of the big handicap races.

National Hunt Chase, Tuesday 4.50pm

‘Southfield Royale is a great ride so I’m delighted to get the opportunity to ride him,’ Nina told us. ‘He was second in a Grade 1 and is rated 147 so he’s bang up there with the rest of them and has a great chance of making the frame. Minella Rocco is well fancied and his last run was very impressive and showed he was in good spirits. He’s a worthy favourite based on the improvement he’s shown.’

‘Roi Des Francs has some very solid form behind him as well. He beat Pont Alexandre at Naas and before that he beat Sub Lieutenant at Fairyhouse who consequently came out and won. So that form is rock solid and he’s got a shout if he gets a run. Noble Endeavor was only beaten a short head at the Cheltenham Festival in a handicap over hurdles last year and he’s shown his looking for the course. Gordon Elliot is really sweet on his chances. It’s an unbelievably strong 4m handicap and you wouldn’t be surprised if any of the top four in the market came out and won.’

Cross Country Chase, Wednesday 4.10pm

‘Josies Orders is in good form at home. I rode him out at Leopardstown doing a bit of work recently and he was in great nick. He’s absolutely spot on so now it’s just about hoping for a bit of luck and getting a good run out of him. Josies Orders seems to like the course which is a big advantage, and the only concern is if it dries up too much although that’s not expected. He should love the ground on the day.’

‘Josies Orders stays really well and that’s his main asset. He’s also starting to jump very well and has taken a liking to Cheltenham.’

‘It’ll be interesting to see Balthazar King come back. You can’t get away from the fact that he likes it around Cheltenham and is a very good horse, but he hasn’t had a run this season at all. Over 3m 7f I’d be confident we’d have the edge over him in terms of fitness.’

‘Quantitativeeasing had a good spin here last year and could have won had we not been knocked over by a Frenchman (Jonathan Plouganou)! He could run a good race, while Cantlow ran a very good race in Punchestown and could go well again. There are plenty of horses in there but Josies Orders is the one.’

The Kim Muir Challenge Cup, Thursday, 4.50pm

‘I rode Cause of Causes in this race two years ago and just finished second – we blundered the last and that probably cost us the race. He went on to win the 4m race at the Festival last year as well. He has a great chance in this off 11-9. He comes right at this time of the season, likes nicer ground and loves Cheltenham. He has a huge shout.’

‘Doctor Harper won a nice handicap in Aintree last year over 3m so he obviously stays, while he’s coming into the race relatively unexposed which is what you’re looking for. You need to come in under the radar a little bit. He’s well fancied by the yard that’s for sure.’

The Foxhunters Chase, Friday, 4.10pm

‘Jamie Codd rode On The Fringe when he disappointed last time out at Leopardstown, but the ground was very heavy that day and On The Fringe would hate that. It actually happened the year before when we ran him first time out on similar ground at Down Royal. He finished second that day but had stopped to a walk after the last obstacle. He needed the run, but couldn’t handle the ground earlier in the season so he’ll show huge improvement at the Festival. He’s fighting fit for Cheltenham.’

‘Victoria Pendleton is on a very good horse so she obviously has a decent chance. Pacha Du Polder was second to me at Aintree last year and wasn’t beaten far so his claims are obvious. Marito is coming over from Ireland with good form after winning at Down Royal. Aup Charlie actually beat Marito in a point-to-point so he has to be considered.’

‘Mendip Express is interesting because he’s a course winner tackling the Foxhunters for the first time, but the main danger has to be Aup Charlie.’

What do you think?