On the Fringe eyes Cheltenham hat-trick

On The Fringe is raring to try and clinch a third consecutive St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

No horse has ever managed to claim the race twice – eight horses since 1946 have taken it twice, including On The Fringe – and he is looking to make history in what is one of the most historic race at the festival.

His trainer Enda Bolger insists that the horse has never been in better condition heading to Cheltenham.

Enda Bolger feels On The Fringe has had a better preparation this season as he aims for a third successive victory in the St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

Bolger has booked leading amateur Jamie Codd to fill in for regular jockey Nina Carberry – who is pregnant, but he is delighted with the work the two have done together.

“Every day Jamie rides him, he gets more familiar with the horse and he had a smile on his face pulling up after they worked at Leopardstown (on Sunday). The horse is as fresh as paint after that day out,” Bolger told The Irish Times.

“He has actually had a better preparation this time. An abscess in a foot held him up for most of January last season and it was a rush to get him to Leopardstown. This time he nearly pinched the Leopardstown race against a very good and fitter horse in Foxrock.

“It was very encouraging and now we’re just putting the final pieces of the jigsaw together with him. He’s certainly in great form and gives no indication he isn’t as good as ever.”

On The Fringe is a short price favourite to make it three-in-a-row and he is best priced 6/4 with Betfair.

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