Good Evans, Liam has more Festival fancies

Softsong and Liam Treadwell, right, on their way to maiden hurdle glory at Doncaster
Softsong and Liam Treadwell, right, on their way to maiden hurdle glory at Doncaster

James Evans could supply the ammunition for Liam Treadwell to hit the target at the Cheltenham Festival again.

The Worcestershire trainer is set to send at least two contenders to the five-day meeting at Prestbury Park next month.

And while Evans has yet to reveal his plans for talented hurdlers Trackmate and Softsong, Treadwell is in the driving seat to take the reins.

The 28-year-old jockey steered the former – an eight-year-old son of Muhtarram – to victory in a Pertemps qualifier at Cheltenham back in 
October.

That triumph, which propelled the gelding to a career-high mark of 137, followed up success at Aintree in May as the partnership flourished.

Treadwell has been in the saddle for each of Trackmate’s four career wins and is excited about his chances at the Festival.

‘The question is whether or not he is well enough handicapped after winning competitive handicaps at Aintree and Cheltenham in good style,’ said the Arundel-born rider.

‘He is going straight there, so he will be fresh and well, and is definitely one to look forward to.’

Treadwell also partnered Softsong in his most recent outing – a maiden hurdle win at Doncaster last month.

It was the six-year-old gelding’s first race since switching to Evans’ yard from the Minehead powerbase of Philip Hobbs.

Hobbs brought the son of Singspiel across from France in 2012 and unleashed him at Cheltenham in October of that year.

He finished fifth behind Court Minstrel on his bow, but despite grabbing third in a Listed contest at Sandown soon after, he failed to flourish for the Somerset trainer.

Rated as high as 97 on the flat, he clearly has talent.

And after a 10-length demolition of favourite Minella Friend in Yorkshire a month ago, Treadwell reckons Evans has an useful prospect on his hands.

He said: ‘Softsong won really well at Doncaster on his first start for James.

‘I’m not sure what race he goes for at Cheltenham but I would look forward to riding him.’