Trainer Warren Greatrex says Western Ryder is in prime condition ahead of Friday’s Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The seven-year-old has not been in the best form of late, with his last run being at Haydock in January where he finished third, some distance behind eventual winner Global Citizen.

He has not won a race since way back in December 2017 – the British Stallion Studs EBF “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle.

However, after illness and injuries halted his recent form, Greatrex is confident that those problems are in the past and the race at Cheltenham has come at the right time for him to impress.

“I think he’s my best chance of a winner all week. He came back from Haydock, where he under-performed admittedly, with very bad ulcers, but we’ve treated them and he’s well,” Greatrex admitted in his Sporting Life column.

“He’s fresh and fit and the race is absolutely made for him. Dickie Johnson will ride hopefully, but we might just be waiting on that.

“I’m thinking I might go for blinkers for the first time with Western Ryder. I just feel in these races if I can eke out a bit of improvement then he’ll be bang there. He does tend to run his race.”

The race has had a history of throwing up some unexpected results and it is a particularly tricky one for punters to predict.

Only one horse has come in at a single-figure price in the last 11 years – Superb Sotry in 2016 – so the likes of Whiskey Sour at 5/1 and Monsieur Lecoq at 8/1 might find the going difficult.

Odds subject to change.