Nico de Boinville has confirmed he will partner Angels Breath in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
The leading jockey is in the privileged position of being able to choose between the well-touted Nicky Henderson-trained grey and his high-class stablemate Mister Fisher.
Angels Breath won the Kennel Gate at Ascot on his hurdling debut before being turned over at odds-on in the Dovecote at Kempton.
Mister Fisher was narrowly beaten on his first start over obstacles at Newbury, but has since impressed at Kempton on Boxing Day and in a Grade Two at Haydock.
De Boinville insists choosing between the two was a tough decision.
He told his Unibet blog: “I imagine it was a closer call than many will have thought, but I have decided to ride Angels Breath in the Supreme.
“I have an awful lot of time for Mister Fisher, and he has always shown us plenty at home.
“Crucially, he has translated that gallops ability to the track this season, with a victory over last weekend’s Grade Two Kelso winner Rouge Vif at Kempton followed by such a success of his own when seeing off Bright Forecast in the Rossington Main at Haydock.
“I clearly know the runner-up very well, and he is Ballymore-bound, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest were Mister Fisher to run a huge race in the Festival-opener.
“But I feel I am right to keep the faith in Angels Breath, not that I thought he lost anything in defeat in the Dovecote, bar the winning prize on the day.”
De Boinville also had a decision to make in the Unibet Champion Hurdle and has sided with International Hurdle winner Brain Power over Verdana Blue – who inflicted a shock defeat on stable companion and dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’Air in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
De Boinville added: “There is very little between him (Brain Power) and Verdana Blue in terms of talent, but the probability of soft ground – or at least on the soft side – on Tuesday has just swayed me.
“If they don’t get much more rain though, I could be having second thoughts!