Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival 2011, a positive bulletin has been issued by trained David Bridgwater on the wellbeing of his RSA Chase candidate the Giant Bolster, currently a 25/1 chance in the race dominated by the presence of hot favourite Time For Rupert, writes Elliot Slater.

The six-year-old son of smart Flat race stayer Black Sam Bellamy has made a good impression this term since switching to the larger obstacles, but for the most part appears to have been somewhat overlooked in the build-up to the Grade 1 event in which all the media attention has been on Time For Rupert who at one stage was being considered as a Cheltenham Gold Cup candidate.

The Giant Bolster ran at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and put up a tremendous performance, belying his massive odds of 200/1 to finish a fine sixth to the high-class Peddlers Cross in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle. He also ran with credit three weeks later at Aintree when fifth to Wayward Prince in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.

An 11-length winner on his chasing bow at Worcester in October, The Giant Bolster was in the process of running a massive race in a novice chase at Cheltenham a month later and was upsides none other than Time for Rupert and still going well, when he came to grief. It’s hard to say he would have won, but he would certainly have given Paul Webber’s star a decent race.

Returning to Cheltenham in January, Bridgwater’s stable star put up a remarkable performance having looked in all sorts of trouble four out, when staying-on bravely to beat Vino Griego by over two-lengths off a mark of 140. Apparently in great shape at home and working well, The Great Bolster is well worth his place in the RSA Chase line-up and goes to Cheltenham with a solid each-way chance.