Thorney trainer aims for New Year’s Day prize at Cheltenham after completing an excellent 2021

Thorney trainer Pam Sly is hoping for the perfect start to 2022 with victory on New Year’s Day in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 1:29 pm
Racing at Cheltenham. Photo: Michael Steele, Getty Images

Following a quiet couple of weeks, Sly unleashes Chic Avenue in the concluding contest at Prestbury Park for which the three-year-old looks to hold leading claims.

Chic Avenue is a daughter of Champs Elysees and is out of Chicklemix who was a winner over both hurdles and fences for Sly. The three-year-old was bred, and is owned and trained, by Sly who famously won the 2006 1000 Guineas with Speciosa.

Chic Avenue shaped with an abundance of promise on debut at Wetherby in December when staying on strongly to finish a fine third. Held up in the early stages of the race, Chic Avenue kept on with tons of promise when beaten a length in what looked a competitive bumper. There was clearly lots to like about that effort and this exciting prospect looks open to any amount of improvement going forward.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pam Sly.

There are 15 runners in the Listed content and they include Alazar who scored on debut, before ultimately disappointing when only third on his latest start. Mr Sundancer also won on debut and is another interesting runner, coupled with last time out winners Iliade Allen and Legionair. However, the one they look to all have to beat is Poetic Music. She is unbeaten in two career starts and made a winning start for Fergal O’Brien when successful at Newbury in December.

With this being Sly’s first runner of 2022, it is also worth reflecting on an excellent 2021 for the Classic winning trainer. In the 2020-2021 season thus far, she has recorded nine winners from 50 runners, an outstanding 18% strike-rate, earning over £83,000 in prize money. On the Flat, Sly ends the year with seven winners from 51 runners, an excellent 14% strike-rate which included over £79,000 in prize money. Things are looking bright for Sly and her small, but select team.