THE final day of the Cheltenham Festival is the biggest one of all with the Cheltenham Gold Cup taking place.
It’s going to be a fantastic race this year with last year’s winner Native River taking on Presenting Percy, Clan Des Obeaux and four runners for Willie Mullins. I can’t wait for it.
I’ve got two rides on the last day of the meeting and I’m hoping I can end the week with a winner.
Sir Erec’s been the banker horse at the meeting for everyone in the last couple of weeks, but I like the look of one against him. Quel Destin has done nothing wrong and he’s rock solid. I love his style of racing – he jumps out there and gets on with it. He looks battled-hardened, won’t mind the ground and loves it around here too. He’ll make Sir Erec work very hard.
He’s got no weight on his back and he’s in good old form at home at the moment. Touch wood he jumps well and he’s a keen horse who likes to get on with things, so this race will suit him down to the ground. I’ll try to take my time on him in the middle of the pack and then try to finish strong. I’m really looking forward to riding him.
This can be a really gruelling race, particularly on soft ground. You often find they go out there and nearly go a two mile pace in a three mile race. I beat Lisnagar Oscar at Ffos Las on a nice horse called Emitom and that rode like a very good race. Lisnagar Oscar was a good winner of a race at Haydock last time and I think that’s the best performance of anything in this race. It’d be great to see his trainer Rebecca Curtis and jockey Sean Bowen have a winner too.
I like this horse a lot. I like his style of racing, I like his form – I like everything about him! I think I’d just be siding with him in this race, but it’s very open. I’m a huge fan of Native River, who’s hard and has been here and done it in a Gold Cup, while Kemboy also sticks out to me and he’s unexposed compared to the others. It’s going to be a brilliant race and I can’t wait to see it.
It’s very hard to gauge the form lines in this race but the one that I liked the look of was Hazel Hill. He loves testing going and he’ll power up the famous Cheltenham hill. His rider Alex Edwards would be one of the best jockeys in the race, so I can see that horse running well.
He was third at Cheltenham last time in a novice chase but his form is on good ground mostly. He’ll be fresh coming into this, which is a good thing, and he’s got course form and that’s massive. It’s a lovely ride to pick up and I’m hoping I can end my festival on a high,
It’s going to be a different race this year with no claims for the jockeys. A horse who has a conditional on who would be claiming is effectively ‘wrong’ in the handicap by the amount that jockey would normally claim. That means the more experienced jockeys are likely to be at an advantage, and I like the look of Early Doors for Joseph O’Brien and Jonjo O’Neill Jnr.
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