Monday, 26 June, 2017

CHELTENHAM RACING TIPS: Bank on River for Gold Cup glory

Jack Kennedy was the winning jockey in the first race yesterday- can you name the horse Jack Kennedy was the winning jockey in the first race yesterday- can you name the horse
Lucas Bell | 18 March, 2017, 01:34

Sizing John was an absorbing victor of the 2017 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

But the horse looked nervous at the start and unseated Kelly after only two fences to the dismay of the jockey who was left punching the ground in frustration.

"Any new horse that comes into your yard, people ask 'is it a Gold Cup horse?'", he said.

She added: "I've never had a runner in the race before so to train the victor - I don't know when I'll come down to earth".

CHELTENHAM: 1.30 Charli Parcs, 2.10 North Hill Harvey, 2.50 Augusta Kate, 3.30 NATIVE RIVER (NAP), 4.10 Wonderful Charm, 4.50 Dadsintrouble, 5.30 Velvet Maker. "No one buys a horse to win the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase or even the Grand National".

The IT company became the official sponsor of the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the end of 2015 in a four-year deal which awarded it preferred supplier status to The Jockey Club's portfolio of 15 racecourses.

The seven-year-old contested the four-mile National Hunt Chase at this meeting last season and while his second was more than respectable, his subsequent Grade One victory over three miles and a furlong in the Mildmay at Aintree showed his sights should be set a little higher this term. Willie Mullins' horse finished second to Coneygree in the 2015 Gold Cup as a whipper-snapper six-year-old, and he finished second again to Don Cossack in last year's renewal.

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If he can sort out his jumping then Cue Card should go close.

Deeply impressive handicap victor at the last Festival and appears to have taken a step forward since joining Gordon Elliott this season.

It has been a quiet Festival for Champion trainer Paul Nicholls but he cleaned up in today's St James's Place Foxhunter Challenge - claiming the first and second spot.

Trained in Ireland, Sizing John won by two-and-three-quarter lengths on St. Patrick's Day. Sizing John has gone from two miles at Christmas to three miles here.

Grade One victor as a novice at Kempton last season, when Native River was third.

Two fences in, it was all over for the 23-year-old.

It's hard to find a challenger but both Wholestone (5/1) and Monalee (8/1) will have their backers while there are many who think the aforementioned Augusta Kate could have won had she stayed on her feet in Kildare. A lot of these will have to be disappointing for him to get into the finish. "I wasn't too anxious about the result because we have had such a good day anyway but Defi made it look easy", she said.

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