Trainers Gordon Elliott and Tony Martin as well as jockey Bryan Cooper joined Irish Racing Post editor Jonathan Mullin to discuss their horses for this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Thursday’s Ryanair Chase hopeful Don Cossack was given a positive mention by his trainer-jockey combination Gordon Elliott and Bryan Cooper. The eight-year-old is unbeaten in his last four starts and heads the market for the two mile five furlong contest. Cooper said: “He seems in great form, has a good chance and I’m really looking forward to him. With a bit of luck, he should run well.”
Elliott echoed his jockey’s sentiments stating: “He has travelled over very well. He’s been good this year having won four including three graded races and has done everything we have asked of him. I think he is finishing his races out an awful lot stronger this year and with luck in running he could be bang there.”
Elliott also suggested Cause of Causes would run well in today’s Toby Balding National Hunt Chase (4:40pm). Elliott remarked: “He’ll love the ground and four miles will be no problem to him.”
Cooper gave a positive mention to his mount Lieutenant Colonel in Thursday’sLadbrokes World Hurdle. He said: “He has won two Grade Ones, so it was a great call to go back hurdling with him. He will have to improve a bit more but it’s a wide open race. I feel he has improved since Christmas and I wouldn’t swap him for anything.”
Cooper also highlighted the chances of Road To Riches in Friday’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. He remarked: “You don’t know how good our lad could be. He has been impressive this year especially when winning the Lexus Chase on ground that wouldn’t have suited him at all. Hopefully, the rain stays away. With the ground being good and going left-handed, I see it being a big help to him. There is no real worry about the trip, it’s more about how good the Irish form is and whether he is good enough. I wouldn’t swap my lad for anything.”
Tony Martin was also keen on the chances of his Ladbrokes World Hurdle hope Dedigout. Martin’s charge is unbeaten in his last two starts and will “not mind the ground. He’s in great form and is moving well so will hopefully give a good account of himself.”
Martin also gave a positive mention to a plethora of his handicap horses for the Festival. These included today’s Ultima Business Solutions Handicap (2:40pm) runner Gallant Oscar who according to his handler “has jumped well before and all going well, he will have a great each-way chance.” Martin also spoke well of Edeymi in Thursday’sPertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle. He stated: “the horse is a bit older and the ground won’t be a problem to him. He’ll stay well and enjoy the better ground so he should have a great chance.”