Final furlong….so tough in soft ground….Gold Cup challenge today
Thanks to Warren Greatrex and Missed Approach for a winner for me, and for GB, on an Irish-dominated day yesterday. The Ryanair may have been Cue Card’s last race….he certainly didn’t seem to go on the ground. If so, thanks to Cue Card, Paddy Brennan and Colin Tizzard for great fun and a fantastic racing career….9 Grade 1s….in such style!
Today sees a very open running of the Gold Cup. Might Bite is a class act but staying up the hill is a problem. Our Duke and Native River look to have the stamina but I’ll hedge my bets with the progressive ROAD TO RESPECT and the tough-as-bleep DEFINITLY RED, trained by the canny Brian Ellison, with one eye on the Grand National to come.
Triumph Hurdle….REDICEAN….good odds, big chance
County Hurdle….CHESTERFIELD….good form, may like conditions
Albert Bartlett Hurdle….CHEF DES OBEAUX….good 2nd favourite, Noel aboard for Nicky
THE GOLD CUP….DEFINITLY RED….a tough renewal today, ROAD TO RESPECT strong
Foxhunter Chase….FOXROCK….crazy race, good chance for Katie Walsh
Conditional Jockeys Hurdle….MELROSE BOY….open, a chance for Harry Fry and Keiron Edgar
Grand Annual Chase….DRESDEN….punt of the day, on great form, likes soft going
Post races comment
No luck betting-wise but the Festival ended with a classic Gold Cup duel between Might Bite and Native River, the going favouring the latter who prevailed up the hill. A tremendous ride from Richard Johnson who, alongside Nico De Boinville on Might Bite, put the rest of the field to the sword with superb judgement of pace. Might Bite showed his class today but was outstayed on soft ground.
Finally, a sad end to the day in the Grand Annual in which three horses, Some Plan, North Hill Harvey and Dresden, were fatally injured. Condolences to all connections. BUT am I right to be disturbed by how the race was ridden, with a crowded field of 20+, in the early stages? The BHA is to investigate….let us hope this is a genuine review, with strong advice to jockeys being paramount in my view.