It's been a superb Cheltenham Festival for Gordon Elliott, can he cap the final day with yet more winners? Read about all 10 runners on Gold Cup day exclusively on Betting.Betfair...
"This looks the hottest novice race at the festival this year but our lad has beaten the best of the Irish and I expect the step up to three miles to bring out further improvement in him. I've said Death Duty was my best chance of a winner this week and I haven't changed my mind."
Was so impressive when landing his maiden in Down Royal by 13L and ran well in both his two subsequent start without winning. He just got outpaced behind Bapaume and Landofhopeandglory in the Knight Frank at Leopardstown before running on again at the finish so we decided to apply the cheekpieces, which he had worn on the flat to good effect, when taking on Bapaume again in the G1 Spring Juvenile. He was a bit keen early but Davy did a good job and set sail for home off the final bend to win comfortably. At one stage I was considering the Fred Winter for him but Phil Smith put paid to that and it may be a blessing in disguise. Obviously Defi Du Seuil is the one to beat but our fella will give a good account of himself and has a very decent each-way chance.
She was super impressive when winning her maiden first time out for us in Cork by 29L prompting us to let her take her chance in the Spring Juvenile in Leopardstown. Jack was just beginning to get low in the saddle when she blundered her chance away three out. Having said that, she did very well and showed her mettle to get going again, eventually finishing third to Mega Fortune. She subsequently got the G3 Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle in the Stewards' room with the first two pulling well clear of the third who was rated 142 and that was encouraging. She stays well and again has a very decent each-way chance but my preference would be for Mega Fortune.
The form of his second to the talented but enigmatic Labik in Navan last November was well and truly franked in the Supreme on Tuesday and his win over Cilaos Emery in Punchestown reads well also. He was pulled up on his only visit to the track when favourite for the Greatwood, when under the care of Harry Fry, but I wouldn't read anything into that. He is a reliable sort and I expect him to run a big race.
Has been campaigned solely over fences since finishing 22L sixth in Douvan's Supreme Novice Hurdle back in 2015. He hasn't ran since beating the Game Changer in G3 Chase in Naas back in November last year but he is in great form at home and reverting to Hurdles shouldn't be a problem. He has sound each-way claims in a very competitive race.
I have been very vocal about my views on this horse and he's been my Cheltenham nap for a long time now. Has stepped through the grades winning G2 and G3 novice hurdles in Navan before beating Turcugua by 9L in the G1 Lawlor Hotel Novice Hurdle in Naas. Augusta Kate was almost upsides at the last that day before falling and there has been a lot of speculation about whether she would have beaten us. For what it's worth I thought our lad would have pulled out more and she re-opposes today, again receiving her 7lbs mares' allowance, so, all being well, we will find out. This looks the hottest novice race at the festival this year but our lad has beaten the best of the Irish and I expect the step up to three miles to bring out further improvement in him. I've said this was my best chance of a winner this week and I haven't changed my mind.
What a day Don Cossack gave us last year and but as you all know we had to retire him due to injury and unfortunately Don Poli hasn't made it either this year, again due to injury, so our sole representative is Outlander. He showed great guts and determination to win the Lexus and in the process turned the tables on Djakadam from their John Durkan run. He fell in last year's JLT when getting into contention and he fell again when looking a certain winner of the G2 Clonmel Oil chase back in November, but I have no reservations about him in that department after putting in a great display at Leopardstown. Outlander has had a smooth preparation, is a fresh horse and has a really decent each-way chance in a wide open Gold Cup.
Has to shoulder top weight of 11st 10lbs but he can carry weight as he showed when fourth behind Mall Dini at last year's festival in the Pertemps final over three mile and he also finished fourth in the Coral Cup back in 2011 so his Cheltenham form is not too bad either. He has been difficult to place but deserves to take his chance in this. We also claim a valuable 5lbs off him and Cian Collins is a very capable jockey.
A remarkably consistent horse who has never been out of the first three in seven runs for us on the track. His form ties in with the Willie Mullins horse, Tin Soldier, who ran okay in the Coral Cup on Wednesday and he would have each-way claims here.
With just seven runs under his belt Runfordave has very few miles on his clock and he has shown a very high level of consistency in all his races. His maiden win over Capital Force was good and his subsequent third to Any Second Now in a G2 over 2 miles in Punchestown was another decent run. He did what we expected last day in Clonmel. I'm expecting the trip to bring out further improvement and the ground will be fine. In a race of this type you need luck in-running and if he gets that then he should go close. Looks the best of my two and has a very good each-way chance.
Didn't disgrace himself in last season's Arkle behind runaway winner Douvan and chased home the same horse in both Aintree and Punchestown. He's a consistent sort and although highly tried by times he hasn't actually managed to win a race since back in 2015. I was disappointed with him in Cork when he pulled up behind Douvan in the Hilly Way and he would have a chance if the rain stays away. Good ground would be a big plus for him.
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