The Cheltenham Gold Cup, the big one, the race that every trainer wants to win. With such a valuable prize at stake, this is where you get to see the best horses in the world strut their stuff in front of thousands of spectators at the track and the millions watching at home.
It looks almost certain that Nicky Henderson’s charge, the highly rated Might Bite will go off favourite on the day. The nine-year-old is on a hot winning streak after winning his last five races and looks sure to go very close.
In an interview this week with the Racing Post, Ruby Walsh, the most successful jockey at the festival said:
Might Bite could be one of the greatest horses we’ve ever seen, he always seems to have so much left in the tank by the time race is over, he is a beast!
Last years winner Sizing John won’t be competing at the festival however due to an injury suffered last week. A lot of people will be disappointed that we won’t be seeing the eight-year-old back at Cheltenham this year. Jockey Robbie Power was distraught when he found out, and took to Twitter to show his emotions.
It was heartbreaking to get the phone call from Jessica Harrington, We are all extremley dissapointed but he will be back stronger than ever.
Yet again the gutsy Native River will be competing in the Gold Cup and Colin Tizzard will be hoping he can go very close this time around. He has only ran the once since last year’s Gold Cup and that was at Newbury back in February. He was so impressive in that race, beating two smart sorts with ease and jumped so slick, it was a joy to watch.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson will be back in the saddle for the ride, a horse he rates as one of the best he has ever ridden. Trainer Tizzard was extremely upbeat when speaking about his charge on At The Races and went onto say:
He’s a lot stronger this time round, he’s in great form and we had him ready for Christmas. The manner of how he won at Newbury was equally as good as he has ever been. He has that rare combination of speed and stamina. I can’t wait to see him out there again.
The Gigginstown seven-year-old Road To Respect has been in fantastic form this season over in Ireland, landing some valuable races, in particular last time out at Leopardstown. Trainer Noel Meade purposely missed the Irish Gold Cup so he could keep his charge fresh for the big one at Cheltenham.
Talking to Sporting Life early last week, Meade said:
Looking at him at the moment, he seems to have matured very well and has actually put on a bit of weight. He went away on Friday to do a piece of work on the track and that went really well – extremely well. We were thrilled with him. I think there’s not a whole lot between a lot of the rest of them, I’m hoping my lad improves, he seemed to handle the track very well last year and hopefully he’ll handle it again.
I could sit here and write about all the horses that are going to post on a Friday afternoon, but I selected these three horses due to the sheer market demand for them. Obviously, they all have an excellent chance of bringing home the extremely generous prize winnings. Not long now until we hear that Cheltenham roar.