Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

CHELTENHAM RACING TIPS: Bank on River for Gold Cup glory

CHELTENHAM RACING TIPS: Bank on River for Gold Cup glory

The one improver I have come up with is Sizing John. We might think of something else next year because I'm asking myself 'did he really stay?'.

Tomorrow, the pair hope that it's third time lucky for Djakadam (7/2) who has finished second in the feature race of the festival - the Gold Cup (3.30pm) - the past two years.

Established as a top-class staying chaser since breathing issues were sorted a couple of years ago and had yet to be asked for his effort when falling three-out in last year's Gold Cup.

Ruby Walsh went on: "Willie is very happy with the horse and he goes into the race with the best form of them all".

"She was associated with a horse; she didn't pick it up as a spare ride". This, though, was the icing on the cake.

Obviously you can only guess at what might have happened, but she looked to be far from spent before her mistake cost her dearly.

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The pair clashed in a Grade One heat at Naas back in January and Augusta Kate was travelling noticeably well in behind before she got the last all wrong, just as she was gearing up to lay down her challenge.

While Harrington is certainly not unfamiliar with the surroundings of the Cheltenham winner's enclosure, this achievement was a little much to take in. Possible that a change of stables in the autumn has helped him to take a step forward and his trainer is already among the winners at this Festival with another horse she acquired at the same time. "It will sink in at some stage, I'm sure, but it certainly hasn't yet. This is the jewel in the crown--the race I've listened to and watched all my life", she continued.

Along with jockey Robbie Power, who has a showjumping background, the other vital cog in the operation is head lad Eamonn Leigh, a servant for what he insisted was "40-ish" years.

It looks very much like it could be third time lucky for the eight-year-old who looks to be the ideal age and candidate to win a Gold Cup which is obviously missing a few high-profile stars. "It's the one that matters most". The Gold Cup is a race for young horses. He won the Welsh Grand National putting in a gutsy performance and has the guts and stamina to get round the track, and has a cracking jockey in Richard Johnson on board. "It's what we are all in it for".

Willie Mullins' Djakadam is the current market leader and has been the most popular selection on site with 27% of users in the last 48 hours putting their money on the 8yo to give his illustrious trainer a first win in the race.

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