All on the Don for Charlie Austin in the Cheltenham Gold Cup
You have to be incredibly lucky as a small owner to be in a position to win a race with the prestige of a Gold Cup. It is arguably the pinnacle of jumps racing and winning it is an unbelievable achievement as an owner in the sport.
You see the passion with which owner Rich Ricci talks about it on the television, and how desperate he is to get his hands on the prize. That’s why both Vautour and Djakadam are going for it, to try and bag him that winner. To have the Gold Cup winner is such a massive achievement, and the nerves will be jangling in the run up to the race.
Cossack is the Don
Cue Card () has had a fantastic season which peaked when he won the King George at Kempton in December. He beat Vautour by a head that day – and I was on Vautour! He stayed on impressively to win that race and it is obviously great for his owners to see him back to his best.
Vautour skipped the Gold Cup to head to the Ryanair, but it wouldn’t matter. Don Cossack () has too much for both of them anyway.
He is going to take all the beating in Friday’s feature. If he’d stayed on his feet he would have won the King George and his price would be a lot shorter. It’s easy to say that after the event, but I genuinely believe it.
Don Cossack was 26 lengths clear of Cue Card in the Melling Chase last April and seven lengths clear of last year’s second – Djakadam () – in the Punchestown Gold Cup two weeks later.
To show just how competitive the race is, Smad Place () is hardly being mentioned in the same breath as some of the other contenders, yet look at the way he won the Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury in November. There hasn’t been a winner that impressive since Denman. Yet Smad Place is still 8/1 – that shows just how competitive the renewal is this year.
I just hope the race lives up to expectations and I hope it gets the coverage it deserves.
Dreams Can Come True
If I could have a runner, and a potential winner, at Royal Ascot this year I would be over the moon. As an owner of flat horses it’s the ultimate dream. Our horse Florencio will be aimed at Royal Ascot hopefully this season and if we were to win a major race or one of the big handicaps with him it would be a dream come true. Florencio cost us around £12k from Newsells Park Stud and he won twice last year from five runs including a Class 4 at Chelmsford. Trainer William Muir has told us he’s wintered really well so we’re looking forward to seeing him make his seasonal debut at the end of March.
Whenever one of our horses has won, whether it’s Chelmsford or Worcester, I’ve enjoyed the moment so much I can’t imagine what it would be like at Royal Ascot. If we were lucky enough to have a runner there