Cheltenham ready for Gold Cup showdown

Richard Johnson won the 2018 Gold Cup on Native River, who goes again in Friday’s showpiece urge
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019
Venue:Cheltenham Racecourse.Date:15 March.Time:15:30 GMT
Protection:Are dwelling commentary on BBC Radio 5 Are dwelling and BBC Radio 5 Are dwelling sports extra, plus textual state material commentary, racecards and experiences on the BBC Sport web web page and app.

Presenting Percy will expose to safe the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday for his enigmatic, publicity-timid Irish coach Pat Kelly.

The 2-time Cheltenham Competition winner is among 16 contenders in what appears to be a extremely engaging renewal of soar racing’s showpiece contest.

Last year’s first and second, Native River and Might well Chunk, face every other again while 10-time British champion coach Paul Nicholls seeks a file-equalling fifth profession Gold Cup triumph, with Clan Des Obeaux.

Willie Mullins saddles four hopefuls as he appears to be to obtain the coveted trophy abet to his Irish yard for the most fundamental time after being runner-up six cases.

A Gold Cup safe has continually eluded coach Willie Mullins

Mullins, who went into this year’s assembly because the all-time leading Competition coach, will seemingly be represented by Bellshill – the salvage of stable jockey Ruby Walsh – Al Boum Photo, Kemboy and Invitation Only.

Roared on by a bumper 70,000 crowd, Native River won a charming duel twelve months ago to give Dorset-dairy-farmer-grew to change into-top-coach Colin Tizzard his first Gold Cup safe.

This time Tizzard moreover has the 2016 King George winner Thistlecrack, who used to be runner-as a lot as Clan Des Obeaux last time, and Welsh Nationwide victor Neat Fracture out.

Last year’s third, Anibale Cruise, multiple Grade One winner Bristol De Mai, Definitly Crimson, Double Breeze, Yala Enki and Shattered Enjoy complete the discipline.

Authentic prep for Presenting Percy

Davy Russell – who rode Tiger Roll to victory sooner or later year’s Gigantic Nationwide – will saddle Presenting Percy

Unconventional. That’s an efficient summation of Presenting Percy’s preparation for the championship urge.

Since running out an spectacular winner of last season’s RSA Go, the eight-year-dilapidated has raced only as soon as, over the smaller hurdles when worthwhile at Gowran Park in January in web page of the steeplechase fences he will locate within the Gold Cup.

As a warmth-up, the horse used to be twice sent to Kelly’s native Galway racecourse the do workers grew to change into the fences round to face the alternative skill so the on the total lawful-handed display screen could well perhaps replicate the left-handed situations of Cheltenham.

The last horse to safe steeplechasing’s blue riband match after a hurdles-entirely preparation used to be Easter Hero 90 years ago.

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Can Native River safe a second Gold Cup?

Nevertheless, Presenting Percy is twice a winner at the Competition, having moreover landed the Pertemps Hurdle in 2017.

Proprietor Philip Reynolds, the son of dilapidated Irish premier Albert, admitted to being nervous ahead of the mountainous urge.

“It’s more uncomplicated when he’s in Pat’s and I do know he’s being taken care of and could well perhaps now not be in better palms. But after we’re within the parade ring prior to a urge, it be frightful, to be upright,” he stated.

“I originate now now not realize your complete ‘of us’s horse’ factor, nevertheless he’s a horse that goes out and gives you everything he’s bought, and I’ve of us like that.

“Pat is excited with him, and it would, for certain, be very particular to safe a Gold Cup on a sequence of ranges.”

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