Thursday 18 January 2018

Cheltenham 2015: Expect No More than victory from Heroes to seal a Gigginstown double

Colman Sweeney celebrates on Salsify after winning the 2013 Foxhunter Chase
Colman Sweeney celebrates on Salsify after winning the 2013 Foxhunter Chase

Michael O’Leary will never forget the 2014 Cheltenham when he lost his stable jockey for seven-months after a fall in the Fred Winter Hurdle and then had to wait all the way until Friday for a winner but then had four.

Don Poli’s victory in yesterday’s RSA Chase opened the Gigginstown account for the week and it can again end on a high tomorrow with a Gordon Elliott trained double.

No More Heroes (left) is a horse that has always been highly regarded by Elliott and his team and although he disappointed at Leopardstown last time out, he was found to have scoped badly after the race and that can be ignored.

Despite that, he still wasn’t disgraced on that occasion and No More Heroes is one of the better bets of the week in my opinion.

By his own admission O’Leary doesn’t care much for handicaps no matter where they are held but he’ll no doubt be still very glad to claim the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle if The Game Changer can oblige on his first run for Elliott.

Formerly trained by Charlie Swan, The Game Changer hasn’t been seen since finishing third behind Rebel Fitz in early October but all the vibes are that he is working well and with Elliott having his best season yet, word like that is hard to ignore.

Cork-based jockey Colman Sweeney enjoyed a fruitful time with Paul Nicholls in the past and currently stands as the most successful jockey ever in the Foxhunters Chase with three wins.

He won the race 10 years ago on Sleeping Night for Nicholls and then twice on Salsify who is trained by his father Rodger.

Salsify and the Sweeneys are back for more after being forced to miss last year’s renewal but after an encouraging return to action at Leopardstown last time out, Salsify could well become the winningmost horse in the race known as the amateurs’ Gold Cup.

Tony Martin has opted not to run Quick Jack since his game run in the Cesarewitch when he finished third behind Big Easy, but the versatile dual-purpose six-year-old still warrants plenty of respect here.

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