Friday 15 December 2017

Cheltenham 2015: Ryanair can wing its way to O'Leary thanks to Don Poli

Brian Cooper on Don Poli celebrates winning the 14.05 RSA Chase
Brian Cooper on Don Poli celebrates winning the 14.05 RSA Chase

Michael O’Leary has already watched his colours carried to Grade One glory this week when Don Poli won yesterday’s RSA Chase an this afternoon it is the turn of Don Cossack who is picked to give the Ryanair supremo a first win in the race he sponsors out of his own money.

A faller at this meeting last year, DON COSSACK hasn’t done a thing wrong this season and looks set to justify trainer Gordon Elliott’s careful placing by landing the biggest winner of his career in the Ryanair Chase.

With Hidden Cyclone redirected from the Champion Chase and Foxrock also supplemented for this race, the Ryanair now has a more competitive look to the race but a strong Irish hand is set to be led home by Don Cossack who has always been highly regarded by his trainer.

The Gigginstown day should get off to a good start and with another Grade One winning novice chaser as VALSEUR LIDO should give Willie Mullins a clean sweep in the top level novice chases here this week.

Mullins is looking to extend his biggest ever haul at a Cheltenham Festival having reached five for the first time yesterday and Valseur Lido looks to have the credentials to deny stable companion Vautour and reverse the form with Apache Stronghold from their last meeting. A third Gigginstown selection is a more tentative choice with LIEUTENANT COLONEL bidding to give Sandra Hughes a first winner of the week and a third Grade One winner in as many starts.

With a Paul Nicholls treble yesterday, both Zarkandar and Saphir Du Rheu are there to be feared but if Lieutenant Colonel can handle the quicker ground he has to be given an each-way chance although in-form rider Davy Russell will be looking to extend an incredible record with his last five rides at the Cheltenham Festival all winning and Jetson will be aiming to increase that to six.

The more races that get chalked off the more anxious AP McCoy and his droves of supporters will be to see him have a winner but hopefully he’ll open his account for the week on Anthony Honeyball’s REGAL ENCORE in the Pertemps Final.

A winner of a qualifier for this race at Exeter last time out, he’s one that has some nice form in the book and shouldn’t have many issues with the ground being by King’s Theatre and he could well instigate one of the biggest cheers of the week.

In the concluding Kim Muir for amatuers, Jamie Codd will be looking to claim a second winner on The Package for David Pipe but a chance is taken on the ex-TJ Nagle trained JUST A PAR to oblige here with the trip and ground likely to be in his favour.

Cronin's Choice

1.30: Valseur Lido

2.05: Regal Encore


1 Don Cossack

2 Foxrock

3 Balder Succes

3.20: Lieutenant Colonel

4.00: Buywise

4.40: Just A Par

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