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Festival pair in Gold Cup shout
10:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Sport
TWO Cotswold hopes remain in tomorrow’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at the popular festival.
Last season’s second-placed The Giant Bolster tries again for Stow-on-the-Wold trainer David Bridgwater and is rated at between 12-1 and 14-1.
Temple Guiting handler Jonjo O’Neill throws 10-year-old John Smith’s Grand National hopeful Sunnyhillboy, runner-up at Aintree last year, in at the deep end at varying prices of up to 33-1.
Ante-post favourite Bobs Worth spearheads 11 declarations, while top trainer Nicky Henderson is also represented by the 2011 victor Long Run who won Kempton’s William Hill King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Captain Chris, a narrow King George runner-up, is a contender for the Philip Hobbs team.
Paul Nicholls has high hopes for Silviniaco Conti, unbeaten in three starts this season, and Ireland are well represented by Sir Des Champs for Wille Mullins who claimed three wins on the festival’s opening day.
Double winner Albertas Run features among eight declared runners for today’s Ryanair Chase but is down the betting at around 12-1.
O’Neill’s 12-year-old claimed the two-mile-five-furlong showpiece twice before finishing second to Riverside Theatre last year but has not run since the 2012 Grand National.
Martin Keighley’s eight-yearold Champion Court, runner-up to Sir Des Champs in last season’s Jewson Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, is rated at 6-1.
The Mouse Morris-trained favourite First Lieutenant runs in preference to the Gold Cup.
Tuesday’s action ended with the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ackertac, ridden by his son Sam, finishing second in the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Henderson’s Rajdhani Express won with O’Neill’s Johns Spirit seventh ahead of fellow Cotswold trainer Charlie Longsdon’s Vulcanite in eighth and Hazy Tom who was pulled up.
Tour Des Champs, trained by Twiston-Davies, was eighth in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase. Pete The Feat, trained by Chipping Norton-based Longsdon, was 12th.