Gold Cup Day Jockey Tips
Fri, Mar 16th, 2012
Barry Geraghty has been having a magnificent Cheltenham Festival....and his tips have been top notch too !
Barry gave us 5 antepost picks for the Fat Jockey Cheltenham Festival Tipping contest. Followers would have collected on the first 4 and today he has tipped his own ride in the Gold Cup, Burton Port. Barry blog on ATR had these comments about the race:
As for Friday, what a Cheltenham Gold Cup (3.20) to be involved in. One of the all-time greats trying to recapture the title and the reigning champion attempting to retain it – and I'll be looking to stop both of them! That's going to be no easy task for BURTON PORT because I think that a peak-form Long Run is going to be extremely hard to beat – and from what I've seen of him at home, that's exactly where he is at the moment. Nicky Henderson has his team absolutely buzzing and just as last year, Long Run has arrived for the big day looking a picture. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with the way Burton Port is and as I said before his comeback run after 15 months off at Newbury in February, the best thing to do was to back him for the Gold Cup without Long Run and Kauto Star. I certainly wasn't hard on him at Newbury to finish second to Long Run and we were gaining at the line but we were getting 10lb and in my view we've got to improve that and a good bit more to have a chance of turning over that form. Because he didn't have a hard race I'd be very hopeful that the "bounce" factor won't come in. And the other thing to remember is that Cheltenham is a great course for Burton Port – he did finish just ahead of Long Run in their RSA Chase of two seasons ago. But it's a great track for Long Run, too, and he's the one that all have to beat and I say that with the greatest respect for the two-time winner Kauto Star. It's been a fabulous effort to get him back to what looks like his best this season and winning the King George for a record fifth time was magnificent. But that fall he had schooling and the interrupted preparation that came after it is something you don't want on the run up to any race, let alone a Gold Cup. If he overcomes that, it'll be a truly great performance and if he doesn't turn up, then we'll know why. Of those that might be coming along for places, I reckon the run style of Midnight Chase isn't really suited to getting into the money. He's going to be out there to be shot at and it may be that he's overtaken turning in. I'd be looking at Weird Al as the outsider with a claim. His win at Wetherby on decent ground in October was good and he didn't do too badly on softer ground when he was ten lengths third to Kauto Star at Haydock in November. Donald McCain's horses have been in top shape for the meeting and Weird Al will go into this a fresh horse.
Choc Thornton has tipped Kauto Star in the race. AP Mc Coy writing in his Telegraph column has each way hopes for Synchronised.
When you see Synchronised walking round the parade ring he will not strike you as a Gold Cup winner. He is small and close-coupled and looks more like a cob but, in this game, handsome is as handsome does and, after Long Run and Kauto Star, I believe he has as good a chance of any of finishing third. And, if we can get the big two beat, then we could be in business. Ideally, we would have liked slower ground, but he handled similar going in Ireland when he won the Lexus last time out at Christmas. Previously, his biggest wins had come slogging round four miles in ploughed fields but the Lexus proved him a pretty good horse. That, however, was a big step up from staying handicaps and it is another big step today. He needs to get into a rhythm with his jumping, one aspect of his game that he finds hard, and would probably appreciate a sedate first circuit to find it. It is hard to see beyond the big two but, as the racing has proved so far this week, Cheltenham is rarely predictable and I certainly wouldn't put you off backing him each-way.
The other jockeys taking the Cheltenham Festival Challenge have tips running today too. Jason Maguire has had a great festival and has hopes for Hollow Tree in the Triumph Hurdle. Richard Johnson tipped Sadlers Risk in the race telling us it would " be one of my best rides of the week". Richard also gave us Snap Tie in the County Hurdle.
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