By Simon Jackson
The Giant Bolster is set to return to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup after an impressive victory in the £100,000 Argento Chase, a victory that surprised his trainer David Bridgwater.
The Giant Bolster, runner up to the ill-fated Synchronised in the 2012 Gold Cup, has struggled to recapture that level of form since then and had not won a race since scoring at the same late January meeting at Cheltenham two years ago.
That victory had followed an intense period of schooling over fences, tyres and a variety of other objects which seemed to have resolved his jumping problems, only for his level of form to dip in recent months, despite continuing to work well at home.
“We have been scratching our heads,” Bridgwater admitted after The Giant Bolster’s seven length victory under Tom Scudamore, which boosted his stable star’s earnings to £283,000.
“At home, The Giant Bolster has been better than ever but on the course, for whatever reason, he hasn’t done it until today. The hood and visor have helped and he loves it at Cheltenham.
“He has been placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He is a good horse. He deserved to win a big one.
“This is the third time he has won at this meeting. If we can come back to the Gold Cup, he must have an each-way chance because he does perform around here,” Bridgewater said of his charge who is best priced at 33-1 for this year’s Gold Cup.
“This morning I was saying we should not run him but the owner [Simon Hunt] wanted to. That is the beauty of racing – you cannot get it right all the time.
“The hood gets him away from the hustle and bustle of the race. It has worked out wonderfully. It is beyond brilliant. We have equalled our best season now and to win a race like this is what dreams are made of.”
Scudamore added: “I am delighted for Bridgie and all the owners – they have never lost faith in him. They are willing to try something different with the headgear and it is has worked today. I am delighted. He has always been a good horse, it has been getting his head right.”