By Simon Jackson.
Trainer David Bridgwater is hopeful of a big run from The Giant Bolster in the Hennessy Gold Cup after the 10-year-old impressed when schooling on Thursday.
The winner of the 2014 Grade 2 Argento Chase and a placegetter in the 2012 and 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cups jumped well under big race jockey Tom Scudamore in his final schooling session ahead of Saturday’s three and a quarter mile handicap chase.
The Giant Bolster has not raced since suffering a heavy fall in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April and Bridgwater is hopeful the gelding will belie his odds of 33-1 in Saturday’s £200,000 race that has attracted a field of 17 runners.
“The Giant Bolster’s preparation has gone well. He came in earlier from his summer break and is in really good order with himself,” Bridgwater said on Thursday.
“I don’t think he was particularly right last season. Punchestown hasn’t affected him – I just think it was one of those tired falls.
“I am hoping for an encouraging run on Saturday. I see the likes of Bobs Worth and Smad Place are well fancied and if you fancy them you have got to fancy us because on our day, like a few in there, we are a good horse on a decent mark.
“I thought Coneygree was a certainty (before the decision on Tuesday to miss the Hennessy Gold Cup), although Bobs Worth might be now as he is nearly two-stone well in. We have left the headgear off on Saturday just to do something different – there is no point doing the same thing.
“Tom Scudamore came in to school The Giant Bolster this morning and, Tom will tell you himself, it was the best the horse has jumped since we can’t remember when. We will know our fate over the first couple of fences but he was winging them this morning.”
Hennessy Gold Cup, bet 365 bet: 7/2 Saphir Du Rheu; 5/1 Smad Place; 6/1 Bobs Worth; 8/1 If In Doubt; 9/1 The Young Master; 10/1 The Druids Nephew, Fingal Bay; 12/1 Houblon Des Obeaux, Ned Stark; 16/1 First Lieutenant; 20/1 Theatre Guide; 25/1 Urano; 28/1 Benbens; 33/1 The Giant Bolster, Splash Of Ginge; 50/1 Fox Appeal; 100/1 Al Co
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