French to overcome with Gold Tweet
By Marcus Armytage
French involvement within the Cheltenham Competition is all over the place and nowhere; seven of the 9 runners in Thursday’s Ryanair Chase have been bred there, together with 5 of the 11 within the Paddy Energy Stayers’ Hurdle. However, after a hiatus of some years, two younger French trainers have realised that there’s a little bit of enjoyable available if you don’t promote all of them.
In spite of everything, Francois Doumen, now 82, made the cross-Channel raid an artwork type, profitable the 1994 Gold Cup with The Fellow, and a brand new era, headed by Gabriel Leenders, can begin the method of including some je ne sais quoi to the assembly by profitable the Stayers’ with Gold Tweet.
Certainly, each French runners, his compatriot Henri Le Farceur too, are gamers within the hurdle, the place stamina trumps pace. Gold Tweet and his veteran jockey, Johnny Charron, who gained the Grand Steeple de Paris final 12 months, gained the Cleeve Hurdle on trials day in January and the previous Military adage, time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted, springs to thoughts.
Gold Tweet, extra of a chaser in France than a hurdler, was very free within the Cleeve however got here via to beat Dashel Drasher, a good performer on comfortable floor, by three lengths. A stronger tempo, which he’s virtually sure to get right here, ought to assist. Hugo Merrienne’s Henri Le Farceur, who Felix de Giles returns residence to trip, seems to have a bit to seek out on scores however will benefit from the comfortable floor.
Paradoxically, Leenders might have scuppered his personal probabilities right here by promoting Teahupoo, with whom he gained a race at Auteuil, simply over two years in the past to Gordon Elliott. Too gradual for final 12 months’s Champion Hurdle, he might have discovered his metier over a visit and, although he didn’t beat rather a lot at Gowran final time, he appeared to remain the journey properly and you might not argue that it was not spectacular.
He seemed an image out with Gordon Elliott’s string of 35 horses within the centre of the course on Wednesday morning from my grandstand seat on Dunboyne, an eight-year-old who ought to go properly for Elliott within the Kim Muir. The wetter the higher for Teahupoo, so he seems to be the one Gold Tweet has to beat. A bit like Teahupoo, Shishkin seemed a brand new horse when Nicky Henderson stepped him as much as 2½ miles at Ascot.
Final 12 months he had a tough race at Ascot in opposition to Energumene, bombed out after a mile within the Champion Chase, couldn’t go the tempo within the Tingle Creek, after which he wanted a wind operation. If his win within the Ascot Chase felt like some kind of redemption, he can full that within the Ryanair Chase, a race which seems to be designed for him. Fury Highway might be his greatest risk however Jamie Snowden’s Ga Regulation is an fascinating each-way shot.
He gained the Paddy Energy Gold Cup right here in November and was coming via to win at Doncaster just lately when falling on the final. Surpassing Cheltenham golden hour on Tuesday when the sheer brilliance of Structure Hill was matched, if not trumped, by the uncooked emotion of Honeysuckle’s victory 40 minutes later, will take some doing, however half of Eire are coming over for the Jack de Bromhead Mares’ Novice Hurdle and may any of his father Henry’s quintet of runners Magical Zoe, Cunning Woman, Belle The Lioness, Nonetheless Ciel or Ladybank win it, the grandstand roof will probably be raised as soon as extra.
On all identified proof they’ve Henderson’s unbeaten Luccia to get previous, however when one thing is written within the stars it doesn’t matter what’s within the type ebook.