Belfast Telegraph

Lord Windermere has enough class to strike Gold

by robert fenton

EIGHT winners of the Hennessey Gold Cup, the second biggest handicap of the jumps season after the Grand National, have gone on to strike Cheltenham gold.

The last of those was, of course, Ulster-bred Bobs Worth 12 months ago, but despite tomorrow's Newbury race being a cracking and competitive renewal, it's unlikely the victor will be celebrating big time at the Festival in March.

The winner of the Cheltenham RSA Chase the previous March is a solid form pointer to the Hennessey, Bobs Worth (2012), Denman (2007) and Trabolgan two years earlier, each having done the double.

So step up Lord Windermere who has an excellent chance of following in distinguished hoof-prints.

He has however a bogey to overcome as no Irish-trained horse has triumphed since Bright Highway back in 1980.

But that hasn't deterred trainer Jim Culloty from adopting a bullish approach.

He has laid out Windermere for this and, even on his seasonal debut, he can lord it over his rivals at 12/1.

"He did a brilliant piece of work at the Curragh last week and is as fit as you could expect for a horse first time out. He's also jumped brilliantly and it's all systems go," said Culloty, best remembered for his three Gold Cup victories on Best Mate.

Tony McCoy (left) rides My Tent Or Yours in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and at 8/11 he's a penalty-kick. My Tent Or Yours should be doubled with Jezki, a winner for McCoy at the Down Royal Festival earlier this month and the one to beat in Sunday's Hatton Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Jezki missed the Morgiana Hurdle and a clash with Ulster-owned Hurricane Fly to wait for this race and must not be missed.

Belfast Telegraph


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