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Bryan Cooper: Sizing Granite is my Cheltenham pick today


Bryan Cooper: Sizing Granite is my Cheltenham pick today

Bryan Cooper: Sizing Granite is my Cheltenham pick today

I should know more about my return to the saddle when I go back to the doctors next Tuesday.

I started riding out on Thursday and have kept myself very fit and, as with Sam Twiston-Davies and Jack Kennedy, it is now simply a matter of time and waiting for the all-clear.

It’s disappointing to be missing out again this weekend as there is high-class racing both in Britain and at home. I see More Of That is well-fancied in the big 2m5f handicap chase at Cheltenham, but I would have some doubts myself.

We know he is the class horse of the race but I’d be worried whether he will be quick enough for the early hustle and bustle over this trip in a competitive handicap. He can race quite lazily and in the RSA he was on and off the bridle a lot  – I rode No More Heroes in the race, so I got a first-hand view – and he will need to travel a bit better if he is to win this race.

This race is wide open and you have to respect Frodon, who looked very good at Wincanton and his trainer Paul Nicholls has a good record in the race.  Paul has a strong hand with four runners but I would like Frodon the most of his; Harry Cobden is worth every penny of his 3lb claim.

The one I like at a price though is Sizing Granite. He has obviously switched stables now, having been with Colm Murphy and Henry de Bromhead in Ireland, but if he comes back to his Grade 1-winning best then he has definite chances. The trip is the question mark but I think he will appreciate the step up in distance myself.

At Naas, I have won on Missy Tata before, and finished fourth in a Fred Winter on her, and she goes in the Grade 3 hurdle at 1pm. But I can’t see her beating Koshari myself.

He beat me on Bella Conti at Punchestown in April, where I thought I had him, as he was racing very green. But he got the better of me in a manner which suggests that he could develop into a very smart horse this season.

In the Beginners’ Chase at 1.35pm, Gigginstown run three. I think the 2m3f trip is on the short side for Prince Of Scars, though he is the class horse of the race and the recent rain will have been in his favour. He is the obvious favourite but I do give General Principle a shout at a much bigger price.

I have schooled both at home and they jump very well. A bumper winner, General Principle didn’t run over hurdles until February of this year but he won well over 2m at Navan then,  and had three quick runs in a short period.

He is a lightly-raced horse with a lot of improvement in him, and I can see him developing into a very smart novice chaser this season. I like him.

We run Wishmoor in the maiden hurdle at 2.10pm and he has joined Mouse from Willie’s with a big reputation. He won his bumper in June and they think he is smart.

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