Bryan Cooper looks back at his experience at Cheltenham last week.
There were some disappointments along the way but whenever you have two winners at Cheltenham it’s been a good week. And Gigginstown were top owners, too.
I thought Petit Mouchoir ran his race in the Champion Hurdle. We went a nice gallop and he was simply beaten by two good horses.
We were confident Apple’s Jade would improve from Punchestown and we were very hopeful of a big run from her. She proved us right.
Nothing has come to light about Shattered Love’s disappointing run in the Neptune. Perhaps she just wants softer ground and a return to mares’ company.
Alpha Des Obeaux bled again so I guess it is back to the drawing board with him. He was also very free and wound-up before the race. Tombstone didn’t enjoy it, either, and was clearly very disappointing.
Disko ran a cracker though, and just bumped into two smart horses in a good JLT. We have plenty of options with him now.
It all happened a bit too quick for Empire Of Dirt in the Ryanair, and maybe he does simply need a test of stamina these days. But Road To Respect was massively impressive in the 2m5f handicap he won last year and I think that underlines how strong the Irish novice form is this season. I certainly didn’t expect him to win like that.
Barra ran a cracker and simply ran into a better filly and Dinaria Des Obeaux may want winter ground, though she was too keen in the Triumph.
I suppose the one big disappointment of the week was Death Duty in the Albert Bartlett. He was beaten too far out for stamina to have been an issue. With such disappointing runs like that you want something to show up as the reason but nothing has yet.
I could have pulled up Outlander after the first three or four fences in the Gold Cup, as he was struggling to go, even in such a slowly-run race. He is a clearly a lot better than that and perhaps softer ground is the key.
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