Sunday 11 December 2016

O'Regan to guide Rupert

Published 14/12/2011 | 05:00

FOR the first time in his career, Gold Cup aspirant Time For Rupert will have a new jockey at the helm today when he lines up at Newbury.

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Favourite for last season's RSA Chase at Cheltenham -- where he finished fifth -- the seven-year-old has had two outings this campaign.

The first of those came in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, where he finished a respectable second to Weird Al, but since finishing fifth to Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase, William Kennedy has surprsingly found himself 'jocked off.'

Kennedy had ridden the gelding in all of his 16 runs, winning on seven occasions, but trainer Paul Webber has now turned to Denis O'Regan.

Today's Graduation Chase presents O'Regan's new partner with the perfect opportunity to return to the winner's enclosure as Time For Rupert's three rivals look inferior.

If The Giant Bolster can get his jumping together, David Bridgwater's inmate would give the likely favourite something to think about. Only beaten seven lengths by Peddlers Cross at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, the six-year-old ran a cracker to finish seventh in the Hennessy.

On the same card, Alan King gives Montbazon his debut over hurdles. The four-year-old won a bumper at Doncaster last season either side of being beaten by Cheltenian and Steps To Freedom. King was surprised he could manage only third first time out this term in a bumper at Cheltenham, but his string have improved hugely for a run and he looks one to follow.

Irish Independent

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