Thursday 29 September 2016

Trust Djakadam to confirm Gold Cup superiority

Published 29/04/2015 | 02:30

Djakadam, with Ruby Walsh up, jumps the last on their way to winning the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase, in January this year (Spotsfile)
Djakadam, with Ruby Walsh up, jumps the last on their way to winning the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase, in January this year (Spotsfile)

Djakadam can confirm his Cheltenham superiority over Road To Riches in the Bibby Financial Services Gold Cup at Punchestown tonight.

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They had hard races last month, but Road To Riches possibly had the most punishing time of it given that he would have been more inconvenienced by the soft ground. Djakadam didn't get put into the race until late on.

Ruby Walsh brought him through from behind and he was doing his best work at the finish, so the race might not have taken so much of a toll on him. If that is the case, Djakadam could prove very hard to beat.

Gold Cup form is usually the best form, and we've seen On His Own and Many Clouds come out and frank it already. Djakadam hasn't had a hard season so I'd be surprised if there isn't a bit more to come from him.

Gordon Elliott runs Don Cossack in the three-miler. He is a good horse but he still has it to prove over this trip, and it is only 19 days since he won at Aintree, so it would require a mammoth effort for him to collect again.

Shaneshill also looks hard to oppose for Walsh and Willie Mullins in the Grade One novices' hurdle.

He should still be quite fresh as he is another that has had a light campaign, and I think he wants this three-mile trip.

Gordon has No More Heroes in this. He got squeezed when he was trying to challenge at Cheltenham, so he was a bit unlucky.

However, he strikes me as a slightly slower horse that won't come into his own until he goes chasing next season. Thistlecrack is another that won at Aintree, and that quick turnaround is not easy to master.

Noel Meade saddles Disko in the Champion Bumper. He is a horse that always showed us a lot at home, so we weren't surprised to see him win in the manner that he did here in February.

I'd fancy him to take a bit of beating under Nina Carberry, because he receives the four-year-old weight allowance as well. Charbel is the only other that receives that allowance so he is another with a life.

In the other bumper, David Pipe's Champers On Ice is highly regarded, to the point that he is nap material under Jamie Codd. I also like Gold Bullet in the handicap chase.

He was well fancied at Cheltenham but didn't stay, and he dropped back to this trip to win at Clonmel. Paul Townend is riding brilliantly so it is a partnership with a lot of positives here.

Condon's Call

3.40 Oscar Knight

4.20 Marchese Marconi

4.55 Shaneshill

5.30 Djakadam

6.05 Disko

6.40 Gold Bullet

7.15 Champers On Ice (nap)

Irish Independent

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