Saturday 18 November 2017

Culloty looking to Lord it again

Lord Windermere
Lord Windermere

Jim Culloty was encouraged by Lord Windermere's performance in the Irish Hennessy and feels the defending champion will head to the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup with solid claims.

Culloty holds an enviable record of having won with every horse he has sent to the Cheltenham Festival with Lord Windermere claiming the RSA two seasons ago on his first trip to the meeting and Spring Heeled landing the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase last year.

Having also won the Gold Cup three times on Best Mate, Culloty's name is indelibly linked to the Festival and he believes if Lord Windermere is successful again, he could "nearly call himself a horseman."

Culloty told the BBC website: "He is a hold-up horse and at Leopardstown at Christmas the ground was bottomless, which he struggled with a bit, and the race just didn't work, but the horse came out of it well and I wasn't overly disappointed.

"Last time, we went into the race with different tactics - we wanted to be involved in the race a bit more - and I said to Davy (Russell), if he can be upsides in front between the last two, then may the best man win.

"He probably got to the front slightly sooner than that but he jumped himself there.

"I think it was very encouraging, and it's an open Gold Cup on a track where he comes alive, so all being well we're hoping for a good solid run, but to win again would be amazing.

"Henrietta Knight, a consummate horsewoman, won three with Best Mate - if I won two I could nearly call myself a horseman."

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