Friday 23 February 2018

Bryan Cooper outlines his three best chances for the Cheltenham festival

Jockey Bryan Cooper. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Jockey Bryan Cooper. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE Newsdesk Newsdesk

Bryan Cooper has highlighted Petit Mouchoir, Apple's Jade and Death Duty as three of his best chances at the Cheltenham Festival.

Cooper already has a fine Cheltenham record, with three wins at the 2013 meeting headlined by the astonishing Triumph Hurdle win of Our Conor for the late Dessie Hughes.

Cooper topped that by winning last year's Gold Cup on Don Cossack and he is eyeing more success in just over two weeks.

"I've a nice bunch going, hopefully I get there in one piece," he told At The Races.

"The likes of Petit Mouchoir (Champion Hurdle), Apple's Jade (Mares' Hurdle) and Death Duty (Albert Bartlett), they are nice horses to be looking forward to."

Apple's Jade appeared to have no excuses when beaten last week by Willie Mullins' Limini, but Cooper expects her to improve from that.

"It was a messy race, she was a bit gassy early and brave at a few of her hurdles," said Cooper.

"Limini is no bad mare, take out her Punchestown run and she was entitled to win.

"All our mare can do is improve. She had a nice break after winning the Hatton's Grace and I think the run will bring her on a lot and we can look forward to Cheltenham."

Gordon Elliott's Death Duty is unbeaten in four hurdles outings this term and Cooper is understandably keen to get back on him.

"I sit on him most days I go to Gordon's and I'm looking forward to getting my leg back over him, he's one of the ones I'm looking forward to," he said.

"He's not slow, he's been winning over two-and-a-half (miles), but he has the look of a three-miler.

"He's got a lot of class and out of what we've seen so far, he looks to be one of the classier ones heading for it.""It's like us hosting other Unions at the snack bars under the stands at the Stade de France".

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