Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Cracking Race in Prospect

It's a shame there's no Best Mate or Kicking King, but tomorrow's Cheltenham Gold Cup still promises to be a cracker. My two against the field are Kingscliff and Royal Auclair (each-way). I know Kingscliff is a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde figure, but if the good doctor turns up, this classy dual course and distance winner must have a major shout. He 's won both his races at Cheltenham (including an impressive win in the 2003 Foxhunters) on good ground- and its likely to be that again tomorrow. Royal Auclair just got beaten a short-head in fourth in last-year's renewal and provided the ground doesn't deteriorate must have a good chance of making the frame: he too has won over course and distance. If the rain does come and the going changes to good to soft- then last year's Grand National winner Hedgehunter would come into the equation.
Plenty of the 24 runners go with chances and it should be a thriller. If you can't get to Cheltenham, make sure you're not too far away from a tv set at 3.15 tomorrow. Readers from outside the UK can listen in on www.sportinglife.com or on the BBC World Service.

UPDATE: Unfortunately Mr Hyde turned up and Kingscliff never got into the race. Royal Auclair was also disappointing, though I must say he didn't look too good in the paddock beforehand (too many hard races catchnig up with him?). Hedgehunter ran a blinder on ground that was plenty fast for him and ran a fantastic Grand National trial, but there's no knocking the winner. War of Attrition. An appropriately named winner really considering the battle we're involved in against the NWO.....

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