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Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016 latest - Davy Russell set for Don Cossack ride?

Jon Wilde in Fri. 17th March 29 Feb 2016
  • Who will ride Don Cossack and Don Poli in the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup?
  • Get the latest on potential jockey arrangements here
Davy Russell riding Don Cossack (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Davy Russell could be set to ride ante-post favourite Don Cossack in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday March 18 after partnering Gordon Elliott’s gelding in the traditional post-racing gallops at Leopardstown.

Owners Gigginstown House Stud have plenty of big guns for the blue riband event of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, which means their retained jockey Bryan Cooper will have a decision to make about which horse to ride.

Cooper partnered Gigginstown-owned Don Poli as he schooled with Willie Mullins-trained stablemates Vautour (Ruby Walsh), Pont Alexandre and Ballycasey.

Cooper was later on RSA Chase contender No More Heroes for Elliott as he jumped in company with King George VI Chase faller Don Cossack, ridden by Russell.

Elliott said:
“The two of them were very good. I couldn't be happier. Davy said he (Don Cossack) could have gone round again. I thought the two of them worked very well. 
“Davy sat on him there, Bryan has to make a decision on which one he will ride. I would have no problem with Davy riding him.”

Russell, who won the Gold Cup on Lord Windermere in 2014, said: “He went well and jumped great."

Asked if he would like to ride Don Cossack him in the Gold Cup, he said:
“I'd be delighted to ride any horse.”

Mullins said of his quartet:
“Vautour made a mistake at the first fence, I think he was just idling, but they all went well. 
“They jumped eight fences and went about a mile and a quarter. It was just to get their eye in and have a day out rather than serious work, it wasn't a trial or anything. It was also for the riders to get a feel of them. 
“Don Poli is a very lazy horse and takes every bit of work we can give him. He and Pont Alexandre were upsides in behind and Ballycasey led Vautour. 
 “As they said in the election, there's lots done, more to do.”

Also in action at Leopardstown was JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Ivanovich Gorbatov from the Aidan O'Brien yard.

The Montjeu gelding went round with a lead horse under Barry Geraghty, and Joseph O'Brien said: 
"I'm very happy with him and Barry seemed very happy with him. We weren't going to learn anything more but it was a nice day away.”


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Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016 latest - Davy Russell set for Don Cossack ride?

Davy Russell could be set to ride ante-post favourite Don Cossack in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday March 18 after partnering Gordon Elliott’s gelding in the traditional post-racing gallops at Leopardstown.

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