Bryan Cooper Keeping His Fingers Crossed For Cheltenham

12 months after a famous Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph on Don Cossack, Kerry jockey Bryan Cooper is keeping his fingers crossed for the 2017 Cheltenham Festival after an injury plagued season.

Cooper is retained by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House stud and having just returned from yet another lengthy injury setback can look forward to some mouthwatering rides.

First, though, there’s a fortnight to negotiate……………

The Ground at Cheltenham is described as ‘Good to soft and Good in Places on the Cross Country Course with just over a fortnight to the start of The Festival.

Simon Claisse, Director of Racing at the track has updated the latest conditions and confirmed an unsettled forecast as the countdown to the big meeting gets ever closer.

He spoke to Mike Vince…………

Thistlecrack has been officially withdrawn from the field for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The nine-year-old had been the favourite for the race before suffering a tendon injury.

Trainer Colin Tizzard revealed that yesterday’s “second scan came back exactly the same as the first” and that he hopes to have the King George winner back in action by Christmas.

Gigginstown have officially removed their top three rated horses for the Aintree Grand National.

The O’ Leary’s won’t be running Don Poli, Empire Of Dirt or Outlander in the race as their dispute with British senior handicapper Phil Smith rumbles on.

Smith has released a statement rejecting any claims of an ‘anti-Irish bias’ and insists that handicapping remains ‘subjective’.

Carlingford Lough is now set to carry top weight.