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O’Regan is targeting a Gold Cup place
11:56am Friday 15th March 2013 in Sport
JOCKEY Denis O’Regan will be “delighted” if Cape Tribulation can run into a place in today’s Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
Trained by Malcolm Jefferson at Norton, the nine-yearold will bid to become the first North Yorkshire winner of the showpiece of the fourday meeting since Jodami was triumphant for Brandsby- based Peter Beaumont 20 years ago.
O’Regan, who has landed the ride on Cape Tribulation, the winner of the Pertemps Final Hurdle at last year’s Festival, is optimistic about his fantastic jumper.
The pair were last seen beating 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander by half a length in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham at the end of January and Cape Tribulation, who also won the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day last year, continues to improve over fences.
“Realistically, he’s got a good each way chance,” said O’Regan.
“He won the Pertemps Final last year and he beat a race fit Imperial Commander (in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January) when he collared him late on.
“His jumping is fantastic and he has improved as a nine-year-old but I couldn’t sit here and say he is going to win the Gold Cup.
“I would be delighted if he was placed. The extra two furlongs will help and the ground will help as well.”
Jefferson’s Norton colleague Brian Ellison believes Viva Colonia has a “massive chance” in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase - the race which will conclude the four day festival.
The eight-year-old has won two chases since joining Ellison from David O’Meara’s Nawton yard and had also been entered in Tuesday’s Arkle, won by Simonsig.
“I don’t know if that was a good choice now the way the Arkle was run,” joked Ellison of the decision not to run in that race. “He’s got a massive chance. He’s in the handicap proper and has 10st 11lb so he has a chance.”
Ellison also has Cape Explorer in today’s opening race, the JCB Triumph Hurdle – a contest which has significant North Yorkshire interest with Kashmir Peak and Hidden Justice also running for Highfield trainer John Quinn.
On Cape Explorer, Ellison added: “I think he is a good horse. It’s more about the ground.
“He really needs fast ground in that kind of class but he will run well.
“It’s was a bit on the dead side they said (on Wednesday) but hopefully there will be no rain and it will dry up.”
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