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Ahoy Senor puts himself in Cheltenham Gold Cup mix

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Ahoy Senor was one of the big winners on Trials Day at Cheltenham as he was victorious in the Cotswold Chase. The staying chase race is one of the trials for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, and he prevailed in impressive style.

The Grade One-winning novice chaser bounced back to his best for his first success of the season in the 3m1½f contest. He defeated a strong field that included Protektorat, Noble Yeats and Sounds Russian.

The eight-year-old chaser now has Paddy Power Cheltenham odds of 10/1 for the Blue Riband event of the meeting. He is fifth best in the betting for the race at the same racecourse as his Cotswold Chase victory.

After beating some of his Gold Cup rivals in the trial for the Gold Cup, Ahoy Senor is likely to be one of the tips for Cheltenham races this year. Lucinda Russell’s runner stayed on better than the rest of the field up the hill at Prestbury Park. It was just his second appearance at the course, as he finished second in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Festival last March.

Lucinda Russell Now with Major Gold Cup Contender

Scottish-based trainer Lucinda Russell was successful in the Randox Health Grand National in 2017 when One for Arthur won the world’s most famous steeplechase. That remains the biggest victory of her career so far.

Russell, who is assisted by her husband, former National Hunt Champion Jockey Peter Scudamore, has just one Cheltenham Festival winner to her name. Brindisi Breeze won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2012. 

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To go into the biggest meeting on the National Hunt calendar in March with a lively Cheltenham Gold Cup contender is something her whole stable will be excited about. It is also a big boost for Scottish racing, as she has shown that she can compete with the likes of Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and Dan Skelton in the sport.

The Grand National-winning trainer has yet to have a runner in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so Ahoy Senor will end her wait for an entry in the most prestigious race of the Festival should he line up later this season. Russell will be bidding to join a small club of trainers who have won both the Gold Cup and Grand National.

Galopin Des Champs tops Gold Cup betting

Willie Mullins’ star chaser Galopin Des Champ is the warm favourite for this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Irish horse won the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase earlier in the campaign.

The three-time Grade One winning chaser fell at the final fence at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022 in the Turners Novices’ Chase. He was a long way clear of his rivals when making a mistake at the last obstacle.

The seven-year-old is set to showcase his Gold Cup credentials when he lines up next in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival. He is set to face Stattler, Conflated and Kemboy on his latest test on the track.

This year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup takes place on the 17th of March on what is the fourth and final day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

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