Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 19th 2016 Contents A42
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, March 19, 2016
California Lad to shine in the eight-
runner three-year-old Maiden Stakes
over an extended mile of Wolverhamp-
ton Tapeta today, which really is a case
of after the Lord Mayor s show given
the magnificence of a truly memorable
Cheltenham Festival fixture that has
dominated this week.
An anti-climax without doubt; there
are only so many top grade performers
which is why the bread and butter fare
is viewed with optimism by serious pun-
ters, trying to get an edge with relatively
Everyone seems to know about the
stars, you can get fed up reading about
all their profiles, now it s time to get
back to normal. California Lad, unluckily
beaten a short-head in a similar race on
Kempton polytrack earlier this month,
has a fitness edge over likely favourite,
and only danger, Tawakkol, trained by
As a consequence of his latest career-
best effort California Lad has been upped
7lbs by the official BHA handicapping
system to 78. Takakkol is rated 80, but
hasn t raced for 250 days.
I ll be surprised if the issue doesn t
rest between them but there are one or
two well-bred sorts from fashionable
yards in opposition. It s a race to monitor
closely, hopefully they all finish behind
California Lad, attempting to make it
fifth time lucky.
Indira and Mallymkun have shown
preference for this faster surface and
represent each-way bets in two aged
There is no doubt this surface is
unique, an advantage if able to cope; if
all declarations go to post in the Fillies
Handicap over seven furlongs Karl Burke s
charge must be placed, by default.
We re continuing to stick with all-
weather racing because jumps are still
a guessing game with dodgy ground.
Incidentally, and believe this, Chel-
tenham was watered on the final two
day. I ll bet Madness were playing!
All eyes on
Gordon Elliott s Don Cossack roared
to victory in the Timico Cheltenham
Gold Cup under a jubilant Bryan Coop-
er as Cue Card fell three out.
Ten years on from War Of Attrition s
success in the race, owners Gigginstown
House Stud were in the winners enclo-
sure again, just days after their rising
star No More Heroes was put down fol-
lowing the RSA Chase.
Criticised for his ride on Don Cossack
when third in the Ryanair Chase last
year, Cooper chose this horse over Don
Poli, also owned by Gigginstown, who
ran on for third behind Djakadam.
And the rider timed his challenge to
perfection, taking up the running from
Djakadam on the turn for home, the pair
winging the final two obstacles on the
way to a four and a half length success.
Cue Card was on track for a
£1,000,000 bonus following his victories
in the Betfair Chase and King George
this season, but he fell three out when
just about to take the lead under Paddy
Brennan had held his mount up in
mid-division in the early stages as Smad
Place and O Faolains Boy took up the
running, but Cue Card wasn t perfect
in the jumping department and made
several minor mistakes.
Don Cossack and Djakadam were
much smoother over their obstacles and
the race turned into a match when Cue
Card departed, leaving the front two to
fight out the finish.
And it was the 9-4 favourite Don Cos-
sack who proved the stronger up the
hill, galloping on relentlessly in front of
a joyous crowd who roared the well-
backed jolly home.
Bryan Cooper said: "Fair play to Gor-
don, he stuck by me, I had the hardest
decision (riding Don Cossack rather than
Don Poli) and he had him right for today.
He never missed a beat."
Winning jockey Cooper, who burst
on to the scene riding for the late Dessie
Hughes, said: "Fair play to Gordon, he
stuck by me, I had the hardest decision
(riding Don Cossack rather than Don
Poli) and he had him right for today. He
never missed a beat.
"It was a hard decision to make, but
there s a man up there looking out for
me, Dessie Hughes."
A tearful Elliott, who won the Grand
National in 2007 with Silver Birch, said:
"I m delighted for Gigginstown because
they ve supported me since I started. It
takes a lot for me to start crying, I can t
believe it. I ve never been so nervous in
my life, I m just so happy for everyone---
all the staff, my mother and father, every-
Don Cossack strikes gold
2.45 CALIFORNIA LAD;
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