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The Giant Bolster - Cheltenham 25.1.14

The Giant Bolster: showing the right signs in his Hennessy build-up

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Bridgwater has high hopes for Giant Bolster

DAVID BRIDGWATER believes The Giant Bolster is capable of outrunning his huge odds in Saturday’s Hennessy Gold Cup, although the trainer readily admitted market positive Bobs Worth looks a danger to all.


The Giant Bolster, placed in the 2012 and 2014 runnings of the Cheltenham Gold Cup but winless since January 2014, was pulled up in the festival showpiece in March before suffering a heavy fall at Punchestown the following month.

Bridgwater feels there are no lasting scars and his stable star, who is as big as 40-1 for the Hennessy, has been showing the right signs in the build up to his early-season target.

"The Giant Bolster's preparation has gone well - he came in earlier from his summer break and is in really good order with himself," said the trainer on Thursday.

"I don't think he was particularly right last season. Punchestown hasn't affected him - I just think it was one of those tired falls.

"We have left the headgear off on Saturday just to do something different and I’m hoping for an encouraging run.

"Tom Scudamore came into school The Giant Bolster this morning and, Tom will tell you himself, it was the best the horse has jumped since we can't remember when.

"I see the likes of Bobs Worth and Smad Place are well fancied and if you fancy them you have got to fancy us because on our day, like a few in there, we are a good horse on a decent mark."

Bobs worth a second look

Bridgwater echoed the sentiments of jockey Richard Johnson when suggesting Bobs Worth, who will be ridden by Nico de Boinville, is lurking on a handy mark, some 7lb lower than when landing the Hennessy three years ago.

"I thought Coneygree was a certainty [before being ruled out], although Bobs Worth might be now as he is nearly two-stone well in," he added.

The Nicky Henderson-trained second favourite was cut to 11-2 (from 6) by Coral on Thursday following confirmation of 17 runners, with Saphir Du Rheu, the new topweight in the absence of Coneygree, a best-priced 4-1 favourite.

If In Doubt (8-1 from 10) and Ned Stark (12 from 16) were also in demand on Thursday.

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