I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world than at Cheltenham
Gordon Elliott's stable groom Georgie Benson with her final diary update
After all of the recent abandonments because of the snow, the days leading up to Cheltenham are going to be extremely busy for us at Gordon’s with runners all across the weekend, but we wouldn’t have it any other way because it’ll pass the time between now and the festival, that’s for sure.
Some of us were cooped up indoors for long enough during the snow and it feels so good to be back riding out and putting the finishing touches to our festival squad.
I’m lucky to be making the trip with my old favourite Cause Of Causes, many people’s banker of the week Apple’s Jade, Mick Jazz, who I hope has an each-way chance in the Champion Hurdle and Farclas, who really could surprise a few people.
Mick Jazz is first up in the Champion Hurdle. He looks to face a massive task on ratings but he’s actually in the form of his life at home and I can see him running very well. If he managed to finish in the first five or six we’d all be thrilled because he’s such a dude.
Everyone is saying that Apple’s Jade is a certainty in the Mares’ Hurdle but I know racing doesn’t work like that, especially when you’re talking about Grade 1 races at the Cheltenham Festival.
Of course, she does set the standard and the others all have to come up to her level, but you just hope nothing silly happens and she gets to show the world how good she is in winning the race for the second time running. If the real Apple’s turns up, she’ll be very hard to beat.
Poor Cause Of Causes didn’t know what to make of the weather this past week but I’ve no doubt he'll come alive when he gets to Cheltenham. We’ve also got Tiger Roll and Bless The Wings in the race, and while others in the yard are in different camps, I know which horse I’ll be cheering on!
I’m really looking forward to seeing how Farclas performs in the Triumph but I really hope it’s not testing ground because he’s much better on nicer ground. He’s got lots of scope and I think, and hope, we haven’t seen the best of him yet. Gordon’s putting a tongue-tie on him just to try something different.
Apart from the horses I don’t look after each day, I can’t wait to see how the likes of Dounikos, Shattered Love and Felix Desjy perform as they’re the ones for the future and it’d be great if they could take the next step.
Once the first lorry rolls out of Cullentra on Saturday night there’s nothing left to do only hope that all of the horses perform to their best ability and come back safe and sound ready to fight on another day.
It’s going to be a busy week full of highs and lows but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world than at Cheltenham.
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