Thirty-nine still engaged for Gold Cup

Thirty-nine horses remain in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup after the latest forfeit stage.

All the leading fancies for the blue riband have stood their ground, including Beef Or Salmon, Monkerhostin, Celestial Gold, Kingscliff, Our Vic, Sir Rembrandt, Take The Stand and War Of Attrition.

Twenty-five were taken out including Fondmort, Fundamentalist, Neptunes Collonges, Silver Birch and The Listener.

Twenty-three horses remain in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle, which is headed by Hardy Eustace, who is bidding to win the race for the third successive year.

However, strong competition is likely to come from Al Eile, Arcalis, Brave Inca, Faasel and Mac’s Joy.

The race title has changed slightly following the merger of the Jefferson Smurfit Group and Kappa Packaging.

The Jefferson Smurfit Group first backed the Champion Hurdle in 1991 and memorable winners, include three-time scorer Istabraq.

There are 20 still in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, with Moscow Flyer seeking his third success in the two-mile championship contest.

Thirty-six go forward for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle while 39 hopefuls remain in the Ryanair Chase.

A very strong renewal of the Royal & SunAlliance Chase is in prospect with a huge 57 acceptors going forward.

The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy looks set for a high-class field with 40 remaining.

Accordion Etoile, Foreman, Justified, Monet’s Garden, Voy Por Ustedes and Don’t Be Shy are still engaged.

Two of the best novices of the season – Racing Demon and Missed That – are in both races.

Competitive fields seem certain for the four championship novice hurdles, with 61 remaining in the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, 82 in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle, 75 in the JCB Triumph Hurdle, and 74 in the Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle.

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