It can only be onwards and upwards now for Bryan Cooper

Good days and bad days at Cheltenham. 

It can only be onwards and upwards now for Bryan Cooper

Good Day

Bryan Cooper

He often looks and sounds as though he carries the worries of the world on his young shoulders.

Thrust into prominence with a treble at Cheltenham when still a teenager, he came back from a horrible femur break and was soon in the hot seat as Gigginstown’s first jockey.

The intensity of scrutiny increased dramatically with every mistake seemed be analysed and criticised forensically.

Yesterday it all came together beautifully and all the questions were answered.

Right choice in Don Cossack, perfectly judged race and bravely ridden It can only be onwards and upwards from here.

Victoria Pendleton

Okay, so the hype surrounding Victoria Pendleton’s bid to add a Cheltenham finish to her two Olympic gold medals was grating.

The lead up to yesterday’s Foxhunter chase was dominated by her adventure and Channel 4 at times could be confused with Channel Pendleton.

But when the race eventually started she looked neat and tidy over the fences and her mount Pacha Du Polder never even came close to a mistake and ran on through beaten horses to be fifth.

Meanwhile at the business end Nina Carberry, the outstanding woman amateur of her generation was showing again how it should really be done. Wonder if she can cycle a bike?

Bad Day

Cue Card

Coming to the third last fence in the Gold Cup it looked extremely likely that Cue Card had a fine chance of winning.

If he’d added this to the Betfair and King George Chases he’d won earlier in the season connections would have picked up a £1 million bonus.

Paddy Brennan had sneaked him into a narrow lead, but disaster followed, he didn’t take off and in seconds both the bonus and the horse were buried in the Gloucestershire turf.

Trainer Colin Tizzard was phlegmatic.

“He is absolutely fine, he’s walked away as though he hasn’t got care in the world and hardly blowing. There are worse things that have happened.”

Willie Mullins (kind of...)

A bad day for Willie Mullins usually equates to a great day for everybody else.

He has enjoyed another remarkable week saddling seven winners and yesterday he had many placed horses without actually winning.

However, it must be a source of mystery to him that he has yet to train a Gold Cup winner and he hit both posts yesterday when Djakadam and Don Poli were second and third to Don Cossack.

The upcoming and predictable discussions on what might have been had Vautour been allowed take his place won’t take be as annoying as yet another year without the bluest of blue riband titles.

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