Cheltenham Festival 2024: Harry Cobden backs Bravemansgame as the best British Gold Cup hopeful | Racing News

Cheltenham Festival 2024: Harry Cobden backs Bravemansgame as the best British Gold Cup hopeful | Racing News

Harry Cobden still deems Bravemansgame to be the best British hope for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, despite defeat in December’s King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Despite being beaten in dramatic fashion by Hewick on Boxing Day, Cobden believes Paul Nicholls’ star has the capability to stay the three mile distance.

Speaking to Sky Sports Racing at Doncaster, Cobden said: “People say he doesn’t stay three and a quarter miles, I disagree, I think he does stay. I went through that King George the other day and it was only 30 days after the race at Haydock. Everyone always says he’s always good fresh.

Fine margins at Kempton

“Nico sort of strides on and you can’t let Shishkin go 10 lengths in front of you, can you? I’ve tried to stick with him, and we upped the ante.”

Shishkin, under the guidance of Nico de Boinville, stumbled on landing after the penultimate fence.

Cobden explained: “Shishkin comes down to the second last and stumbles out the back of it. I run into the back of him and think it’s cost me two or three lengths just because I’ve nearly fallen off him and missed a stride and a half. Bravemansgame had to get going again.

“I thought going to the last, right, we’ll beat Allaho and win the King George and then subsequently old Hewick has come over the top and beaten the lot of us. I’m not sure if he’s picked up or whatever but I think we’ve got slower, and he’s kept going at the same speed.”

Bravemansgame was next in situ at the time of Shishkin’s mishap and was arguably best placed to challenge the leader to the finish.

A Gold Cup hopeful?

Cobden added: “I took my lad out of the race chasing Shishkin and trying to stay with him and then we’ve ended up walking from the back of the last. He’s still a good horse and if you take Willie Mullins’ horse that won the Gold Cup out of the race last year then he’s absolutely bolted up hasn’t he?

“I see he’s 20/1 for a Gold Cup now, I think he’s a massive price for that. Paul’s going to freshen him up, get him back and possibly run him in the Denman Chase before he goes to Cheltenham. I actually think he’s still probably the best three-mile chaser in this country.”

Cobden determined to keep Bowen off Burdett Road

At Doncaster, Cobden was also quizzed on circulating pictures of top jockey James Bowen sat on Triumph Hurdle contender Burdett Road.

Cobden laughed: “It saves me a trip to Newmarket, doesn’t it? I spoke to James Owen yesterday and he said the horse is in good form. James rides a few so he thought he’d have a sit on it, but I’ll make sure he doesn’t ride it.”

Burdett Road is currently favourite for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, with odds currently around the 11/2 mark.

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