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Don is the One

...curb decision powers
Published: 
Thursday, December 24, 2015

Don Cossack has any amount in hand for the eagerly-awaited £250,000 King George VI Chase over three miles of ‘soft’ Kempton on Boxing Day; last year Silviniaco Conti won this highly-prestigious Xmas feature for a second time and is one of nine others declared.

Paul Nicholls’ charge achieved a time-handicap mark that is 10lbs short of that recorded by Don Cossack when routing opposition under Tony McCoy by 26 lengths!

There is every reason to believe this Gordon Elliott-trained Sholokhov gelding is a ‘special’ and destined for a follow-up Cheltenham Gold Cup success next March.

Currently the double would pay 20/1, food for thought, eh? 

In the early ‘sixties’ another Irish-bred/trained gelding dominated the long distance steeplechasing scene, Arkle was indeed the greatest thoroughbred we’ve ever seen on the National Hunt scene. 

It was never possible get odds-against, even when ‘himself’ carried 12st 7lbs in major handicaps!

Don Cossack will be backable; support is bound to come for Cue Card (second in the aforementioned Liverpool race!), Alan King has confirmed unchallenged ‘Hennessy’ hero, Smad Place, and, of course, Vautour is reckoned ‘the business’ by Willie Mullins, but will he stay?

There are questions to be asked (and answered!) before taking on Don Cossack; all are negative, according to form and the TH, and he represents a confident selection.

Is there ‘One’ capable of inflicting another defeat to 2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen in the Christmas Hurdle?

Nigel Twiston-Davies has deliberately exercised a patient, streamlined, policy with The New One, arguably the best he’s ever trained but a disappointment last season.

Expectation was high for the King’s Theatre gelding but he trailed Faugheen eight lengths last March;in October he returned to the fray and scored comfortably over this course and distance.

Nigel is a realist but confident the New One is in tremendous shape; Faugheen, surprisingly, lost an unbeaten record on his debut last month and ‘the machine’ is therefore vulnerable, let’s hope our selection is up to the task.

SELECTIONS

2.45 The New One (e.w)

3.10 Don Cossack

2.35 Canford Crossing (nap)