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Elliott Warns Against Backing Don Cossack for Champion Bumper

Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has issued a clear warning to punters planning to back his Don Cossack, (currently the ante-post favourite with a number of firms for the Cheltenham Festival Bumper in mid-March) that he is most unlikely to allow the horse to take his chance in the feature contest and it is quite possible he may not run again this season, writes Elliot Slater.

Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott

Don Cossack sprang to the head of the market after recording an impressive success at Navan in December in landing the prestigious Grade 2 Irish Form Book ‘Future Champions’ Bumper, defeating Rory O’Moore in sensational fashion, the eventual runner-up having slipped the field at halfway and been more than a furlong clear. Only Don Cossack was able to bridge the gap, the Nina Carberry-ridden gelding eventually staying on particularly strongly to get up in the last 50 yards to break the hearts of those that had backed the long-time leader at massive odds. People looking at the latest Cheltenham odds will have been impressed.

That visually very impressive success catapulted Don Cossack to favouritism for the Cheltenham Bumper even though Elliott mentioned in his post-race interview that he didn’t really think the race was an option for his charge, who he describes as a big type who should strengthen up and make into a fine performer over hurdles and eventually fences. The Gigginstown Stud-owned son of Sholokhov ran just once last term when finishing fifth of 24 to the decent King Vuvuzuela at Punchestown in May then was sent out to grass to strengthen up through the summer. Fans of Betfair Cheltenham antepost betting should bear this in mind.

Returning at Naas at the end of October the five-year-old could hardly have been more impressive in romping home by 18-lengths from Carrig Millie, immediately going into the notebook of many a seasoned observer as a horse to follow until beaten.

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