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Rich Ricci Set For More Cheltenham Success In 2017?
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the standout racing events of the year; a fantastic four-day celebration of the best National Hunt thoroughbreds in the business that culminates in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – arguably the biggest race in the sport.
In recent years, the Riccis have linked up with champion trainer Willie Mullins and famous jockey Ruby Walsh to dominate the opening day’s racing and it is hard to see that particular trend changing in 2017. Despite losing the incredible Vautour to a freak accident in training, Rich and Susannah Ricci could be set for plenty of success at the Festival once again – they are fortunate enough to own so many talented horses.
|Irish thoroughbred racehorse Annie Power
Douvan | Annie Power And Faugheen | Camelia de Cotte
There are no dead certs at Cheltenham but Douvan in the Queen Mother Champion Chase is as good as If he jumps round, he wins – it is as simple as that. Since joining the Mullins yard, Douvan has won all 12 of his races; including eight Group One triumphs.
Nicky Henderson has entered 2016 Supreme Novice winner Altior but he is likely to go for the Arkle and that leaves Douvan in a class of his own for the Champion Chase and a third Festival victory in as many years.
Annie Power AND Faugheen
It looks like punters will be forced to choose between the two Ricci runners in the Champion Hurdle – and that could be THE race of the week if they are paired up against each other. In 2015, Faugheen romped home to win the Champion Hurdle but missed out through injury in 2016.
Twelve months after falling at the final fence in the Mares Hurdle, ‘super sub’ Annie Power held on to claim a second successive Champion Hurdle win for the Riccis. Keep an eye out for both horses at the declaration stage...
Camelia de Cotte
The Mares’ Novice Hurdle doesn’t usually make the front pages of the Racing Post, but this year’s event looks very competitive on paper. Camelia de Cotte is an interesting prospect and she won comfortably under Ruby Walsh on her first start for Mullins at Tramore back in December.
At 8/1 with Betway, she is easy enough to back and will shorten if the Ricci horses perform as expected on the opening day of the festival. She is far from the complete package, but the potential is there and Mullins will have her raring to go in March.
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