Racing: The Golden question: can Best Mate be bettered?

Beef Or Salmon

BEEF OR SALMON

Age: 8 (30 April 1996).

Sire: Cajetano. Dam: Farinella.

Connections: Brian Craig (owner); Michael Hourigan, Co Limerick (trainer); Timmy Murphy (jockey).

Record: 22 runs, 11 wins, 7 places.

At Cheltenham: Fell at third fence in last year's Gold Cup.

Grade One wins: 4 (2 x Ericsson Chase, Leopardstown; John Durkan Memorial, Punchestown; Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, Leopardstown).

Falls: 2. Earnings: £258,466.

Best performance: Jumped well to beat Tiutchev, subsequently runner-up in the King George, over two-and-a-half miles in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown last December.

The trainer says: "The horse has been responding well to physio for his muscle problem, and I'm very happy."

Odds: 12-1.

KEEN LEADER

Age: 8 (10 April 1996).

Sire: Supreme Leader. Dam: Keen Gale.

Connections: Adair Catherwood (owner); Jonjo O'Neill, Gloucestershire (trainer); Barry Geraghty (jockey).

Record: 13 runs, 8 wins, 1 place.

At Cheltenham: Leading 2002 Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle when fell two out; fell Novices' Chase November 2002; fifth as favourite for last year's Royal & SunAlliance Chase.

Grade One wins: None. Falls: 2 (+1 un). Earnings: £127,016.

Best performance: Beat last year's Gold Cup runner-up Truckers Tavern 17 lengths in Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock in December, jumping well.

The trainer says: "Another two furlongs at Newbury and he would have won. People forget that and his win at Haydock. He has a blinding chance."

Odds: 12-1.

FIRST GOLD

Age: 11 (6 March 1993).

Sire: Shafoun. Dam: Nuit d'Or II.

Connections: J P McManus (owner); François Doumen, Gouvieux, France (trainer); Thierry Doumen (jockey).

Record: 31 races, 11 wins, 12 places.

At Cheltenham: Pulled up in last year's Gold Cup.

Grade One wins: 4 (Grand Steeplechase de Paris, Auteuil; Prix la Haye Jousselin, Auteuil; King George VI Chase, Kempton; Heineken Gold Cup, Punchestown).

Falls: 2 (+ 1 un). Earnings: £774,250.

Best performance: Trounced Florida Pearl by 10 lengths in the 2000 King George as a seven-year-old.

The trainer says: "He may be forgotten by some as a Gold Cup hope but not by me. He was still on the comeback trail when third in the King George, as his prep run in a hurdle had gone all wrong."

Odds: 20-1.

THEREALBANDIT

Age: 7 (28 April 1997).

Sire: Torus. Dam: Sunrise Highway VII.

Connections: David Johnson (owner); Martin Pipe, Devon (trainer); Tony McCoy (jockey).

Record: 12 races, 7 wins, 2 places.

Cheltenham form: Won four this season, and fell when travelling well behind Jair Du Cochet in Pillar Chase.

Grade One wins: None. Falls: 1.

Earnings: £69,840.

Best performance: Beat very useful Rosslea by eight lengths, eased down, in a novices' chase over the Gold Cup distance at Cheltenham in December.

The trainer says: "I don't think Best Mate can be beaten. But in sport youngsters come along from time to time and do it."

Odds: 10-1.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable