Caspian Caviar’s Class Act Kylemore Lough to Prevail

Although there has been strong support for Kylemore Lough throughout the week, I still think that he is worth backing at 8/1. In fact, this could well prove to be a stepping stone towards bigger and better things this season for the Kerry Lee trained seven-year-old.

He improved significantly with each run last season, finishing the campaign as one of the season’s top novices. Apart from a third-placed effort on his seasonal debut, he was unbeaten last season, racking up a tally of five straight wins. Undoubtedly, his most impressive display was when he defeated Outlander in the Grade One Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse. Although he jumped alongside the then Willie Mullins trained runner jumping the last, he probably won it with a bit more in hand than the one length winning distance suggests.

Interestingly, it is also worth noting, that in her post-race comments, Kerry Lee, mentioned how his rider that day (Barry Geraghty), thought that he could be just as effective on better ground. That is a massive boast of confidence heading into today’s showpiece as his best form has previously been on a softer surface. That being said, a few drops of rain would be greatly welcomed.

On that note, he strikes me as quite a versatile sort in that he has enough speed for two - two and-a-half miles as well as stamina-laden attributes that should see him stay three miles going forward. As such, he should be perfectly suited to Cheltenham’s stamina-sapping New Course over today’s distance of two miles, four furlongs and 166 yards. He is also quite a likeable type in that he jumps for fun and keeps finding for pressure.

He shaped well on his seasonal debut when finishing second in the Stella Artois 1965 Chase at Ascot last month. Between the last and second last, he looked well held, but testament to his never-say-die attitude, he battled back on the run-in to get within a head of the winner, Royal Regatta. Another couple of yards further and he would have won. Considering that it was his first racecourse appearance in almost eight months, he will surely benefit from that outing.

Even though he is carrying 11st 10lb in a competitive handicap, I expect him to be bang there at the finish. After all, he is the class horse in the race and if he is to compete among the upper echelons this season, he would  need to be competitive off his current mark, 156.

Admittedly, the high probability of less than sixteen runners is far from ideal. For one, Aloomomo’s participation is in jeopardy, given the likelihood of good ground conditions. There are 4/5 millimetres of rain forecasted, but that may not suffice. With that in mind, if possible, try to make sure that your bookmaker is paying 4 places.

Cheltenham - 1:50

Back Kylemore Lough EW @ 8/1 (Look for Bookies paying out 5 places)


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