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Cheltenham - Racing: Aye Right aimed at Gold Cup

Aye Right may be an oustsider for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday week but that has not put connections off a tilt at the big pot instead of another crack in the Ultima Handicap Chase in which he was third a year ago.

The nine-year-old, who is 200/1 to win the feature race, will be making his third straight appearance at the Festival as he also finished fifth in the RSA Case in 2020 and is set to reoppose Chantry House behind whom he finished third at the track in January.

Now jointly trained by Harriet Graham and Gary Rutherford, Aye Right posted his most notable performance of the current campaign for the Scottish stable when landing the Listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in November.

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Graham explains Gold Cup call

That form was subsequently boosted when runner-up Good Boy Bobby won the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby and Aye Right was subsequently far from disgraced when taking the minor honours in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase.  

Harriet Graham said: "Aye Right is still set to go to Cheltenham, but most likely for the Gold Cup. I know on paper the Ultima looks easier, but even if Frodon was to run he'd be carrying a lot of weight regardless. The owners are keen to run in the Gold Cup and that's what we'll go for. We actually think the new course (which the race is run on) suits him better."

She added: "He's going to do a bit of work at Kelso after racing on Saturday in his final bit of prep work but that's the plan. We'll then keep him safe and sound. When you've got one precious horse you want to get to Cheltenham, it's a little bit more scary as you have no back-up plan."

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