Ahoy Senor "storming" up the gallops ahead of 2023 Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup – The Mirror

Lucinda Russell’s staying chaser is 14-1 with the bookmakers for the feature race at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival with the big meeting getting underway on March 14
Lucinda Russell feels Ahoy Senor is peaking at the right time to take his place in a "very open" Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The smart chaser, 14-1 for the Boodles-backed Festival highlight, came through his final serious piece of work with flying colours on Tuesday.
Russell has been thrilled with the condition of her dual Grade 1 scorer since his career best in the Cotswold Chase. Runner-up Noble Yeats will seek revenge on the return to Prestbury Park, where Ahoy Senor also meets old rival Bravemansgame.
The Kinross raider is double the price of both in several ante-post markets for Cheltenham's most cherished prize. But Russell is keen to take them on again, plus the Willie Mullins-trained favourite Galopin Des Champs, a top price of 15-8 with William Hill.
"It is a very open Gold Cup this year," reasoned the Scottish trainer. "Every horse has questions to answer, even Galopin Des Champs over the distance."
An upside of the controversial whip rules was the presence of sidelined Derek Fox, in the saddle on his big race mount.
"Ahoy Senor was storming off there this morning. Everything is going well with him," Russell added on Tuesday. "He has to improve but we know all the ability is there."
Cheltenham's track missed snowfall which has blanketed much of the UK.
A varying forecast saw bookmakers William Hill cut the odds of the ground being 'soft' at the start of play.
Punters can back the outcome for Tuesday's opening card at 7-4 in the market, after drizzle and sleet prevailed at the Festival venue.
The firm's spokesperson Lee Phelps said: “We kicked off the week with odds of 11-4 for the going to be Soft for the Supreme (first race), but that price has long gone.
“Most will still be expecting Prestbury Park to be Good to Soft on Tuesday, but that’s on the drift from 2-5 to 8-13, and heavy ground, which is into 12-1 from 20-1, isn’t out of the equation.”
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