Past Winners » The Giant Bolster


We are in a good position with (our ante post bet) Houblon Des Obeaux, with the withdrawals of Triolo D’Alene (as expected) and Theatre Guide (unexpected) at declaration stage. We are well ahead of the market, and the fact that there are only seven runners enhances Houblon Des Obeaux’s chances further.

I am afraid of Rocky Creek, he is a worth favourite, but I am happy to be against him at 6/4. Champion Court would be a danger if he stayed, and if Harry Topper can get into a jumping rhythm, he could out-run his odds by a fair way, but the other horse that I am backing this morning is The Giant Bolster.

David Bridgwater’s horse has poor form figures in three runs this season, but there have been excuses. You can forgive him his poor run behind Cue Card on his seasonal debut in a red-hot Betfair Chase, he was still in touch when he unseated on his second run back behind Unioniste at Aintree, and you can forgive any horse a poor run at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day this year, given how attritional the ground was. It is going to be soft today, but it shouldn’t be anything like it was on New Year’s Day.

The Giant Bolster has better form than any horse in the race. He was second in the 2012 Gold Cup and fourth in last year’s Gold Cup, over more or less today’s course and distance. On top of that, the conditions of today’s race are such that he receives weight from all his rivals, despite the fact that he is the joint second-highest rated horse in the race. He gets 10lb from Harry Topper, for example, despite the fact that official ratings say that he should be giving him 4lb.

Of course, it can be dangerous forgiving horses poor runs, but it can also be lucrative, especially if there are possible reasons for those poor runs and if there are reasons why it is possible that they can bounce back to form. That is the case with The Giant Bolster today. He loves Cheltenham. As well as those two big Gold Cup runs, two of his three wins over fences have been at Cheltenham. Also, he wears a hood and a visor today for the first time. That could spark him into life.

Tom Scudamore is re-united with him, and David Bridgwater’s horses are in good form. His last nine runners have recorded form figures of 142253325. The Giant Bolster is worth backing at 7/1 or 15/2.