Delta Work "made" for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, says Gordon Elliott

Tue 18 Feb 2020

Gordon Elliott would not swap “forgotten horse” Delta Work for any other in next month’s Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The seven-year-old was edged into third in last year’s RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at the Festival, but he has come of age in fine style this term, winning two of his three starts.

Victorious in the Savills Chase and the Irish Gold Cup, Delta Work now boasts five Grade One wins on his CV – and Elliott believes he will be perfectly suited by three and a quarter miles at Prestbury Park.

Watch how Delta Work won the Irish Gold Cup

He said: “He’s all set for the Gold Cup. I don’t think he’s done much wrong over the last couple of seasons – he was lame after Down Royal (when he was beaten on his seasonal bow) and was just beaten in the RSA last year.

“It just didn’t work out for him in Cheltenham last season. It was probably my own fault, as I didn’t run him between Christmas and the RSA and he seems to be a horse that runs better when he runs more often.

“I think he’s made for the race. His style of racing will suit – going three-mile-two.

“He probably is a bit of a forgotten horse. He’s won five or six Grade Ones and gets the job done.”

Elliott certainly knows what it takes to the win the Gold Cup, having sent out Don Cossack to lift the prize in 2016, but he has plenty of respect for Delta Work’s likely Cheltenham rivals.

Jack Kennedy discusses Delta Work's victory in the Irish Gold Cup

“It would be great to win another Gold Cup. You have to respect whatever Willie Mullins runs and I’d say he’s the biggest danger. Al Boum Photo and (the Nicky Henderson-trained) Santini are probably the two horses you’d respect most.

“I tend to worry about my own horses and let everybody else worry about theirs.

“I wouldn’t swap my horses, but I’m sure if you asked five or six other trainers they’d say the same.”

Jack Kennedy has ridden Delta Work to his last two wins, but he is currently on the sidelines with a broken femur, meaning a new rider will be required at Cheltenham.

Elliott said: “Jack was awesome on him the last day. The ride he gave him that day, Ruby Walsh at his best would have been proud of it.

"Mark Walsh is available and is set to ride Delta Work in the Gold Cup."

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