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Cheltenham Festival sire to watch: Gold Well

| 16.02.2015

Gold Well may never have thrilled Cheltenham crowds as a racehorse but his progeny have already visited its winner’s enclosure on many occasions.

An unraced brother of Montjeu, he died of colic aged 12 in 2013, but not before illustrating a gift for producing offspring who thrive on undulating tracks.

His famous sons to date are Cheltenham aficionados Holywell and Johns Spirit.

Both resident at Jonjo O’Neill’s Jackdaw’s Castle yard, the pair have racked up five wins and a second in ten runs at Prestbury Park, with the former unbeaten at the Cotswolds course.

Holywell is 10/1 to win the Gold Cup at this year’s festival after a return to form at Kelso recently, while Johns Spirit is 9/1 for the Ryanair Chase.

As Ben Aitken points out in his article ‘NTF Sire Snippets: Striking Gold with a new sire on the jumping scene’ O’Neill certainly seems to have found a knack with Gold Well progeny.

Intriguingly with the festival in mind, Aitken’s research highlights the fact that his children have performed best on left-handed tracks, winning ten of their 36 starts since 2011.

Furthermore, it is noted that Gold Well’s descendants show a marked aptitude for dealing with some of British racing’s more undulating courses.

Since 2011 his progeny have struck 11 times from 31 races at Catterick, Market Rasen, Plumpton and Sedgefield at a searing strike rate of 35 per cent.

Gold Well produces racehorses who seem to have a liking for undulating and left-handed tracks, so it’s little surprise that the best of them have proven reliable to follow at the Cheltenham’s big meetings.

Come the 2015 it’s well worth keeping eyes peeled for his name in the racecard.

Aside from his aforementioned sons, the likes of the Phillip Hobbs-trained Sausalito Sunrise and Mick Easterby’s Saints and Sinners are worth keeping an eye on in the handicaps, although the former remains a 20/1 shot for the RSA Chase.

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Thomas Reynolds