France-based Charly Prichard ‘can’t wait’ for Cheltenham Festival first round | Horse racing news
Scoop Dyga/France Galop
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Charly Prichard: booked for his first trip to the Cheltenham Festival aboard Mon Prestige
Scoop Dyga/France Galop
By Scott Burton
David Cottin is confident Mon Prestige can put on a daring show at Wednesday’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase in Cheltenham, with rising French weigh-in star Charly Prichard set to get a taste of festival action for the first time at edge of nine.
Cottin broke a 15-year drought for French coaches at the festival two years ago when Easysland charged up the hill from Cheltenham under Jonathan Plouganou.
While Easysland has since passed into the care of Jonjo O’Neill and will attempt to reclaim its crown from Tiger Roll, Cottin believes Mon Prestige has the right credentials to play a role.
“The horse is in good shape.” said the coach. “He once ran on cross-country fences in Lyon while carrying a lot of weight. lots of stamina that jumps really well.”
Cottin added: “I think the experience of French obstacle courses is good preparation for Cheltenham and the cross-country course in Lyon is very big, you have to jump well there. It was only beaten only by the weight on arrival.
“He suffered from tendonitis in the past, but his legs are fine now. We’ll give it a try and honestly I expect him to run well.”
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David Cottin: thinks Mon Prestige has the attributes to suit the Glenfarclas Cross County Chase
Prichard grew up less than two hours drive from Cheltenham in Pontypridd and relishes the chance to perform on Britain’s biggest steeplechase stage.
“I can’t wait and I didn’t hesitate when he asked me if I wanted to ride,” Prichard said. “He’s a fantastic jumper and although he’s only run one cross-country race, the chasers are used to the variety here. He’s a fantastic jumper on a French pursuit course, so I don’t see that as a problem.
“Other than the cheese wedges, everything else would be normal obstacle course fences. And he’s a horse that’s done a lot of that at home.”
My Prestige is a better price 40-1 with William Hill and at the six-day declaration stage was just outside the 16 horsepower safe limit, so it will take two no-shows to guarantee a run.
Having ridden as an amateur based with Guillaume Macaire for two years, Prichard burst into the consciousness of French punters and watchers at the start of 2020 thanks to a fruitful affair with Cottin in Pau, finishing the year fifth in the jockeys classification. . and the winner of the Women’s Cravache d’Or with 47 winners.
Thirty-five more followed last season, signaling the end of her demand, while Prichard has remained in demand since going independent.
“I just came for a paid summer vacation riding in the sun,” Prichard said. “A lot of people suggested I race as a professional but Monsieur Macaire thought it would be a good idea to stay as an amateur to learn more about the French racing style.
“You can only have two years as an amateur if you ride in a yard, so turning professional came naturally. Pau in 2020 was a turning point. It was proof that I hadn’t done it for nothing and that it was worth coming here.”
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 09:00, MARCH 12, 2022