Cheltenham Festival: Bryan Cooper confirms Don Cossack as Gold Cup mount

Bryan Cooper has confirmed he will ride Don Cossack in Friday's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, the feature event on the final day of the Festival.

Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 9:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 9:06 am
Bryan Cooper on Don Cossack

Cooper is retained rider for Gigginstown House Stud which meant he had the choice of Don Cossack and Don Poli in the Grade One contest.

However, he has opted to partner the Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack, a five-time Grade One winner who was last seen when winning at Thurles in January after falling in the King George at Kempton.

Cooper told Channel 4's The Morning Line: "I will ride Don Cossack.

"The ground is plenty dry enough, he's officially the highest-rated horse in training. The decision is made and I won't be changing my mind.

"I haven't waited this long (to make a decision for nothing), there was a lot of water to go under the bridge It wasn't an easy decision because if you get it wrong, you'd be kicking yourself for the next six months.

"He's in tremendous form, Gordon has him in top shape. We'll be out to prove to all the doubters that he doesn't handle Cheltenham that they're wrong."