Jack Kennedy reveals which ride he is most excited about at the Cheltenham Festival

Jack Kennedy reveals which ride he is most excited about at the Cheltenham Festival

March 3, 2022

LAST season's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Jack Kennedy has revealed the ride he is most looking forward to at Cheltenham.

The first choice of the perennial Cheltenham powerhouse Gordon Elliott, Kennedy will have one of the best books of rides of any jockey at the meeting.

And from those, the 22-year-old has nominated leading Arkle hope Riviere D'Etel as the ride he is most excited about.

Speaking to the Racing Post, Kennedy said: "I'm mad looking forward to it. I could have a really nice book of rides and I just hope to get there in one piece now.

"I'd say out of all of them Riviere D'Etel is the one I'm most looking forward to riding. It's a fairly hot contest but she's been very good all season and she's going to love coming up that hill."

Riviere D'Etel has proved herself one of the top novice chasers in Ireland this season, winning three times and finishing second in a pair of Grade 1s.

She was second to the now-injured Ferny Hollow in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

On her next start, a last fence error in the Irish Arkle handed a narrow victory to Blue Lord – who she will meet again at Cheltenham later this month.

The mare is a best-price 9/2 to claim the spoils for her owners, Bective Stud, in a market headed Edwardstone at 9/4 – a rare race at the meeting which features a British-trained favourite.

Kennedy said: "She doesn't know when she's beaten, you saw that at Leopardstown and she's all heart. She's a hardy young horse and has loads of experience.

"It wasn't like her to make a mistake like she did at Leopardstown but she's a novice and they all make mistakes at some point. Hopefully she'll learn from it."

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Another big ride for Kennedy will be aboard the Champion Hurdle-bound Zanahiyr, who has it all to do to overturn red-hot favourite Honeysuckle.

The jockey said: "He looks to have a good each-way chance. I thought he ran a cracker at the Dublin Racing Festival as he made a terrible mistake at the first. 

"He was only six and a half lengths behind Honeysuckle there and, while she's brilliant and going to be very hard to beat, I do think Zanahiyr will run a big race."

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