Source: DublinInformer via Twitter
Kemboy has produced an excellent season in the National Hunt and has established himself as one of the leading contenders for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The French-bred horse has competed twice in Cheltenham Festival, but has failed to finish in the top three of his two events.
Willie Mullins’ charge has the opportunity to make a statement in his third appearance by claiming the ultimate the prize. The seven-year-old has been backed at +1000 in the Gold Cup betting odds, although he will face stiff competition from the rest of the field. Tracking the progress of Kemboy and the rest of the field at https://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/cheltenham/gold-cup-day/ before the event will be crucial as their odds may drift depending on their performances between now and the second week of March.
The French-bred horse competed in the JLT Novices’ Chase last season, and although he put forward a solid performance, David Mullins in the saddle could not orchestrate a strong enough surge out of his charge down the stretch to match the leading group. Kemboy placed in a respectable fourth place, although the Mulllins’ clan would have been hopeful of a better performance. He next appeared in the Irish Grand National and the proved to be a disaster with the bay gelding falling at the first fence at Fairyhouse, ending the meet before he even began.
Kemboy found his touch at the Hugh McMahon Memorial Novice Chase. Paul Townend took the reins and was able to get a composed outing from his charge. The seven-year-old was able to notch the win by a comfortable distance at Limerick, despite making a slight mistake towards the end of the contest.
He recovered and quickly regained his stride pattern to defeat Tombstone. Mullins’ charge ended the 2017/18 campaign the highest of notes with another comfortable victory in the EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase. He made a steady start to the contest and gradually moved through the field. Again the bay gelding was forced to overcome a mistake, although he found a groove, and according to RTE.ie, he was able to pull away to close out the victory by five lengths at Punchestown.
Source: SupremeHorseRac via Twitter
Mullins delayed the French-bred horse’s return to action until November in the Clonmel Oil Chase. Kemboy was considered the favorite for the event ahead of three competitors trained by Gordon Elliott. Townend saw the horse through a couple of early mistakes to take control of the contest with two hurdles remaining in the contest. The seven-year-old had the speed to see out the win, finishing three lengths ahead of the rest of the field.
Kemboy made a statement in his last outing in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. He was considered a slight outsider for the race at +800. David Mullins replaced Townend with the reins and he helped the horse deliver the strongest performance of his career as described by the IrishTimes.com.
The bay gelding made a measured start before upping the ante with five fences remaining. He moved ahead of the field on the penultimate jump and then asserted his authority to claim the crown ahead of Monalee and race favorite Road to Respect by a comfortable distance. The seven-year-old is certainly one to watch for Cheltenham’s main event if he is able to maintain that standard of display.