Gloria Victis goes for Gold
Martin Pipe yesterday ended the speculation surrounding Gloria Victis's intended Cheltenham Festival target by confirming the six-year-old is on course for the Gold Cup.
Gloria Victis shot to prominence in the betting for chasing's blue riband with an impressive front-running display in last month's Racing Post Chase at Kempton but also held entries in the William Hill National Hunt Handicap Chase, the Royal & SunAlliance Chase and the Cathcart Challenge Cup.
Speaking at Exeter races Pipe said: "Gloria Victis will run in the Gold Cup. It took a lot of thinking about and it's bound to be a worry going left-handed with the horse but he ran round Newbury and all races at Cheltenham are left-handed.
"That did not affect our decision to run in the Gold Cup and A P McCoy will ride.
"His owner Terry Neill came down this morning and discussed it in detail and we all decided to go for the Gold Cup, so who knows?
"He certainly jumped tremendously round Kempton. Fantastic wasn't it?
"See More Business is a very good horse it's a very tough race but Gloria Victis is fit and well so why not go while he's firing on all cylinders," added Pipe.
Tony McCoy said: "He's an improving horse, he's on the upgrade and he's one of the very few horses See More Business hasn't beaten. He's entitled to take his chance."
The champion jockey is not too concerned about Gloria Victis going left-handed tomorrow week. He said: "He definitely jumped right on his first run at Newbury.
"He didn't jump right at Kempton. I know it's a right-handed track. For some reason when we both rode him (Richard Johnson was on board in the Racing Post Chase) we were always two or three off the inside so we can't have been going that right-handed otherwise we'd have been right on the rails.
"It's something we are not going to know about until Cheltenham. He's got to go left-handed so it's not really an issue."
The decision to run Gloria Victis now leaves Looks Like Trouble's trainer Noel Chance searching for a jockey for his charge as he was hoping to book McCoy in the event of Pipe's horse going for one of his Festival alternatives.
Chance said later: "We will know for definite on Thursday who will ride Looks Like Trouble."