When The Giant Bolster ran a stormer to finish second in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last season most experts of the game assumed it was something of a fluke. This weekend will see the David Bridgewater horse return to the track with connections of the horse eager to prove he belongs at the very highest level. He will take his chance in the Betfair Chase at Haydock against Long Run who he beat into third place in the Gold Cup back in March. The market for the race on Saturday suggests that Long Run is the horse to beat but the bare form from the last time we saw them suggests something very different indeed. The Giant Bolster produced a stunning performance at the Festival to finish second with only Synchronised outstaying him up the hill after the final fence and Long Run back in third. If he can repeat that run on his seasonal debut he will once again confirm his class and consolidate his position as a genuine Gold Cup contender once again this season.
It is worth remembering that the Giant Bolster is still only seven so should still have some improvement in him over the coming year or two. that fact puts him in with a chance this weekend against the more fancied and more fashionable Long run and Silviniaco Conti. If The Giant Bolster was being trained by Nicky Henderson or Paul Nicholls his price for the Betfair Chase would be at least half which could make him an excellent piece of value this season. The ground at Haydock is set to be heavy after plenty of rain which may not count in his favour in the Betfair Chase but the same might also be said for his two market rivals. It is fair to say that The Giant Bolster does seem to save some of his best runs for Cheltenham so regardless of what happens this weekend he remains a horse to follow with the Festival in mind. Unlike many of his potential Gold Cup rivals this season we know he enjoys the track, he stays the trip and on his form from last season he is right up there at the top of the form guide.