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    Bravemansgame Set for Crucial Gold Cup Challenge
Bravemansgame Set for Crucial Gold Cup Challenge
Bravemansgame by Mark Cranham

Bravemansgame Set for Crucial Gold Cup Challenge

Last year's Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up, Bravemansgame, is gearing up for a shot at redemption.

Despite being considered an outsider this time around with three unsuccessful outings, trainer Paul Nicholls stands firmly behind him, citing valid reasons for his setbacks.

Known for performing well when fresh, Bravemansgame has been carefully managed leading up to the big race. His last run was in the King George on Boxing Day, and Nicholls is optimistic that a workout at Kempton on Tuesday will have him in prime condition for the upcoming event.

"Bravemansgame faced challenging conditions in his recent races, with soft ground at Wetherby and the Betfair Chase, making it difficult to prepare him adequately for Kempton,"

shared Nicholls. Reflecting on Bravemansgame's performance at Kempton, Nicholls believes that the horse showcased immense potential, even suggesting that he could have contended with Shishkin for victory.

Nicholls expressed confidence in Bravemansgame's current form, highlighting his recent schooling session with jockey Harry Cobden as a positive sign. With a keen eye on Kempton, Nicholls believes that Bravemansgame, currently priced at 20-1, represents excellent each-way value in the field.

Stage Star Eyes Ryanair Chase Glory

Nicholls also has high hopes for Stage Star in the upcoming Ryanair Chase. The talented contender, winner of the Turners Novices' Chase last year, kicked off the season impressively with a weight-carrying victory in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. However, a disappointing outing on New Year's Day in testing conditions led to an early pull-up, prompting a break from competition.

"Stage Star, a proven performer in the Turners Novices' Chase, is set to tackle the Ryanair. Despite facing challenges, including the need for careful management due to minor issues, Stage Star has showcased his quality on multiple occasions,"

Nicholls stated.

Reflecting on Stage Star's performance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, Nicholls praised the horse's resilience despite an error at the final obstacle. Acknowledging the setbacks on New Year's Day, Nicholls remains optimistic about Stage Star's readiness for the upcoming challenge.

With Hitman and Pic D'orhy also in contention for the Ryanair Chase, Nicholls remains confident in his string of talented contenders, emphasising their preparedness for the demanding Aintree circuit.

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