Initially Champion Jockey, AP McCoy was pencilled in to partner Teaforthree in the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup but through various circumstances, trainer Rebecca Curtis released him from the ride so that Nicky Henderson could book him for Triolo D’Alene.
Speaking to the Racing Post Henderson said: “I’m very grateful to Rebecca and the owners for letting AP off to ride Triolo. He’s a progressive chaser whose work has been very good.
“We wanted to get in a run this week before the Grand National and rather than carry a big weight in a handicap we decided to go for the Gold Cup. He deserves to take his chance.”
Earlier in the week it was suggested that second only to Henderson’s other Gold Cup hope, and race favourite Bobs Worth, Triolo D’Alene was the most backed horse for the race and while he is as short as 10/1 with some bookmakers you can still get him at 12/1 with Paddy Power though those odds are likely to shorten as the race gets closer.
Henderson’s stable jockey Barry Geraghty rides defending champion Bobs Worth and with four potential Grand National runners set to line-up in a couple of hours it could be very telling if any of them do particularly well.
Along with Triolo D’Alene, Teaforthree, On His Own and Katenko are all set to race later this afternoon, but it’s Silvianaco Conti from trainer Paul Nicholls and Last Instalment from Philip Fenton who look like the biggest competition for Bobs Worth.
Nick Scholfield will ride Teaforthree, Ruby Walsh partners On His Own for Willie Mullins and Aidan Coleman will be on board Katenko for Venetia Williams.
All are available for both Gold Cup and Grand National betting.