Eight year old Cooldine is looking likely to be heading to the Cheltenham Festival following his performance in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown at the beginning of February, where he came second to Joncol, showing a true return to form.

Last year saw him win the Dr. P.J. Moriarty Novice Chase in Leopardstown in February which preceded his impressive RSA Chase victory at Cheltenham the following month. In winning the RSA he was no less impressive than Denman had been in the same race two years previously, so it looks like things are looking promising for Cooldine and his team in this year’s Cheltenham Festival!

There was big disappointment for Cooldine’s return race at the end of December 2009, the Lexus Chase, where Ruby Walsh chose to ride him over What A Friend, showing the faith that there is in his abilities. Unfortunately for all concerned, he was pulled up, but there was a big change in the bay gelding for the Hennessy Gold Cup which has reignited not just his trainer Willie Mullin’s hope in him, but also the punters and the bookmakers, who have given him odds as low as 10/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and it has been speculated that his form is likely to be even better than it was in February by the time of the Cheltenham Festival in mid-March.

Cooldine is currently third favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday 19th March with ante-post odds of 12/1 with Paddy Power Bookmakers.

Whether he will be a realistic threat to the Nicholl’s stable clan is yet to be seen, but he is definitely considered a worthy opponent.