Irish horse So Scottish is set to travel across to Cheltenham for the December Gold Cup, the feature race at the racecourse’s Christmas Meeting. The six-year-old has a reputation for being one of the most promising staying chasers in Ireland, and he can prove that in the premier handicap contest.
Trained by Emmet Mullins, he has been a regular across the Irish Sea, with appearances at Ascot, Carlisle, Cheltenham, and Lingfield over the past couple of years. Connections of the horse will be hoping he improves on his seasonal reappearance where he was fourth of six runners at Gowran Park.
Improving Chaser Heads Cheltenham Betting
With an official rating of 137, So Scottish will have one of the lowest weight allocations in this year’s December Gold Cup. He is one of 23 entries for the race, and those looking to bet on horse racing will see he’s priced at +700.
Mullins’ runner is likely to be one of the leading tips in the racing predictions for the race as he is expected to improve for the step up in distance. The 2m trip at Gowran Park last time was inadequate for him, as his two victories over fences so far have come over 2m3½f and 2m4½f.
So Scottish wins the Schooling At Tipperary Rated Novice Chase really easily under Donagh Meyler and looks a promising horse for trainer Emmet Mullins. 🥇 pic.twitter.com/Alg5qT9I5h— Tipperary Racecourse (@tipperaryraces) October 3, 2022
At the start of last season, So Scottish won three consecutive races on the track, with triumphs coming at Kilbeggan, Tipperary, and Carlisle respectively. He then finished runner-up behind Boothill at Ascot, form which looks even better now, while at the Cheltenham Festival, he was seventh of 23 runners in the Plate Handicap Chase.
If victorious for Mullins, So Scottish will become only the third Irish-trained horse in the last 20 years to win the December Gold Cup. Sir Oj gave Noel Meade success in 2005, while more recently, Chatham Street Lad prevailed for trainer Michael Winters in 2020.
Il Ridoto Bidding for More Course and Distance Success
Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls will be hoping Il Ridoto can have more success at Cheltenham over this 2m4½f distance. He won the Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase back in January at the Gloucestershire venue. It was a smart performance in the Grade Three event.
The six-year-old then finished sixth in the Plate Handicap Chase at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, one place in front of So Scottish, while on his final outing of the campaign, he was pulled up in the Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree.
Like So Scottish, Nicholls’ runner has already had one appearance this season. His connections will have been pleased with his performance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the November Meeting. He finished third of 14 runners in the race won by Stage Star. That form could look better as the season progresses, as the winner is expected to feature in Grade One company next time out.
The 2023 December Gold Cup will be the 53rd renewal in the race’s history. It is one of the lucrative handicap races of the season in the UK, with the winner likely to go on to feature at the Cheltenham Festival in March.