Giant plans for Bridgwater ace
Bridgwater ace has trainer excited
Last Updated: 20/03/12 12:11pm
David Bridgwater is looking forward to next season with Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up The Giant Bolster after his fine run in defeat.
The trainer's pride and joy ran the race of his life in the blue riband to finish second to an inspired Tony McCoy on Synchronised.
Bridgwater has decided against running the seven-year-old again this season but believes there is much to look forward to for the next few years.
"He's come out of the race absolutely fine, he's marvellous," said the Gloucestershire handler.
"He definitely won't be running again this season. We've made that decision and we're sticking to it.
"He's out in the paddock now and we'll be taking the shoes off him before too long and then he can enjoy his holidays.
"We can look forward to next season now and we'll be looking at all the usual races the big guns go for.
"The Haydock race (Betfair Chase), the King George and so on. He won't be running in the Hennessy under top weight, though."
Although The Giant Bolster was sent off a largely unconsidered 50-1 shot, Bridgwater insists he was far from surprised to see his charge run such a mighty race.
"We were obviously delighted with him on Friday. We all want to win, we wouldn't be human if we didn't, but it felt like a winner," he continued.
"I told Tom Scu (Scudamore) before the race he'd be coming down the hill on the bridle, but I wasn't sure what would happen after that.
"He just kept finding and I thought he might be third or fourth before the race.
"You couldn't fault his jumping and it's just a shame he didn't win for Tom and for the owner."
Bridgwater's star turn was over 11 lengths behind Long Run in the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury in February, but showed huge improvement to reverse that form at Cheltenham.
"People will say Long Run hasn't run up to form, but I think he has. He's run the same race as he did at Newbury by beating Burton Port," the trainer added.
"We had improved a lot since the Newbury run, but people have always underestimated our horse, which doesn't bother me.
"I said two years ago he was a Gold Cup horse and he's shown everyone he is now. He's exceptionally good.
"He's only a baby still so you'd like to think he could run in the next two or three Gold Cups. If he does, you'd be a brave man to say he wouldn't win one of them."
Bridgwater feels he would have a Gold Cup winner on his hands if any other rider had been in the saddle on Synchronised.
"Tony McCoy's unbelievable. I'm sure if you took the top two or three layers of his skin off you'd find out he's actually The Terminator!" said Bridgwater.
"Unfortunately for us, I don't think any other jockey, and I mean any other jockey from any era, would have won that race.
"He's a machine."