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Off The Fence: Tony Keenan and Barry Geraghty torn over L’Homme Presse’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hopes

Bravemansgame got the better of L'Homme Presse in the King George, with the latter unseating when looking set to finish second; Barry Geraghty and Tony Keenan disagree on who is more likely to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March

L'Homme Presse
Image: L'Homme Presse is set to be aimed towards the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Off The Fence pundits Barry Geraghty and Tony Keenan are split on the Cheltenham Gold Cup prospects of both L’Homme Presse and King George winner Bravemansgame.

Former Gold Cup winner Geraghty was keen to suggest that L'Homme Presse, who unseated Charlie Deutsch when booked for second in the King George showpiece, would be more suited to the potential test posed at Cheltenham.

He added that whilst Bravemansgame was impressive, a stiffer test and galloping track might not suit him as well as the speedier track at Kempton.

"You'd have to be impressed with Bravemansgame," Geraghty told Off The Fence. "He beat Eldorado Allen by three lengths in the Charlie Hall and beat him 22 lengths in the King George so the improvement was there.

"He did what Paul Nicholls promised he would do over the last few years but he is a horse suited to that kind of track.

"Whether he can reproduce that level of form at Cheltenham, I'm not so sure and we'll have to wait on that one.

Bravemansgame finishes clear of the rest at Kempton
Image: Bravemansgame finishes clear of the rest at Kempton

"I do think L'Homme Presse will be better suited to Cheltenham, with a stiffer track and a slower pace - he won the Brown Advisory last year at The Festival over three miles on slower ground so I think he'll be better suited by it.

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"For me, if you asked me to take my pick, I'd go for L'Homme Presse."

Keenan took the opposing view, with L'Homme Presse showing stamina issues over the trip when looking set to finish second, and that the extra Gold Cup distance might not suit the Venetia Williams' Grade One chaser.

L'Homme Presse
Image: L'Homme Presse

"I'm not saying I particularly fancy him myself, but one takeaway from it was that I was worried about his stamina for the Gold Cup," Keenan said.

"Maybe it was the jumping out to his left that took it out of him but he travelled better than Bravemansgame to the turn in and looked like he was going to pull away but by the time they got to the last, Bravemansgame was pulling away from him.

"This would raise fairly significant stamina concerns for me and I know he won the Brown Advisory last year over three miles, he'll have two and a half furlongs to go in the Gold Cup and that was Brown Advisory was a very steadily run race.

"For me, the Gold Cup trip would be quite questionable for me."

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