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Published: 09:18 | 16/3/16

Cooper opts for Don Cossack

Bryan Cooper will ride Don Cossack in Friday's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

As retained jockey for Gigginstown House Stud, Cooper had the choice of partnering Don Cossack or Don Poli in the blue riband but had opted to delay his decision until closer to the time.

He partnered Don Cossack in his final workout on Wednesday morning and shortly afterwards confirmed he will be aboard the Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old in Friday's feature.

"I will ride Don Cossack," he told The Morning Line.

"The ground is plenty dry enough, he's officially the highest-rated horse in training. The decision is made and I won't be changing my mind.

"I haven't waited this long (to make a decision for nothing), there was a lot of water to go under the bridge It wasn't an easy decision because if you get it wrong, you'd be kicking yourself for the next six months.

"He's in tremendous form, Gordon has him in top shape. We'll be out to prove to all the doubters that he doesn't handle Cheltenham that they're wrong."

Elliott added: "I'm delighted Bryan's going to ride him. It's a big help, he knows the horse well, so the more the ground dries out the more chance he has now.

"He's in great form and that's what you want to see when you bring them over here [from Ireland]. He's eating and drinking; he's bouncing."

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