Champion jockey Tony McCoy expects Last Instalment to be in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup shake-up following his Irish Hennessy win.

McCoy did not have a ride in the Grade One heat but was very impressed was the performance of Last Instalment, who ran out an eight-and-a-half-length winner for trainer Philip Fenton and jockey Brian O'Connell.

"The Festival is getting very close with only four weeks to go and most of the Cheltenham horses will now have had their last runs," said McCoy on his Cheltenham racecourse blog.

"It was an informative weekend with the racing at Newbury and Leopardstown, and I have to say that I think Last Instalment is right in the Betfred Gold Cup picture after his win in the Irish Hennessy.

"I thought he was very impressive and he is definitely a player for Cheltenham. I had viewed the Gold Cup as a two-horse race between Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti for much of the season, but Last Instalment is right in there with them.

"He jumped very well on Sunday and would probably want a bit of cut in the ground at Cheltenham, which he might get given the way things are at the moment.

"Harry Topper won OK at Newbury the day before and he, like The Giant Bolster, is a very consistent horse. One of those two will probably finish fourth in the Gold Cup but the form of the top three is just that much stronger."

All the major contenders stood their ground for the race at the latest forfeit stage, with 11 original entries scratched.

As expected Paul Nicholls took out Al Ferof and Tidal Bay with Monbeg Dude, Arvika Ligeonniere, Theatre Guide and Champion Court also removed from the entries.