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Joncol Bypasses Cheltenham in Favour of Punchestown
17/02/10

Paddy makes the seven-year-old 16-1 for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in 2011.

Paul Nolan has decided to miss Cheltenham with Irish Hennessy hero Joncol , who was a 6-1 chance with Paddy Power for the Ryanair Chase, and instead aim him at the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown.

The seven-year-old, who was today introduced by Paddy as a 16-1 shot for the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup, was a revelation when proving a neck too powerful for Cooldine at Leopardstown last time, but is not among the horses going forward for the Ryanair Chase after today’s forfeits stage. Nolan had indicated that he was a ‘50-50′ chance to line up at Prestbury Park after the Leopardstown success.

The Co Wexford trainer said: “We have decided that we are not going to Cheltenham and the horse will hopefully now go to Punchestown providing that the ground is safe at that time. We are hoping for safe, soft ground which has been naturally softened and not watered. I am very pleased with the horse and he is doing very well and has come out of the Hennessy better than the Lexus and I couldn’t be happier with him. The decision was made before the Hennessy that if he won, we wouldn’t go to Cheltenham and we’ll wait and give it another year before we go there. We’re better off sticking with the plan and that’s the reason we’re missing Cheltenham. He’s really learning to race now and Cheltenham is a bit too soon. We’ll give him more runs and more experience for Cheltenham next year. Hopefully it will be the Gold Cup next year if the horse stays sound and there is no reason why not.”

Tranquil Sea (right)
© racing-images.co.uk

Tranquil Sea

Andy Stewart’s Poquelin is 4-1 favourite for the Ryanair with Paddy.

Paddy Power himself said: “I thought that Joncol had a serious chance in the Ryanair so it’s a pity he’s not running. Three previous BetVictor Gold Cup winners have won the Ryanair before so I’m firmly in the Tranquil Sea corner now.”

Ryanair Chase
Paddy Power bets: 4 Poquelin, 6 Barbers Shop, Tranquil Sea, 9 Planet Of Sound, 10 Schindlers Hunt, 12 Voy Por Ustedes, 16 Petit Robin, 20 bar
Meanwhile Nolan is unlikely to give Shinrock Paddy, who is a 6-1 co second favourite with Paddy for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, another outing before Cheltenham.

He added: “Shinrock Paddy is in very good form and I couldn’t be happier. He will more than likely go straight to Cheltenham although there is a winner’s race in Leopardstown in two weeks’ time. I am 80% sure that he will run in the Albert Bartlett and, if not, the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle. He’ll more than likely remain in both so we’ve the choice.”
Shinrock Paddy is a 16-1 shout with Paddy for the Neptune Investment Management.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Paddy Power bets: 9-2 Tell Massini, 6 Quel Esprit, Restless Harry, Shinrock Paddy, 10 Enterprise Park, 12 The Betchworth Kid, 16 Fionnegas, 20 bar

Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle
Paddy Power bets: 7-2 Rite Of Passage, 10 Finians Rainbow, 12 Quel Esprit, Reve De Sivola, Peddlers Cross, 14 Fionnegas, Get Me Out Of Here, Quantativeeasing, 16 Coole River, Master Of The Hall, Restless Harry, Shinrock Paddy, 20 bar

Meanwhile there was also a forfeits stage for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and World Hurdle today and Paddy bets:

Cheltenham Gold Cup
Paddy Power bets: 4-5 Kauto Star, 3 Denman, 10 Cooldine, 12 Imperial Commander, 25 Taranis, What A Friend, 33 Tricky Trickster, 40 Notre Pere, 50 Albertas Run, Carruthers, 66 bar

Queen Mother Champion Chase
Paddy Power bets: 4-5 Master Minded, 6 Twist Magic, Kalahari King, 7 Big Zeb, 16 Petit Robin, 25 Barker, 33 Well Chief, Free World, Golden Silver, Oh Crick, Tranquil Sea, 50 bar

Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle
Paddy Power bets: 4 Dunguib (with a run), Solwhit, 5 Zaynar, 6 Binocular, Go Native, 10 Khyber Kim, 12 Punjabi, 14 Medermit, 16 Celestial Halo, Starluck, Sublimity, 33 bar

World Hurdle
Paddy Power bets: 4-7 Big Buck’s, 6 Karabak, 9 Tidal Bay, 12 Sentry Duty, 16 Time For Rupert, 20 Cousin Vinny, 25 War Of Attrition, Mourad, 33 bar

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