Joncol Bypasses Cheltenham in Favour of Punchestown
Paddy makes the seven-year-old 16-1 for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in 2011.
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.”
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.”
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.”
Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle
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:
Queen Mother Champion Chase
Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle
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