Superb Paddy Power Gold Cup in Prospect at The Open
Take a look at the Paddy Power Gold Cup trends for the past 10 years.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has yet to taste glory in the two and a half-mile Grade Three handicap chase but the Ditcheat handler looks set to have a particularly strong hand this year with six entries including Mon Parrain, who heads the betting with Paddy Power at 5/1.
The progressive five-year-old made a striking British debut as he easily landed a Sandown handicap chase in March and produced another impressive round of jumping when coming home second over the Grand National fences in the Topham Chase at Aintree the following month.
Nicholls may also be represented by likely top-weight Poquelin (20/1), who triumphed at Cheltenham last season in both the Grade Three December Gold Cup and the Grade Two Masterson Holdings Trophy Chase, plus Grade One Maghull Novices’ Chase runner-up Ghizao (12/1), Aerial (16/1), The Knoxs (20/1) and exciting French import Kauto Stone (20/1), a half-brother to dual Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star.
Nick Gifford, whose father Josh sent out Bradbury Star to victory in 1993 & 1994, is hoping to run his unexposed pair of Tullamore Dew (16/1) and Nomecheki (33/1), who both made pleasing returns over the weekend.
Tullamore Dew, fifth in the Grade Three Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow on Saturday, boasts an excellent record at Cheltenham, having been runner-up to Spirit Son in the Grade Three Coral Cup at The Festival in 2010 and taken third behind the Ferdy Murphy-trained Divers (10/1) in the Listed Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase in March.
Dual Plumpton scorer Nomecheki is set to step up in trip after coming home second behind Grade One winner Tataniano in an extended two-mile handicap chase, also at Chepstow on Saturday.
Gifford revealed: “The plan is for Tullamore Dew to run in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. I couldn’t be happier with him after his run at the weekend. He needed every yard of the two and a half miles at Chepstow and, because they go that bit quicker over hurdles, it caught him out a little bit but he was doing all of his best work at the end. That will have put him spot on for Cheltenham.
“He is a good jumper and he loves Cheltenham - he’s run two very good races there over the past two years. Ideally, we would like good to soft ground but he is a very versatile horse.
“We think that he is going to end up over three miles at some point in his career and it might be this season. The Paddy Power Gold Cup will tell us a lot about where we go with him for the rest of the campaign.
“Nomecheki also ran well at Chepstow and he is a horse who is probably not quite good enough over two miles, so we will step him up in trip and I think that he will appreciate a race like the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
“He is a very sound jumper with not too many miles on the clock. He travelled very well on Saturday but was totally outclassed by the winner - they think that Tataniano is a Tingle Creek horse, so it was no disgrace to come home second behind him.”
Nicky Henderson sent out subsequent Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup scorer Long Run to take third in last year’s Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Seven Barrows trainer has entered Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase runner-up Quantitativeeasing (16/1), Dave’s Dream (20/1), a ready winner at last year’s Open, and Aigle D’Or (20/1).
Nigel Twiston-Davies is the only current trainer to have saddled more than one winner in the Paddy Power Gold Cup thanks to Tipping Tim (1992), Imperial Commander (2008) and last season’s hero Little Josh, and a trio of entries from the Naunton handler includes Billie Magern (25/1), who scored over the same course and distance in the ZEturf.com Handicap Chase at The Showcase on October 15.
Irish trainers have won the Paddy Power Gold Cup five times and a total of nine Irish- trained entries include Noble Prince (14/1), who captured the Grade Two Jewson Novices’ Chase for trainer Paul Nolan at this year’s Festival from Wishfull Thinking, and the Henry de Bromhead-trained Loosen My Load (14/1), who took third in the same race.
Noel Meade may be represented by recent Munster National winner Muirhead (20/1), while Willie Mullins has entered this year’s Galway Plate scorer Blazing Tempo (20/1) and Scotsirish (33/1).
The weights for the 2011 Paddy Power Gold Cup are released on Wednesday, November 2.
Paddy Power Gold Cup - Paddy
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