Poquelin Tops Paddy Power Possibles
Top-weight Poquelin heads the 32 five-day acceptors for for the £150,000 BetVictor Gold Cup (2.35pm), highlight of Saturday, November 12.
Take a look at the Paddy Power Gold Cup trends for the past 10 years.
The eight-year-old was fifth in this valuable handicap chase 12 months ago and is one of three runners from Paul Nicholls' stable. The champion trainer has also left in ante-post favourite Mon Parrain and Aerial as he bids to win this prestigious contest for the first time. Nicholls believes Mon Parrain has to improve to win such a competitive race and was pleased to get a racecourse gallop into the five-year-old at Exeter last week.
Nicholls told the Podcast: "He worked great at Exeter a couple of days ago - I had been struggling to get him as fit as I would have liked, so that's why we took him there and he worked nicely. He's going to have to improve to win off a mark of 152. He's been a bit of a hype horse."
He added: "He won so well when he was thrown in at the weights at Sandown and then he did run well at Aintree, although he has gone up a few pounds for getting beat. I've not won the race before as generally mine are not well handicapped. It's going to be a hard race to win, but he doesn't know he's favourite."
All the leading fancies stood their ground, including the Philip Hobbs-trained Wishfull Thinking, Ferdy Murphy's Divers, David Pipe's Great Endeavour, David Bridgwater's The Giant Bolster and Nicky Richards' Noble Alan.
Nolan has warned punters Noble Prince, an easy winner at Naas on his reappearance, is not yet a definite runner, saying: "We have left him in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and a decision on whether he runs will be made later in the week. We wanted to have the chance to make that decision so decided to confirm.
"I'm very pleased with him and the horse seems to be in very good shape. It was a nice introduction to the season for him considering that he fell on his last run over fences. I couldn't have been happier with his jumping, although it was just a school around. The John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown (on December 11) is another alternative, but this year it is a week closer to Christmas which isn't ideal with a view to running in a Grade One then.
"Later than normal in previous years tightens up the schedule and if we wait for the John Durkan, we might be ruling out Christmas. We will decide the best plan and if we come to Cheltenham, ideally everyone would be pleased to see a bit of good to soft ground."
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