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The Paddy Power Gold Cup

A Class 1 Grade 3 Handicap Chase

A handicap chase over 2 miles 4 furlongs at Cheltenham Racecourse




 

The_Race

The Paddy Power Gold Cup held at Cheltenham racecourse in early November is seen by many as the real start of the national hunt season.

Run since 1960 at Cheltenham over the old course this handicap chase is open to all horses over 4 years old.

Initially and perhaps best known as the Mackeson Gold Cup when it was sponsored by Mackeson, It has also been sponsored by Murphy's and Thomas Pink.

Run over a distance of 2 miles 5 furlongs and 110 yards this race attracts many high-class horses who run around this distance.

More . .





The_2012_Race

This year's race again looks like a high-class field of chasers with the smart Poquelin from the Paul Nicholls training yard heading the weights. Although last year's winner Great Endeavour is not running today the horses who finished behind him in the frame last year are taking part again today.

Today we see the return of last year's most improved horse Hunt Ball, who will start his busy season in this race. Also making his first start of the season is Grands Crus who progressed very well last season and who just missed out making the frame in the RSA chase.



List_of_runners


1 5U26-4 Poquelin (14) 9 11-12 Paul Nicholls harry Derham (7)
2 11343- Al Ferof (219) 7 11-10 Paul Nicholls R Walsh
3 85110- Calgary Bay (217) 9 11-7 Mick Channon Dominic Elsworth
4 11113- Hunt Ball (219) 7 11-6 Keiran Burke Nick Scholfield
5 61114- Grands Crus (248) 7 11-6 David Pipe Tom Scudamore
6 02175- Quantitativeeasing (203) 7 11-4 Nicky Henderson Andrew Tinkler
7 41412- Aerial (213 ) 6 11-4 Paul Nicholls Daryl Jacob
8 1F32P- Tanks For That (219) 9 11-4 Nicky Henderson Doubtful runner
9 3464-2 Forpadydeplasterer (19F) 10 10-13 Thomas Cooper Paddy Brennan
10 3/17-1 Nadiya De La Vega (28) 6 10-8 Nicky Henderson A.P.McCoy
11 7124-5 Micheal Flips (14 ) 8 10-8 Andy Turnell Brian Hughes
12 1345P- Walkon (210) 7 10-6 Alan King Robert Thornton
13 S41141 The Disengager (49) 8 10-4 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson
14 U047-0 Divers (28) 8 10-1 Ferdy Murphy Timmy Murphy
15 1110-2 Triolo DŽAlene (190) 5 10-1 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
16 F-211F Kingsmere (29) 7 10-0 Henry Daly Sam Twiston-Davies
17 36-120 Casey Top (59) 9 9-13 Leonard Whitmore Mark Enright (5)
18 7-3633 Finger Onthe Pulse (28) 11 9-13 Jonjo OŽNeill Maurice Linehan (7)
19 9-923 Questions Answered (34) 7 9-7 E McNamara Aiden Coleman
20 P0F-39 Gilbarry (28) 7 9-4 Jonjo OŽNeill Richie McLernon

Race Preview

Poquelin

Although he unseated his rider in this race last year this gelding ran a very good second behind The Giant Bolster two months later at this course, a result that turned out to perhaps be better than expected as The Giant Bolster went on to finish his season as runner up in the Gold cup. Set to carry top weight again today he comes here with the benefit of a previous run, his fourth place in a grade 3 handicap Chase at Ascot on 3 November. I really nice horse who showed his class when finishing fourth in the 2011 Ryanair Chase which added to his second place in the same race the previous year. Looks to have plenty on his plate this year but could have the class to run into a place.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good to firm through to heavy and at distances up to 2 miles 5 furlongs.

Al Ferof

A fine horse who perhaps gives Paul Nicholls his best chance today. This young grey gelding is a past winner of the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in the 2010/2011 season. He was fourth in a very well contested Arkle Chase at the Festival last season behind the very smart Sprinter Sacre. If at the top of his form today he looks sure to take some part in the result of this race today, and is the pick of top jockey Ruby Walsh.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy.

Calgary Bay

This nine-year-old bay gelding finally got to winning ways last season when winning the Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham in January and then followed it up with a win in the great Yorkshire Chase (now called the Sky Bet Chase). His final race of the season was in the Grand National where he finished 14th and that was an improvement on his previous years run in the National when he fell at the fourth. That was uncharacteristic of this fine big chaser who has changed stables from Henrietta Knight, who gave up training this season and is now with Mick Channon. Always well thought of by his connections this horse has run well in competitive handicaps. He ran in this race last year and finished in eighth place. This horse has plenty of weight to carry today has as to carry 11 stone 7 pounds as opposed to the 10 stone 2 pounds he carried last year. However as I stated above he has put in much better performances towards the end of last season and could have come on again as sometimes happens and could run very well first time for a new trainer.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good/good to soft and up to a distance of 3 miles.

Hunt Ball.

Hunt Ball was the most improved horse in training last season improving by 88 pounds. He ran up a sequence of four wins on the trot, the last of these was in the valuable A-listed handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival where he was a fine 13 / 2 favourite and won by eight lengths. He went on from there to Aintree to run in the Betfred Bowl grade 1 Chase. He finished third that day and was only and neck behind Burton Port off level weights and that was over 3 miles one furlong. Only seven years old and still improving this looks like the logical next step for this horse. If this horse is still improving then he will certainly take some part in the finish of this race. He has shown a liking for Cheltenham and that is also in his favour. Definitely not one to be left out of the reckoning.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good to firm through to heavy and at distances up to 2 miles five furlongs.

Grands Crus.

A good hurdler, winner of the Cleeve hurdle and runner-up in the 2011 world hurdle behind a very impressive and perhaps unbeatable Big Bucks. This promising seven-year-old chaser has taken really well to chasing. Three wins, one at Cheltenham another at Newbury and then in the Feltham Novice Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day shows that the horse has a lot of class. Therefore it was a bit surprising back at the Cheltenham Festival when he only finished in fourth place in the RSA Chase. He went well that day for a long time but seemed to run out of steam towards the end of the race which was over 3 miles and a furlong although he has winning form over 3 miles. Sure to come on this season and from the David Pipe stable who we usually has horses fit and ready to run first time out. This horse is at the head of the market and rightly so, a worthy favourite. It will take a good horse today to beat this one if he is on his form.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 3 miles.

Quantitativeeasing.

A really nice young chaser who finished second in this race last year. He then ran really well winning at the same course over the same distance in a grade 3 handicap Chase at Cheltenham's early December meeting. He then went off the boil somewhat in his next two runs. The first at the Cheltenham Festival where he finished seventh in a grade 3 race and then fifth in the Punchestown Gold Cup a grade 1 Chase in Ireland. This horse has something about him but will need to put his best foot forward today off what might be a competitive weight.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles 7 furlongs.

Aerial.

This young six-year-old was fourth in this race last year. A French import he went on to win a graduation Chase at Ascot in December on soft ground. He then ran in the Murphy group handicap Chase at Cheltenham in late January and despite starting favourite finished fourth and was beginning to lose ground at the time. He was then dropped back in trip to 2 miles 2 furlongs and Won a grade 3 at Newbury. He finished the season running second in a grade 2 at Cheltenham. He may come on this season and may get a longer trip as he has won over 2 miles 6 furlongs however now his best distance seems a few furlongs short of this. From the powerful Paul Nicholls yard he must be their second string as their main jockey Ruby Walsh rides another today.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles 6 furlongs.

Tanks for That.

A nice horse this and previous winner of the Paddy Power.com handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November 2011 over a distance of 2 miles. From Nicky Henderson's yard and given that this is Cheltenham you can’t say that the horse has no chance at all as Nicky Henderson always seems to do well here. However this horse has been running over distances much less than this and looks better at shorter distances was tried once over 3 miles at Ayr and was pulled up. Would be a surprise winner as nothing in his previous form suggests he has enough improvement in him to win this.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to good to soft and at a distance of 2 miles 1 furlong.

Forpaddydeplasterer.

A really fine horse this and is a most consistent runner although not a prolific winner. Has not won a race since winning the Arkle at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival however in the 15 races since that day he has finished second nine times and third twice and all these running in good quality graded races. His trainer Tom Cooper was very bullish about this horse earlier in the week and stated "he is on a very attractive mark". He has had two runs this season the first in a grade 2 Chase in Ireland where he finished behind the very smart Sizing Europe and then I ran in a flat race. Looks to have plenty on his plate today however a strong move in the betting market should not be ignored.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good to soft through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles 2 furlongs.

Nydiya De LA Vega.

A young French import what has been running here over fences since November 2010 only six years old but has eight chases under her belt. She has been running well and her well-being has been franked by her win at this course at 2 miles and 4 furlongs back on the 20th of October. Will still need to improve somewhat to win this but young and must have more improvement to come. Trying this distance for the first time today and is something of an unknown. But is another from Nicky Henderson's yard and could be anything.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs.

Micheal Flipps

A good hurdler who has taken well to chasing. He was fourth in last season's Jewson novices Chase at the Festival over 2 miles 4 furlongs. He will have a lot less weight than he has been carrying recently due to his step up in class.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good to firm through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles 5 furlongs (did win a point-to-point over 3 miles in March 2008).

Walkon.

Top class hurdler winner of a Grade 1 four-year-old novice hurdle at Aintree and second to the very smart Zaynar in the JCB Triumph hurdle in 2009. Sent chasing last December and started well winning a novice chase overturning the result with Zaynar. Since then has not looked the force of old over fences fifth in the RSA Chase at last year's festival and finished his season pulling up in the Scottish National. If this horse takes to fences and runs up to his hurdle form he could well take a major part in this race. He is obviously a horse with a lot of class and the stable that he comes from of Alan King is doing well this season. A horse that seems quite fancied in this race and perhaps because of his indifferent running last year has a real good racing weight of 10 stones 6 pounds. Could well be in the finish of this race and one of the better horses from the lower half of the field.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and at distances up to 2 miles 4 furlongs.

The Disengager.

A really nice young consistent horse who has been progressing through the summer. Has not really had a break and comes here on the back of a good win in a listed race at Market Rasen. Taking a significant step up in class he could be one horse who has this race as his season's target where many of these may have this race as a stepping stone to bigger things. Will have to improve somewhat to take part in the finish here but could well have improvement to come and is running off a very low weight. This horse may just be one of the dark horses of the race.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to good to soft and over distance of 2 miles 7 furlongs.

Divers.

8 year old grey gelding Divers is a past winner of the listed handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival where he beat Quantitiveeasing back in 2011. Ran well in this race last year and was third behind Great Endeavour, but then run to poor races afterwards. Came back to form somewhat in the Byrne Group Plate handicap at the Cheltenham Festival where he finished fourth that was over 2 miles five furlongs on good ground. Has a tendency for his form to ebb and flow however his trainer thinks he will come on a great deal from his only run this season when he finished 17th and last in the Betvictor.com handicap Chase. Will have to improve to take part in the finish here but you do need to take into account that his best run was in this race last year.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles 5 furlongs.

Triolo D'Alene.

12 races in France in October and November last year before being brought here into the Nicky Henderson yard. Won his first outing at Ascot easily then went straight to the Cheltenham Festival and was disappointing in the 2 mile 4 furlong handicap Chase, Ran one further time after that and showed some improvement but in a lower class race and looks a short enough price at 16 to 1 on the form he has shown so far and is another who will have to improve to take part in the finish here. That said he is the youngest horse in the field at only five years old and significant improvement may come this year.

Wins have come on going from good to soft through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles 1 furlong.

Kingsmere.

A young bay gelding from the Henry Daly yard. Took some time to get off the mark in hurdles when winning at the ninth time of asking in the Coventry handicap hurdle back in March. Has been campaigned through the summer and has won a couple of small chases however the big problem with the horse is his jumping as he frequently makes errors and this more than anything is likely to find him out when running at this course at the sort of pace that this race will be run at. Last run was at this course where he fell in a novice chase back in October.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to good to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles 5 furlongs.

Casey Top.

A good consistent hurdler who looked to be doing well over the larger obstacles when running well in the Munster National (sixth) and then winning a small handicap Chase in May. Although that was within the start of this jump season it was really the end of his last season, and he was not seen again until the 1st of August in the Galway plate and Grade-A handicap Chase. He finished second that day attempting to make all but getting caught in the straight. Should have come on for that race but when following up was only able to finish last of the 11 horses that finished the race in the Kerry National over 3 miles. That was on heavy ground and although he has some form on soft ground, that was the first time that he faced heavy ground and therefore 3 miles on heavy ground in Ireland wherever you finish you must surely be given another chance. At nine years old he is probably well exposed and runs here from 2 pounds out of the handicap. While it's not impossible to see this horse winning I think it would be a surprise win on all known form.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good to firm through to yielding to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs (also did win a point-to-point over 3 miles).

Finger On the Pulse.

Well exposed 11-year-old who has been tried twice before in this race he finished 13th in 2011 and 12 in 2010. Has slipped down the ratings and today runs from two pounds out of the handicap a nice horse but it is difficult to see him winning this today.

Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy add up to a distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs.

Questions Answered.

A nice enough chaser who comes here on the back of two good runs. He was second in the Kerry National over 3 miles and then third in the Munster National over 3 miles. Although running from out of the handicap today and will have a lightweight to carry, this horse may fall behind in the fast pace of this 2 and a half mile race and looks better suited to the pace of a 3 mile race. Would be a surprise winner unless the ground turns very heavy as the horse loves very soft ground.

Wins have come on ground ranging from soft to heavy through to heavy and other distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs.

Gilbarry.

A seven-year-old bay gelding from the powerful Jonjo O'Neill training establishment. Is running here today from 10 Pounds out of the handicap that is to say he has to carry 10 pounds more than his allotted weight. On the face of it looks to have an impossible task however stepping up to this distance for the first time today may see some improvement but it is difficult to see him taking part in the finish.

All three wins have been on good ground and up to a distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs.






The_Full_Result


1st 2 11343- Al Ferof (219) 7 11-Oct Paul Nicholls R Walsh
2nd 12 1345P- Walkon (210) 7 10-Jun Alan King Robert Thornton
3rd 10 3/17-1 Nadiya De La Vega (28) 6 10-Aug Nicky Henderson A.P.McCoy
4th 17 36-120 Casey Top (59) 9 Sep-13 Leonard Whitmore Mark Enright (5)
5th 19 9-923 Questions Answered (34) 7 09-Jul E McNamara Aiden Coleman
6th 7 41412- Aerial (213 ) 6 11-Apr Paul Nicholls Daryl Jacob
PU 1 5U26-4 Poquelin (14) 9 11-Dec Paul Nicholls harry Derham (7)
PU 3 85110- Calgary Bay (217) 9 11-Jul Mick Channon Dominic Elsworth
PU 4 11113- Hunt Ball (219) 7 11-Jun Keiran Burke Nick Scholfield
PU 5 61114- Grands Crus (248) 7 11-Jun David Pipe Tom Scudamore
PU 6 02175- Quantitativeeasing (203) 7 11-Apr Nicky Henderson Andrew Tinkler
PU 9 3464-2 Forpadydeplasterer (19F) 10 Oct-13 Thomas Cooper Paddy Brennan
PU 11 7124-5 Micheal Flips (14 ) 8 10-Aug Andy Turnell Brian Hughes
PU 13 S41141 The Disengager (49) 8 10-Apr Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson
PU 15 1110-2 Triolo DŽAlene (190) 5 10-Jan Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
PU 16 F-211F Kingsmere (29) 7 10-0 Henry Daly Sam Twiston-Davies
PU 18 7-3633 Finger Onthe Pulse (28) 11 Sep-13 Jonjo OŽNeill Maurice Linehan (7)
FELL 20 P0F-39 Gilbarry (28) 7 09-Apr Jonjo OŽNeill Richie McLernon
N/R 8 1F32P- Tanks For That (219) 9 11-Apr Nicky Henderson Doubtful runner
N/R 14 U047-0 Divers (28) 8 10-Jan Ferdy Murphy Timmy Murphy












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