It’s the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday
Always an exciting race and often a good indication as to how some of the top jumpers in the country will perform this season.
Many of the top stables send out some of their best horses and the race will also include the surprise package of last season, Hunt Ball.
Trainer David Pipe fancies his chances of winning the race with his largely consistent grey gelding, Grand Crus. He loves racing at Cheltenham and once he has raced this Saturday a decision will be made as to whether or not he will be aimed at the William Hill sponsored King George race at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.
Pipe told Paddy Power: “Grand Crus is in good form. We’re pleased with him. He’s won at this meeting the last two seasons and we’re looking forward to it. We’ve opted to come here rather than wait for the three-mile race at Haydock as theoretically he may be well in. He’ll be fresh and keen so the 2m 4f of Cheltenham might just suit him better at this stage of the season.
“He’s stronger since his summer break and is coming into his prime now. He’s won three times at Cheltenham and his only disappointing run was in the RSA Chase where he travelled well but Tom Scudamore wasn’t happy a long way from home.
Luck in running
“Al Ferof, Calgary Bay and Walkon are the three I fear. Hunt Ball could continue to improve but I think it’s a big ask for him to keep doing it again and again. We’ll need a little bit of luck in running to come through the 20-odd runners at the end of the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday. But I’m hopeful Grands Crus will take all the beating.”
As with any race, especially at this time of the year, writes the profitable punter, I shall wait to see how the weather develops between now and Saturday and, crucially, to see what the going is at Cheltenham on the day.
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