Boylesports have opened the market on the Boylesports.com Gold Cup and make Tranquil Sea the 6/1 favourite. If successful, the seven-year-old would become the ninth horse to win both the Boylesports.com Gold Cup and the Paddy Power Gold Cup and only the fourth to complete the double in the same season.
Tranquil Sea tops the weights on 11st 12lb for the Grade Three £150,000 Boylesports.com Gold Cup, run over two miles and five furlongs at Cheltenham on Saturday, December 12, the second day of the Boylesports International.
Trained in Ireland by Edward O’Grady, Tranquil Sea was successful last time out in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on November 12, becoming the first Irish-trained horse to win that contest since Bright Highway in 1980.
One horse heading to the Boylepsports.com Gold Cup is Mount Oscar (10st 9lb), trained by Colin Tizzard. One of the most improved horses in training, Mount Oscar has won on his last two starts, in a beginners’ chase at Fontwell and in a competitive handicap at Newbury on November 28. The 10-year-old is a 14/1 chance with Boylesports.
Tizzard commented: “We are hoping to run Mount Oscar in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup. I can’t believe what he has achieved already this season and he looks in the form of his life so we decided to give him a chance in a top handicap chase.
“I thought that Paddy Brennan was very cool on him at Newbury - he didn’t really have a real go at the horse until halfway up the run-in and Mount Oscar stayed on well. I think that he will stay three miles in time but he also seems to have plenty of pace to go with it.
“He’s gone up to 140, which would give us a lovely weight if the horses at the top of the handicap take their chances. He will enjoy running over two miles and five furlongs in a really fast run handicap - his stamina came into play at Newbury.
“He has had leg trouble over the years but he showed some sparkling form over hurdles for Richard Rowe before seeming to lose his way a bit. He has not had a huge amount of racing and he certainly seems to be in good form at the moment, “He is still a novice over fences and we will run him in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup to see where we are with him. If he runs really well at Cheltenham, then he could take his chance in the Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.
“He has taken his two races really well, although his win at Fontwell was little more than a canter. We are not going to wait around forever with him and I think that he deserves to take his chance in some of the top chases.”
Poquelin (11st 6lb, 7/1) finished the four-and-a-half length runner-up behind Tranquil Sea in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and could now re-oppose that rival on 4lb better terms. The six-year-old is one of three Paul Nicholls-trained possibles along with Chapoturgeon (11st 8lb, 7/1), an early faller in the Paddy Power Gold Cup but successful in the Listed Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival last season, and Gwanako (11st 10lb, 10/1).
Also prominent in the betting with Boylesports is the Tim Vaughan-trained Atouchbetweenacara (11st 3lb, 7/1) who was last seen out when taking the Grade Two Silver Trophy at Cheltenham ’s April Meeting. Hold Em (10st 3lb, 10/1) finished third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and trainer Keith Goldsworthy has confirmed the Boylesports.com Gold Cup as the nine-year-old’s next target.
Tamarinbleu (11st 8lb, 10/1) caused the biggest-ever upset in the race when winning the 2007 Boylesports.com Gold Cup at 22/1 and is one of four possible runners for trainer David Pipe alongside Our Vic (11st 10lb, 20/1), who was last seen out when finishing sixth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, Pablo Du Charmil (11st 5lb, 16/1), Seven Is My Number (10st 8lb, 10/1) and I’m So Lucky (10st 4lb).
The 11 Irish-trained contenders also include J’Y Vole (11st 6b, 10/1) and Scotsirish (11st 9lb, 10/1), while another possible starter is Something Wells (11st 5lb, 14/1) who was last seen out when triumphant in the Freddie Williams Festival Plate over the course and distance on March 12.