At the five day declarations for this weeks Boylesports Gold Cup there is a surprise defection from the line up in Tranquil Sea, winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November. The handicap is now headed by Gwanako (16/1 with Boylesports), one of three confirmations for champion trainer Paul Nicholls, and yesterdays Warwick scorer Our Vic (20/1), who is among three possible starters from the David Pipe yard.
In addition to Gwanako, Paul Nicholls could also be represented by Paddy Power Gold Cup runner-up Poquelin (6/1), and Chapoturgeon (8/1), who was successful at last seasons Festival in the Listed Jewson Novices Handicap Chase but fell on his reappearance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on November 14.
The Irish are seeking their seventh victory in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup and there are four possibles from Ireland remaining in this years race - the Willie Mullins-trained trio of Scotsirish (16/1), Jayo (20/1) and Pomme Tiepy (25/1), as well as Skys The Limit (14/1), who is trained by Edward OGrady, successful in 2000 with Go Roger Go.
Welsh handler Tim Vaughan is seeking the biggest win of his career so far and has two live chances with Atouchbetweenacara (5/1 favourite with Boylesports) and Stan (25/1). Both horses boast winning form over the course and distance with Atouchbetweenacara having landed the Grade Two Silver Trophy at Cheltenham s April Meeting last season and Stan having won the same event in 2008. Another horse to have triumphed over the course and distance is Something Wells (16/1), who could make his first appearance since his victory in the Grade Three Freddie Williams Festival Plate at The Festival back in March.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who was the leading trainer at The Open last month, has two possible runners with Razor Royale (10/1), a winner at Cheltenham last time out in the Irish Times Amateur Riders Handicap Chase and stable stalwart Knowhere (33/1), runner-up in the 2006 Boylesports.com Gold Cup.
A horse who has shown markedly improved form this season is Mount Oscar (14/1), an impressive winner at Newbury last time out for trainer Colin Tizzard, while Hold Em (12/1) ran a good race when third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Other possible starters include Skippers Brig (14/1). Trained by Nicky Richards, the eight-year-old is lightly raced and was an impressive winner at Ayr on December 2.
Latest Boylesports prices: Atouchbetweenacara 5/1, Poquelin 6/1, Seven Is My Number 6/1, Chapoturgeon 8/1, Tamarinbleu 8/1, Razor Royale 10/1, Hold Em 12/1, Mount Oscar 14/1, Skippers Brig 14/1, Skys The Limit 14/1, Tarotino 14/1, From Dawn To Dusk 16/1, Gwanako 16/1, Pop 16/1, Scotsirish 16/1, Something Wells 16/1, Au Courant 20/1, Jayo 20/1, Lord Henry 20/1, My Petra 20/1, Our Vic 20/1, Saphir Des Bois 20/1, Watch My Back 20/1, Bible Lord 25/1, Pomme Tiepy 25/1, Stan 25/1, Akilak 33/1, Buck The Legend 33/1, Idole First 33/1, Knowhere 33/1, Private Be 33/1, The Sawyer 33/1