Come the 19th March this year at about 3:20 there will be a dozen or so finely tuned horses arriving at the post to contest the Gold Cup. At this point there are many who maybe thinking that there is little point in half the field field turning up as the team from Ditchet the home of Paul Nicholls could all just stay at home and fight out the order of the first four home by themselves. He, Paul Nicholls, could probably sell the rights to the racing channels and make a tidy packet and we could all say we have done our bit for global warming.
Kauto Star, Denman, What A Friend, Taranis may all take their place at the festival and line up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and they are more than likely to be fighting it out at the finish at about 3:30. There are two horses in the entries that may get into the frame, Imperial Commander who ran Kauto Star close earlier in the season in the Betfair Chase but blundered badly in the King George Chase which finished off his chances in the race and he came home a distant fifth .
The other possible contender is Cooldine, trained by Willie Mullins, winner of the RSA Chase last season. Cooldine has not done very well this campaign, but in recent days there has been some support for him in the Irish Hennessy Gold betting the last of the major trials that could see a challenge to the Nicholls team at Leopardstown this Sunday afternoon. Cooldine must put a poor run behind him in the Lexus Chase at Christmas and win this race well to even get Nicholls to raise an eyebrow such is the dominance of this team .
It has to be good for the sport if there is a real challenge to his dominance and should Cooldine emerge as the one then the race will be all the better for it.