Little Josh will this weekend be hoping to become the first horse since Exotic Dancer in 2006 to win the Paddy Power and December Gold Cups in the same season, the Nigel Twiston-Davies horse is fresh of his Paddy Power success and will go into the International Meeting this weekend well fancied for the double. The December Gold Cup which is known as the Vote AP Gold Cup this season is one of the feature races of the winter, and Little Josh is one of the short price favourites in the betting following his excellent win last month at the Open Meeting. He surprised many to win the Paddy Power beating the likes of Dancing Tornado and Long Run in the process and another win this weekend will see his stock raise yet further ahead of a potential Cheltenham Festival run in March.
Punters should be aware that as a result of his win last month Little Josh will be forced to carry 11st 4lbs for the Vote AP Gold Cup on Saturday, that will hinder his chances slightly but he is still some way below top weight Poquelin who will shoulder 11st 12lbs. Poquelin won the race last season for Paul Nicholls so needs to be respected as does the hugely exciting Robinson Collonges who could also take his chance off of a nice weight for Nicholls. The most likely target for Little Josh ahead of the Cheltenham Festival is the 2 mile 5 furlong Ryanair Chase and another good performance this weekend will see him become a live contender for that race. Little Josh seems to enjoy it around Cheltenham as he proved at the Open last month, and is clearly one to watch ahead of the Festival as Nigel Twiston-Davies continues to build a potentially strong team for the spring showpiece.