Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has engaged a classy quintet as he seeks a first Paddy Power Gold Cup victory. Poquelin, the 5/1 clear market leader with Paddy Power, landed the zeturf.com Handicap Chase over two and a half miles at The Showcase and could be joined by Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase hero Chapoturgeon, the smart Tatenen, Gwanako and Grand National third My Will.
Our Vic, successful in the 2005 Paddy Power Gold Cup, could bid for a second success at the age of 11. The popular gelding is one of a four-strong David Pipe-trained entry that also includes the 2007 Grade Three Boylesports.com Gold Cup winner Tamarinbleu.
The Tom George-trained Tartak landed a Grade Two novices’ chase at Aintree in April, while The Queen’s Barbers Shop, trained by Nicky Henderson, was runner-up in last season’s Paddy Power Gold Cup behind Imperial Commander.
Nigel Twiston-Davies trained the last-named, as well as 1992 winner Tipping Tim, and has four entries as he bids for a third success. The pick are Knowhere, third to L’Antartique in this race three years ago, and the smart Ballyfitz.
Henderson has also entered Petit Robin, third to Master Minded in the Grade One Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival, Grade Two winner My Petra, the progressive Pepsyrock and Strawberry.
There are four Irish-trained entries this year. Tony Martin has engaged this season’s Kerry National winner Northern Alliance, while Edward O’Grady has engaged the one-time top-class novice hurdler Tranquil Sea . Useful novice The Last Derby from the Eoin Griffin yard and the Noel Meade-trained Jaamid complete the Irish contingent.
Charlie Mann has an exciting duo engaged in Gauvain and Shining Gale, while War Of The World could line up for Tim Vaughan. Straw Bear was a top-class hurdler and Nick Gifford’s charge, runner-up in the 2006 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, is seeking a first win over fences despite some useful efforts.
Il Duce, fourth in last season’s Paddy Power Gold Cup and runner-up in 2007 when trained by Alan King, has been entered by current handler Renee Robeson. King has entered the promising pair of Tarotino, the 9/1 second favourite, and Sir Harry Ormesher.
Other entries of note include the Robert and Sally Alner-trained Master Medic, Hold Em from the Keith Goldsworthy yard, the Andrew Turnell-trained Bible Lord and the Ferdy Murphy-trained pair of Three Mirrors and Watch My Back.
Paddy Power Gold Cup - opening show from Paddy Power 5/1 Poquelin, 9/1 Tarotino, 10/1 Chapoturgeon, 10/1 Tatenen, 10/1 Northern Alliance, 12/1 Barbers Shop, 12/1 Tranquil Sea, 14/1 From Dawn To Dusk, 14/1 Watch My Back, 16/1 Gauvain, 16/1 Ballyfitz, 16/1 My Petra, 16/1 Shining Gale, 16/1 Master Medic, 16/1 Pepsyrock, 16/1 Straw Bear, 20/1 Petit Robin, 20/1 Gwanako, 20/1 Tartak, 20/1 Battlecry, 20/1 War Of The World, 20/1 Bible Lord, 20/1 Akilak, 20/1 Hold Em, 20/1 The Package, 25/1 Our Vic, 25/1 Tamarinbleu, 25/1 Il Duce, 25/1 According To Pete, 25/1 I’m So Lucky, 25/1 Pop, 25/1 Three Mirrors, 25/1 Always Waining, 25/1 Valley Ride, 25/1 Sir Harry Ormesher, 25/1 Abragante, 25/1 Gaelic Flight, 25/1 Jaamid, 25/1 Razor Royale, 33/1 Knowhere, 33/1 My Will, 33/1 Stan, 33/1 Palomar, 33/1 Leslingtaylor, 33/1 Strawberry, 33/1 The Last Derby, 33/1 Commemoration Day, 33/1 Island Life, 50/1 Knight Legend