Silverburn has been installed as 7-2 favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday, November 15, by the sponsor, which is supporting the first major race of the new Jumps season for the sixth successive year. The world's most friendly bookie noticed that the seven-year-old's trainer Paul Nicholls stated in Monday's Racing Post that Silverburn looks like being my No.1 hope for the Paddy Power Gold Cup and added: I like to think that he could end up in the Ryanair Chase at the festival, so I have to fancy his chances running in a handicap off 143, and concluded that the three-time champion Jumps trainer might just be a man who knows what he's talking about.
Paul Green, owner of Silverburn, said from his Jersey home this morning: I don't know much about it, but I understand Paul [Nicholls] has made one or two glowing reports about the horse in the Racing Post and I presume that's the reason why Paddy Power have made him favourite. I presume all must be well but I've not spoken to Paul for a while. From my perspective, everything is alright and I hope it continues. I know that Paul likes his handicap mark as he told me that a while ago. I hope that if punters have an interest that he doesn't let them down. I'm not a gambler like that and I won't be betting at 7-2. I like a small interest but not at 7-2 in a big race like that and I think that is a little bit testing.
Jack the Giant shares joint second-favouritism at 8-1 with Noland with Power and with Tony McCoy likely to be required to partner a J P McManus-owned horse, the former will probably be the mount of Barry Geraghty. 'Jack', who was a length and a quarter too powerful for Twist Magic in the 2006 Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novices' Chase, could attempt to emulate the runner-up who went on to scoop some serious Paddy Power wonga when beating Voy Por Ustedes in last year's paddypower.com Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown. Nicky Henderson, trainer of Jack the Giant, said: He's got to start somewhere and the Paddy Power might well suit. We'll keep all our options and Barbers Shop ran very well there in the Jewson last season and again the Paddy Power is a possibility. Fleet Street is in everything and again I wouldn't rule him out for the race. We only entered them a couple of days ago and they're all perfectly possible runners.
Don't Push It, who Paddy Power rates as a 10-1 chance together with Imperial Commander and Finger Onthe Pulse, could prove popular with punters as he could well be McCoy's mount, but backers might do well to be wary as Jonjo O'Neill told Paddy Power's roving reporter that he probably needs three miles nowadays. Imperial Commander is an interesting one as Nigel Twiston-Davies's string are in rude health, the Naunton trainer winning last Sunday's Old Roan Chase with the ultra-tough Knowhere, and punters weren't shy in stepping forward to take Power's cash when the 'Commander' justified odds-on favouritism at the Paddy Power Meeting last year. Who will forget the Queen's celebration when she had a winner (and possibly landed a serious off-course punt?) at Royal Ascot and it could be a case of 'hats off' (trilbies and flat caps rather than toppers in this instance) if her Barbers Shop (12-1) can win the Paddy Power Gold Cup. The gelding put in a fine performance when runner-up to Finger Onthe Pulse in the Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase in March, and who knows, if the 'Jelly Bean' chooses to attend Prestbury Park on Paddy Power Gold Cup Day, perhaps Ireland's biggest bookmaker can price up its unique Queen's Hat betting market?