After the Irish came and won the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Prestbury Park last month their chances of doing the same in the Boylesports Gold Cup look to be much more limited. There are only two Irish runners in a field of seventeen which includes the Edward O'Grady trained Sky's The Limit the 2006 Coral Cup winner. Edward OGrady ensured that the Paddy Power Gold Cup headed back to Ireland last month when he saddled Tranquil Sea to victory in that race and the trainer is bidding for a second major Cheltenham prize this season with 10/1 shot Skys The Limit. Fellow Irish trainer Willie Mullins is set to run Jayo.
Paddy Power Gold Cup third Hold Em 12/1 represents trainer Keith Goldsworthy, while Andrew Turnell, who rode the 1972 victor Arctic Bow, is set to saddle Bible Lord 25/1.
Gwanako, trained by Paul Nicholls, and the David Pipe-trained Our Vic share top-weight of 11st 12lb. Pipe also saddles the 2007 winner Tamarinbleu, who was runner-up in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October. The Nicholls contingent includes current 5/1 joint-favourite Poquelin, second in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open, and Chapoturgeon 6/1, who fell in that contest.
Course and distance winner Atouchbetwenacara is the other 5/1 joint-favourite and is one of two Tim Vaughan-trained runners, the other being Stan.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Razor Royale won the Irish Times Amateur Riders Handicap Chase at The Open, while stablemate Knowhere, runner-up to Exotic Dancer in the 2006 Boylesports Gold Cup, is also in the field.
The progressive Colin Tizzard-trained Mount Oscar is primed to take his chance, as are the Venetia Williams-trained Idole First and the Philip Hobbs-trained From Dawn To Dusk.
While Nicky Richards anticipates a bold show from the progressive Skippers Brig.