The £150,000 Boylesports.com Gold Cup has received a superb entry of 47 horses with the two mile, five furlong handicap chase run at Cheltenham on Saturday, December 9, the second day of the Boylesports International.
David Pipe dominates the entries with seven possible contenders at this stage, including the Paddy Power Gold runner-up Vodka Bleu (8/1 joint-favourite with Boylesports), the sixth from that race Tamarinbleu (16/1) and Commercial Flyer (16/1), who looked to a hot novice last season before running disappointingly at The Festival and at Aintree. Pipe's father Martin won the Boylesports.com Gold Cup with Northern Starlight (1998) and Fragrant Dawn (1993).
Nicky Henderson won the Boylesports.com Gold Cup in quick succession with Fondmort (2002) and Iris Royal (2003). This year the master of Seven Barrows has half a dozen to choose from including Crozan (16/1), a smart novice in the early part of last season, the useful ex-Irish mare Mariah Rollins (14/1) and Copsale Lad (16/1), who was pulled-up after being hampered badly in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
There seems to be no stopping champion trainer Paul Nicholls at the moment and he has five entries, including one of the likely top-weights Thisthatandtother (12/1), who was bang in contention when falling in this contest 12 months ago and recently returned to action with a promising second to Racing Demon in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon on November 18. Nicholls' quintet also include recent Ascot scorer Cerium (14/1), Le Volfoni (16/1), a decent novice last season, Taranis (8/1 joint-favourite), a faller two out when in contention in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open and Albuhera (16/1).
Exotic Dancer (10/1) won the Paddy Power Gold Cup by three lengths from Vodka Bleu on November 11 and he could bid to also win the two mile, five furlong Boylesports.com Gold Cup. He will be attempting to follow in the footsteps of Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Pegwell Bay (1988) - the only two horses to win the two prestigious handicaps in the same season. Jonjo O'Neill, trainer of Exotic Dancer, could also run Paddy Power Gold Cup fourth Butler's Cabin (12/1) and Hasty Prince (12/1).
Sir Oj (14/1), trained by Noel Meade, captured the 2005 Boylesports.com Gold Cup for the Irish and he is one of eight Irish-trained contenders this time around. The Irish contingent also includes Sir Oj's stablemate Wild Passion (16/1), fourth in last season's Irish Independent Arkle Trophy at The Festival, Grade One winner Kill Devil Hill (14/1) who recently went down by a short-head to Sir Oj in the Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase, Pearly Jack (16/1), winner of his last two starts at Limerick, the Enda Bolger-trained Darby Wall (14/1), successful in the paddypower.com Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on November 10 and Tony Martin's recent Punchestown scorer Ross River (10/1). Willie Mullins has two very useful performers engaged in the shape of Our Ben (16/1) and Missed That (10/1), the 2005 Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner at The Festival and twice successful in Grade One novice chases last season.
Two other leading contenders are New Alco (12/1), trained by Ferdy Murphy and a staying-on third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Billyvoddan (12/1) from the Henry Daly yard, who shaped with promise when fifth behind Cerium at Ascot last time out.
The Boylesports.com Gold Cup has received a £40,000 prize money boost thanks to the generous support of Boylesports, Ireland's fastest growing independent bookmaker, and is one of the feature races of the Boylesports International, which commences on Friday, December 8.
Simon Claisse, Cheltenham's Director of Racing and Clerk of the Course, commented: "The £40,000 prize money increase for the Boylesports.com Gold Cup has resulted in plenty of high-class performers being entered.
"Cheltenham is delighted to have received such a fabulous entry and we look forward to a cracking contest on December 9."
The Boylesports International will be staged on Cheltenham's New Course, which has not been used since May.
For further information on the Boylesports International, please contact Peter McNeile, Cheltenham's Director Of Sponsorship, on 01242 537600, Simon Claisse, Cheltenham's Director Of Racing & Clerk of the Course, on 07785 293966, Rebecca Morgan, Commercial Executive, on 01242 537654 or 07767 612931, or go to www.cheltenham.co.uk
Noel Meade IRE (2005 Sir Oj)
Willie Mullins IRE
Enda Bolger IRE
Davy Fitzgerald IRE
Philip Hobbs (2004 Monkerhostin)
Tony Martin IRE
Paul Nolan IRE
THE Boylesports.com GOLD CUP
Class 1, Grade Three, 2.35pm, Saturday, December 9, 2006, two miles and five furlongs, £150,000 total prize fund, for four-year-olds and upwards Penalties after November 25, a winner of a Class 3 chase 4lb; of a Class 1 or 2 chase 6lb. No penalty to increase a horse's weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed Wednesday, November 22, 2006, entries released Thursday, November 23, (47 entries), weights revealed November 29. Five-day confirmation stage Monday, December 4. Form supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to an including the racing of Wednesday, November 22. May not include some overseas form.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
313244- ALBUHERA (IRE) 8 David and Elizabeth Jackson Paul Nicholls
11FP/24- BACKBEAT (IRE) 9 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
6/121PP- BANNOW STRAND (IRE) 6 David Johnson David Pipe
3410U-5 BILLYVODDAN (IRE) 7 Trevor Hemmings Henry Daly
0-31114 BUTLER'S CABIN (FR) 6 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
2P/P000- CALLING BRAVE (IRE) 10 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
1310P-1 CERIUM (FR) 5 Barry Fulton, Tony Hayward, Steve Fisher, Liam Brady Paul Nicholls
043154- CLAYMORE (IRE) 10 Brian Stewart-Brown Oliver Sherwood
115/1PP- COMMERCIAL FLYER (IRE) 7 David Johnson David Pipe
03/53-2P CONTRABAND 8 David Johnson David Pipe
12123-P COPSALE LAD 9 Swallow Partnership Nicky Henderson
02/14PP- CROZAN (FR) 6 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson
31-65F1 DARBY WALL (IRE) 8 Matthew Cahill Enda Bolger IRE
331F-21 EXOTIC DANCER (FR) 6 Sir Robert Ogden Jonjo O'Neill
6FF-006 FLYING SPIRIT (IRE) 7 Richard Green (Fine Paintings) Gary Moore
U/4FF0-2 FUNDAMENTALIST (IRE) 8 Gripen Nigel Twiston-Davies
U/2163-5 GRAPHIC APPROACH (IRE) 8 Mr & Mrs Peter Orton Charles Egerton
0001-52 HASTY PRINCE 8 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
2//60F5P- IRIS ROYAL (FR) 10 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
623106- KALCA MOME (FR) 8 Daphne Du Pre Philip Hobbs
P0410-0 KANDJAR D'ALLIER (FR) 8 Let's Live Racing Alan King
1U025-0 KELREV (FR) 8 Len Jakeman, Flintham, King & Roberts Venetia Williams
11343-2 KILL DEVIL HILL (IRE) 6 Gigginstown House Stud Paul Nolan IRE
1/P-11F2 KNOWHERE (IRE) 8 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
21F632- LE VOLFONI (FR) 5 A Banks Paul Nicholls
0U5014- LIBERTHINE (FR) 7 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
6640-46 LOCKSMITH 6 David Johnson David Pipe
11133-0 MADISON DU BERLAIS (FR) 5 Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds II David Pipe
035435- MARIAH ROLLINS (IRE) 8 Paul Murphy Nicky Henderson
1116F1- MISSED THAT 7 Violet O'Leary Willie Mullins IRE
111F-20 MR BOO (IRE) 7 The Hon Mrs C Cameron Gary Moore
1226-23 NEW ALCO (FR) 5 D McGowan And S. Murphy Ferdy Murphy
4P2103- NO FULL (FR) 5 Patrick Delaney Jnr Paul Webber
213UP3- OUR BEN 7 Trevor Hemmings Willie Mullins IRE
40-3211 PEARLY JACK 8 A. McCarthy Davy Fitzgerald IRE
6/2211-F REVEILLEZ 7 J P McManus James Fanshawe
32F12-1 ROSS RIVER 10 Seamus Ross Tony Martin IRE
1FF6-11 SIR OJ (IRE) 9 Brian Keenan Noel Meade IRE
4/2510-6 TAMARINBLEU (FR) 6 The Arthur White Partnership David Pipe
U111-1F TARANIS (FR) 5 A Yeoman & C Whittaker Paul Nicholls
214/3F-2 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 10 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
F24-15U TIGHE CASTER 7 Don Jones Peter Bowen
1/2000-0 TIKRAM 9 Mike Charlton And Rodger Sargent Alan King
25U2-10 TOO FORWARD (IRE) 10 T Gibson & D Mathias Carl Llewellyn
12311/-2 VODKA BLEU (FR) 7 David Johnson David Pipe
224F-22 WILD PASSION (GER) 6 Des Sharkey Noel Meade IRE
34252-6 WITHOUT A DOUBT 7 Malcolm Denmark Carl Llewellyn