IL DUCE ON COURSE TO RETURN TO CHELTENHAM FOR Boylesports.com GOLD CUP
Meeting - The Boylesports International, Dates - Friday, December 14 & Saturday, December 15
Advance Admission Prices - Friday, Club/Tattersalls £18, Best Mate £8; Saturday, Club £27, Tattersalls £20, Best Mate £10
Gates Open - 10am all days
First race - 12.10pm Friday, 12.20pm Saturday
Trainer Alan King today revealed that Il Duce is likely to return to Cheltenham on Saturday, December 15, day two of the Boylesports International, for the £150,000 Boylesports.com Gold Cup (2.40pm).
Il Duce ran a fine race on his first start since May when going down by a neck to L’Antartique in the first major handicap of the jumps season at Cheltenham, the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open on November 17.
The Barbury Castle handler said: “Il Duce is a very likely runner in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup at this stage.
“He came out of the Paddy Power Gold Cup very well.
“I haven’t done that much with him since he worked last Wednesday but he seems in good order.”
In six starts at Cheltenham Il Duce has run consistently well, finishing in the first three on four occasions.
He is rated a 12/1 chance for glory in the Grade Three event with sponsor Boylesports.
King also has Howle Hill entered in the two mile, five furlong contest, although the seven-year-old Ali Royal gelding is more likely to contest the £20,000 Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase (12.55pm) over an extended two miles on the same card.
Howle Hill was very impressive on his seasonal reappearance, his first start in over in a year, when winning a valuable intermediate handicap chase over two miles and three furlongs at Ascot on November 24.
King continued: “Howle Hill probably won’t go for the Boylesports.com Gold Cup.
“However, I might well run him in the Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase on the same day.
“I think the Boylesports.com Gold Cup might just be too much of an ask for him at this stage of his career. I gave him an entry, but he has only had three runs over fences in his life.”
Howle Hill is unbeaten in three starts in chases, having won novice contests at Fontwell and Warwick last season before his Ascot success last month. Prior to that, he posted some very smart efforts over hurdles, most notably when fifth to Made In Japan in the 2004 Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival.
A total of 45 entries have been received for the Boylesports.com Gold Cup, the most valuable race of its kind this season, including the first seven horses home from the Paddy Power Gold Cup - L’Antartique, Il Duce, Knowhere, Palarshan, Patman Du Charmil, Bob Hall and Copsale Lad.
Weights for the £150,000 contest will be revealed on Wednesday, December 5.
LATEST BETTING FROM BOYLESPORTS ON THE Boylesports.com GOLD CUP
L'Antartique 5/1, Abragante 7/1, New Alco 8/1, Knowhere 10/1, Madison Du Berlais 10/1, Roman Ark 10/1, Palarshan 10/1, Our Vic 12/1, Ungaro 12/1, Il Duce 12/1, Howle Hill 12/1, New Little Bric 12/1 , Kalca Mome 12/1, Limited Edition 12/1, Cerium 14/1, Jack The Giant 14/1, Tamarinbleu 14/1, Knight Legend 14/1, The Railway Man 14/1, Copsale Lad 14/1, Three Mirrors 14/1, Le Volfoni 16/1, Idole First 16/1, Private Be 16/1, Newman Des Plages 16/1, Patman De Charmil 16/1, Fier Normand 16/1, Whispered Secret 16/1, Faasel 20/1, Turko 20/1, Too Forward 20/1, Yes Sir 20/1, Bob Hall 20/1, Ardaghey 20/1, Tidal Fury 20/1, Our Armageddon 20/1, Vodka Bleu 20/1, Mr Boo 20/1, Regal Heights 25/1, Tikram 25/1, Black Hills 25/1, Magic Sky 33/1, The Reverend 40/1
Following 13 millimetres of rain over the weekend, the going at Cheltenham is currently GOOD.
Both days of the Boylesports International, Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15, take place over the New Course, which has not been used since Cheltenham’s Hunter Chase evening on May 2.