Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls Day 4 Cheltenham Runners Preview: I won't be surprised if Frodon wins the Gold Cup

Paul Nicholls Gold Cup contender Frodon
Paul believes Frodon has lots in his favour ahead of his Gold Cup bid

"Best Chance. Frodon - 15.05. He is a course specialist who has a great each-way chance with ground conditions in his favour."

The Gold Cup is the blue riband event of the Cheltenham Festival, and Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls believes he has a big chance of winning it as he discusses his day four runners...

A more patient ride might pay dividends

13:55 - Thyme White

He is a lovely young horse who romped home on decent ground at Chepstow in October and was cruising along when he unseated Harry Cobden two out in a freak incident at Newbury. I've deliberately kept him away from the worst of the winter ground and he ran a cracker in the Betfair Hurdle a month ago until tiring late on. He's much sharper now and as he is a bit keen we going to ride him more patiently and try to produce him late on.

Keeps on galloping and will be fine on the ground

14:30 - Barbados Buck's

He has progressed hand over fist this season and comes here in top form as he seeks to complete a four timer. The key to his improvement has been the step up to three miles. He is one of those horses who will keep galloping all day, is just the type you need for the Albert Bartlett and will be fine on the drying ground.

Unbeaten hurdler has always looked smart

14:30 - Threeunderthrufive

I can't split Barbados Buck's and Threeunderthrufive who has also enjoyed a fruitful season and more than earned a shot at this Grade 1 novice hurdle. He has always looked smart, is unbeaten over hurdles and stayed on stoutly when upped to three miles for the first time at Musselburgh early in February.

He has plenty in his favour ahead of Gold Cup tilt

15:05 - Frodon

He is a marvel who keeps surprising people because he tends to be underestimated. I don't see the trip as an issue as he was outpaced in the Ryanair a year ago and seems to have more stamina with age. Don't forget he won the Cotswold Chase on deep ground and more recently landed the King George at Kempton in great style.

Bryony Frost gets a great tune out of Frodon, he loves Cheltenham having won there six times, and he worked beautifully at Wincanton recently with a group of mine. In addition the fact that the ground will be good on Friday rather than attritional is a massive bonus for him. So with plenty in his favour he has an excellent chance of being placed and I wouldn't be surprised if he won.

Solid chance in the Foxhunters

15:40 - Bob and Co

He is the highest rated of the home trained runners, has a touch of class, is on a roll and warmed up for this with a fluent success at Haydock a month ago on his first start since a wind op to help his breathing which obviously worked well. It's a shame that the current ban on amateurs means that his enthusiastic owner David Maxwell cannot ride him but Sean Bowen, who won on him at Haydock, is not a bad substitute. Solid chance.

Big step forward needed

16:15 - Cut The Mustard

She has been running consistently this season without managing to win and will enjoy the better ground at Cheltenham but she does need to take a big step forward to be competitive in this.

Will relish the ground but has it to do at the weights

16:50 - Amour de Nuit

He has a fair bit to do at the weights, mainly because he is so consistent, and he couldn't handle the testing ground last time at Taunton. Amour de Nuit will relish the good ground at Cheltenham but holds no secrets from the handicapper.

Goes well at Cheltenham and ground will suit

16:50 - Eglantine Du Seuil

She won the Mares' Novice Hurdle at the Festival at 50-1 two years ago when trained in Ireland but hasn't been successful since then and her current mark of 143 still looks high enough. While she has mostly struggled since joining us in the summer, she does go well at Cheltenham and I suspect she will enjoy the return to decent ground.

Back hurdling but I haven't found the key to him yet

16:50 - Fabulous Saga

He had a long time off and has needed both his runs over fences this season. But he didn't take to chasing so is back over hurdles in this. Its fair to say I haven't found the key to Fabulous Saga since he arrived from Ireland and all his best form in the past was on deep ground. I'm pleased to give a first ride to Millie Wonnacott who has made quite an impact this season.


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