A fabulous seven-race card beckons at Cheltenham this afternoon on Paddy Power Day, day two of The November Meeting. The feature race of the meeting, the £130,000 G3 Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.15pm), takes centre-stage with an excellent supporting card featuring two other Graded contests. Punters will be looking to hit back after bookmakers landed the spoils on Countryside Day, day one of The November Meeting. The well-supported Induno (15/8f) was only fourth in the opening race while in the feature Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, hot favourite Easysland (8/11f) filled the same position behind 22/1 winner Kingswell Theatre.
In today’s opening G2 JCB Triumph Juvenile Hurdle (12.30pm), the unbeaten Duffle Coat is all the rage. The Gordon Elliott-trained three-year-old captured the Listed Wensleydale Juvenile Hurdle at Wetherby on his latest start and is 9/4 from 5/2 with Paddy Power.
The G2 From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices’ Chase (1.40pm) over two miles has attracted a select field of six, including Fusil Raffles for Nicky Henderson. The five-year-old is unbeaten in two starts over fences and was impressive at The Showcase last time out. He is the solid 11/8 favourite with Paddy Power, whilst each-way support has come for recent Uttoxeter winner Gumball who is 7/1 from 8/1 for Philip Hobbs.
Today’s highlight is the £130,000 G3 Paddy Power Gold Cup over two and a half miles at 2.15pm. The market is headed by another Henderson-trained inmate Mister Fisher. He has not been seen since finishing a good fourth behind Samcro in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at The Festival™ in March and is Paddy Power’s 9/2 favourite.
Guiting Power trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the Paddy Power Gold Cup on four occasions. He saddles the exciting Al Dancer, who seeks to back up a smooth success on his seasonal debut at Newton Abbot, defeating subsequent winner Master Tommytucker. The seven-year-old is a 13/2 chance from 8/1 with Paddy Power.
Captain Tom Cat is chasing a fourth straight success in the Paddy Power First Millionaire Qualifier Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (3.25pm). Trained by Dr Richard Newland, the five-year-old completed the hat-trick with a fine success at The Showcase and is again partnered by talented 7lb claimer Cillin Leonard. He is solid in the market with Paddy Power, contracting in price to 100/30 from 7/2.
In the finale on day two of The November Meeting, the Listed Karndean Designflooring Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (3.55pm), the Lucy Wadham-trained Martello Sky is the one for each-way money. A winner of two of her three bumpers, she was a smooth winner at Fakenham last month and is into 11/1 from 12/1 with Paddy Power.
Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: “We have seen lots of support for Al Dancer in the big one, but Mister Fisher is now clear 9/2 favourite.
“We had been unable to separate him and a couple of others at the front end, but the momentum behind the Marsh Novices’ Chase fourth that has been building all week has finally pushed him to the forefront.”
Ahead of today’s opening race, the going description has been updated to:
Chase Course: Good to Soft
GoingStick reading 6.3
Hurdle Course: Good to Soft, Soft in places (from Good to Soft)
GoingStick reading 6.1
It was dry overnight. There was two millimetres of rain between 7.00am and 10.00am. Further rain is expected this afternoon (up to six millimetres).