Paddy Power Gold Cup - 15th November, 2014

Jonjo O'Neill's Johns Spirit could head to Cheltenham on November 15 to try and retain his Paddy Power Gold Cup crown and the Jackdaws Castle inmate kicked off his season with a fine victory in a competitive race at Prestbury Park's Showcase Meeting, a race he won 12 months ago en route to victory in this event.

Present View was another that impressed in Cheltenham's first meeting of the season as last year's Cheltenham Festival winner ran a cracker over hurdles and that contest should sharpen Jamie Snowden's star up for a tilt at what is one of the early season National Hunt highlights.

Nicky Henderson's Oscar Whisky fell at the first fence on his last visit to Cheltenham in the JLT Novices' Chase and he will be aiming to bounce back here, whilst Indian Castle has attracted significant support throughout the week and is of interest.

Evan Williams's Buywise was a comfortable winner over hurdles on his seasonal reappearance and he has shaped as if he could be a progressive chaser this season, whilst Persian Snow ran well behind Johns Spirit at the Showcase meeting and is entitled to feature.

Of the others, Easter Meteor was a faller in the latter part of the race last season and will look to complete the course this time around, whilst the likes of Ericht and Shanpallas add significant depth to what is a real punting head-scratcher.

Latest Bettingo for 2014 Paddy Power Gold Cup

6/1 Present View

7/1 Buywise

9/1 Johns Spirit

9/1 Oscar Whisky

10/1 Indian Castle

12/1 Attaglance

12/1 Easter Meteor

14/1 Ericht

14/1 Shanpallas

16/1 Caid Du Berlais

16/1 Persian Snow

20/1 Cantlow

20/1 Champion Court

20/1 Eastlake

20/1 Edgardo Sol

20/1 Kapga De Cerisy

33/1 King Massini

33/1 Cedre Bleu

50/1 Orpheus Valley

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Paddy Power Gold Cup History

The Paddy Power Gold Cup is a Grade Three handicap race run over two miles, four-and-a-half furlongs for horses aged four years or older and is widely regarded as a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

Established in 1960 and originally run as the Mackeson Gold Cup, this contest had an instant superstar bag glory as Fortria won two of the first three runnings of the race.

A few horses in the race's history have grabbed double glory with the Martin Pipe-trained Cyfor Malta the last to achieve the feat at the turn of the century. However, the race now attracts some top class runners, who are looking to use this contest as a springboard to bigger and better things and some come back to Prestbury Park later on in the season to bag Cheltenham Festival glory.

Exotic Dancer was an emphatic winner of the 2006 Paddy Power Gold Cup before being placed in a Gold Cup, whilst Imperial Commander was an equally as impressive winner of the 2008 renewal.

Nigel Twiston-Davies' stable star then became a household name in 2009 when bagging the Ryanair Chase crown at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival before returning a year later to reach the pinnacle of jumps racing in the UK & Ireland by landing the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Long Run was sent off a short-priced favourite for the 2010 Paddy Power Gold Cup, but Nicky Henderson's emerging star failed to land the spoils as Little Josh provided an exemplary front-running performance to bag the title.

However, it would be only a few months later that the Robert Waley-Cohen-owned runner would return to the scene and get the better of Paul Nicholls' legendary duo of Kauto Star and Denman in one of the best Gold Cup renewals in recent history.

Since the 2000's the Paddy Power Gold Cup has emerged as one of the leading trial races for trainers and owners as they look to become accustomed with the Cheltenham undulations before taking a crack at the Gold Cup in March.

Recent Winners of Paddy Power Gold Cup

  • 2000 - Lady Cricket
  • 2001 - Shooting Light
  • 2002 - Cyfor Malta
  • 2003 - Fondmort
  • 2004 - Celestial Gold
  • 2005 - Our Vic
  • 2006 - Exotic Dancer
  • 2007 - L'Antartique
  • 2008 - Imperial Commander
  • 2009 - Tranquil Sea
  • 2010 - Little Josh
  • 2011 - Great Endeavour
  • 2012 - Al Ferof
  • 2013 - Johns Spirit
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