Cheltenham weights revealed
Grands Crus has been allotted 11st 6lb for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday, November 17.
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David Pipe's charge, the general favourite for the extended two and a half mile Grade Three handicap chase, enjoyed a superb first season over fences last term that included a facile victory in the Grade One Feltham Novices' Chase at Kempton.
The Keiran Burke-trained Hunt Ball has also been given 11st 6lb following a stunning novice campaign that included an emphatic win in the Listed Pulteney Land Investments Novices' Handicap Chase at The Festival.
Fellow second-season chaser Micheal Flips (10st 8lb) is set for the race after coming home fifth under top-weight on his seasonal return for trainer Andy Turnell in a two mile, one furlong handicap chase at Ascot on Saturday (November 3).
Micheal Flips went down by two lengths to For Non Stop (11st 11lb) in a Grade One novices' chase at Newbury in February and came home fourth behind the current favourite for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, Sir Des Champs, in the Grade Two Jewson Novices' Chase at The Festival in March.
Turnell revealed: "Micheal Flips is a definite runner for the Paddy Power Gold Cup, all being well. I thought that he ran all right at Ascot on Saturday - he was carrying a lot of weight and the trip was a bit sharp for him. He will be better for the run and it should put him spot on for Cheltenham.
"His good form last season was very good. His second to For Non Stop looks very good now and he seemed to run consistently well without setting the world alight.
"He made one error with his jumping on Saturday but he jumped pretty well otherwise and he seems more confident over his fences now."
Poquelin (11st 12lb) heads the weights for the contest for a third successive year. The Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old has won five times at Cheltenham and was second to The Giant Bolster on his latest appearance at the home of Jump Racing in the Grade Three Murphy Group Handicap Chase in January.
A total of eight entries from Nicholls also features Cristal Bonus (11st 6lb), who was an easy winner of a Grade Two Chase at Down Royal on November 3, recent Kempton graduation chase scorer Ghizao (10st 13lb), Aerial (11st 4lb) and Grade One winner Al Ferof (11st 8lb).
Other notable contenders include the Nicky Henderson-trained pair of course and distance scorer Nadiya De La Vega (10st 8lb) and the 2011 second Quantitativeeasing (11st 4lb), last season's RSA Chase fifth Walkon (10st 6lb) and Jewson Novices' Chase runner-up Champion Court (11st 4lb).
Paddy Power Gold Cup weights:
1/5U26-4 POQUELIN (FR) 9-11-12 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
26F25-2 WISHFULL THINKING 9-11-11 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
22213-1 FOR NON STOP (IRE) 7-11-11 Potensis Limited & Chris Giles Nick Williams
11F314- MENORAH (IRE) 7-11-09 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
1/11343- AL FEROF (FR) 7-11-08 John Hales Paul Nicholls
F/05110- CALGARY BAY (IRE) 9-11-07 Camilla Radford Mick Channon
0/11P2-1 CRISTAL BONUS (FR) 6-11-06 Robin Geffen Paul Nicholls
211113- HUNT BALL (IRE) 7-11-06 Anthony Knott Keiran Burke
2/61114- GRANDS CRUS (FR) 7-11-06 Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds III David Pipe
435216- EDGARDO SOL (FR) 5-11-06 Axom XXXII Paul Nicholls
123122- CHAMPION COURT (IRE) 7-11-04 Mark Boothright Martin Keighley
2/02105- QUANTITATIVEEASING (IRE) 7-11-04 J P McManus Nicky Henderson
2/41412- AERIAL (FR) 6-11-04 Tony Hayward and Barry Fulton Paul Nicholls
25145-4 TIME FOR RUPERT (IRE) 8-11-04 Littlecote Racing Partnership Paul Webber
3/1F32P- TANKS FOR THAT (IRE) 9-11-04 Bridget Hanbury Nicky Henderson
023-031 TORPHICHEN 7-11-01 J P McManus Edward O'Grady IRE
11264-1 SOLIX (FR) 6-10-13 Paul Vogt Ian Williams
33464-2 FORPADYDEPLASTERER (IRE) 10-10-13 Goat Racing Syndicate Thomas Cooper IRE
52/460-1 GHIZAO (GER) 8-10-13 The Johnson & Stewart Families Paul Nicholls
603/10-1 NADIYA DE LA VEGA (FR) 6-10-08 J P McManus Nicky Henderson
11114-3 PEPITE ROSE (FR) 5-10-08 Falcons Line Ltd Venetia Williams
40124-5 MICHEAL FLIPS (IRE) 8-10-08 Martin Tedham Andy Turnell
5/2100-0 GIORGIO QUERCUS (FR) 7-10-08 Seasons Holidays Nicky Henderson
06050-6 TARTAK (FR) 9-10-08 Power Panels Electrical Systems Ltd Tim Vaughan
11323F- NOTUS DE LA TOUR (FR) 6-10-07 D Bradshaw,J Dale,P Deal,J Smee,W Walsh David Pipe
0/1345P- WALKON (FR) 7-10-06 McNeill Family Alan King
1/15001- THE KNOXS (IRE) 9-10-06 Andrea & Graham Wylie Paul Nicholls
F021F3 FOSTERS CROSS (IRE) 10-10-05 Pat O'Donovan Thomas Mullins IRE
S41141 THE DISENGAGER (IRE) 8-10-04 Govier & Brown Philip Hobbs
01P11-F DARNA 6-10-03 Julie Martin and David Martin Kim Bailey
3U040-0 DIVERS (FR) 8-10-01 Let's Live Racing Ferdy Murphy
41110-2 TRIOLO D'ALENE (FR) 5-10-01 Mr & Mrs Sandy Orr Nicky Henderson
1F-211F KINGSMERE 7-10-00 Hamer & Hawkes Henry Daly
336-120 CASEY TOP (IRE) 9-9-13 Casey Brothers Syndicate Leonard Whitmore IRE
F0-3633 FINGER ONTHE PULSE (IRE) 11-9-13 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
123F2-0 HAVINGOTASCOOBYDO (IRE) 7-9-12 D Bishop C Bowkley M Parker M Thornton Martin Keighley
12541-1 TIPTOEAWAY (IRE) 7-9-11 Trevor Hemmings Tim Easterby
PP/212-4 CRIQTONIC (FR) 5-9-10 Axom XXXIII Paul Nicholls
26/0-023 QUESTIONS ANSWERED (IRE) 7-9-07 B Graham Eric McNamara IRE
2P6244 JAMSIE HALL (IRE) 9-9-07 Teresa Mangan Gordon Elliott IRE
05F132 ORDINARY MAN (IRE) 7-9-06 Simply The Best Syndicate Liam Burke IRE
3P0F-30 GILBARRY (IRE) 7-9-04 Mrs Peter Bond Jonjo O'Neill
23400-4 VINO GRIEGO (FR) 7-9-03 C E Stedman Gary Moore