Knott on the Ball again
Ebullient owner Anthony Knott claims his profits from backing Hunt Ball will reach almost £1million if the Kieran Burke-trained runner can win Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
- Related Content
Knott, who won £700,000 backing the horse during his remarkable run of success last season, has backed the horse to win a further £200,000-plus at 10/1 and 9/1 for the race and staked £20,000 at 50/1 that he wins the Gold Cup back at the track in March.
"The more I look at the Paddy Power Gold Cup, the more I see him winning the race," said Knott.
"We are living the dream. I say living the dream but we will be living a reality come Saturday. When Nick [Schofield] lets him loose three out, I can't see anything staying with him.
"We have his season mapped around four races and if we can land one of those we will be doing all right. I think realistically his best chances of success this season are in the Paddy Power and the King George, as his best performance last season was at Kempton. The Gold Cup may be a step too far, but we will find out.
"I am not worried about the other horses on Saturday, as I know what we have, although I do think Nicky Henderson's horse (Triolo d'Alene) could be lingering on a nice weight."
Burke reported Hunt Ball to be perfectly on track for the race.
"I'm a bit nervous but I've done all my work now and it's down to the horse and jockey on the day," he said.
"He did his last serious piece of work on Monday over 15 furlongs down at Richard Barber's place. We just now have to keep him fresh until Saturday.
"Hunt Ball is a very laid back horse and you have to make him work. He has been back in a while following his summer break, as we didn't want to get him fit too quickly.
"You have to be ready for a race like that. He has had a racecourse gallop and lots of schooling. He is a bigger and stronger horse this year, having grown a little bit over the summer. Hopefully, he has improved too."