By Simon Jackson.
Present View continues to attract support for the £160,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup as 45 entries were unveiled for the Grade 3 contest at Cheltenham next month.
Present View, owned by Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick, is joint-favourite with Oscar Whisky at 7-1 with the sponsors. Next best at 10-1 are Ballynagour, Champagne Fever, Uxizandre and Buywise – whose trainer Evan Williams says he is ‘battling for time’ to have the gelding ready for the extended two and a half mile contest.
Buywise was fifth to Present View in a Novices’ Chase at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, before returning to the Gloucester track in April where he completed his season with an impressive victory in a Grade 2 chase.
He reappeared with an easy win at Ludlow last week, but Williams admits that he is eager to get more work into the seven-year-old before committing him to the feature race of the Open Meeting on November 15.
“I will see how things pan out and Buywise will probably work again next Wednesday. We will see where we go from there,” Williams said.
“He might need another run beforehand if we go to Cheltenham and so I might be struggling for time. His run last time was badly needed.
“I’d love to go for the Paddy Power and that was the point of running him last week. It sort of backfired on us as he won but didn’t have a hard enough race. I thought I was being clever running him over two miles but it just didn’t stretch him enough.
“My first and foremost aim is to get him to the Paddy Power Gold Cup. He loves it round Cheltenham and that is where I want to be with him. But I just want to hang fire before fully committing him.”
Williams’ remarks follow-on from an upbeat report last week from Jamie Snowden, the trainer of Present View who was narrowly beaten on his comeback at Cheltenham earlier this month after a mistake at the last fence.
“Fingers crossed, the Paddy Power Gold Cup is very much the plan for Present View,” Snowden said. “We have been training him with the Paddy Power in mind and he would have needed that [first] run.
“He took a slight knock at the last which is hopefully nothing drastic and, bar that, he is absolutely bouncing.
“The Paddy Power Gold Cup is always a very tough race. We said to ourselves that if he has improved mentally seven pounds and if he has improved physically – which I think he has done – then fingers crossed he will be very competitive.
“I think the world of the horse. He has got to improve but if he does I think he has got every chance.”
Paddy Power said today (Wednesday): “It’s a shame that Simonsig isn’t coming to the party, but Oscar Whisky was one of the best two and a half mile novices last season and will be a very tough nut to crack coming up that famous gruelling Cheltenham hill, while Present View has been all the rage in the early betting.”
Weights for the Paddy Power Gold Cup will be revealed on Wednesday, November 5.
Paddy Power Gold Cup, Paddy Power bet: 7/1 Oscar Whisky, Present View; 10/1 Ballynagour, Buywise, Champagne Fever, Uxizandre 12/1 Ballycasey, Colour Squadron, Double Ross, Felix Yonger, Johns Spirit, Taquin Du Seuil, Wonderful Charm; 14/1 Hunt Ball, Mr Mole, Rajdhani Express, Shanpallas, The Paparrazi Kid; 16/1 Attaglance, Ericht, Persian Snow; 20/1 Caid du Berlais, Cantlow, Easter Meteor, Edgardo Sol, Hollow Penny, Indian Castle, Kapga de Cerisy, Lamool, Menorah, Rolling Aces, Rubi Light; 25/1 Astracad, Bears Affair, Cedre Bleu, Champion Court, Eastlake, Fago, Manyriverstocross; 33/1 Festive Affair, King Massini, One Term, Shangani; 40/1 No Buts; 50/1 Orpheus Valley
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