However, it’s the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday which is attracting the most attention and Grands Crus is certain to go off favourite, even if the sponsors are going after the David Pipe horse by offering 9/4 about a runner that disappointed in the RSA Chase last season.
Grands Crus was formidable when winning at Kempton in December although failed to live up to his favouritism at the Cheltenham Festival and it will be interesting to see whether the seven-year-old gets the trip in this two mile four furlong race, especially with so many other classy horses in the race.
That includes Hunt Ball who has been the subject of a pretty ferocious gamble in the past few days, not least because owner Anthony Knott claims that his charge has a stone in hand for this race and the seven-year-old has been the handicapper’s nightmare due to rapid improvement which could end up seeing the horse run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Hunt Ball’s winning run finally came to an end at Aintree last season when he ran a creditable third and Keiran Burke has now prepped him to go close in this race, with some firms as short as 9/2 about the runner although 11/2 is still available with Sky Bet.
Walkon runs for Alan King in this race and didn’t have the best of seasons last time around after finishing well behind Bob’s Worth in the RSA Chase before being pulled up in his final outing of the campaign.
Al Ferof is also on offer at around 7/1 and Paul Nicholls has high hopes for the seven-year-old, who won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle two seasons ago before being annihilated by Sprinter Sacre twelve months down the line.
There are 22 horses currently entered for the Paddy Power Gold Cup and we could easily see some big-priced runners into a place including Divers who ran a bad race at Cheltenham in October and will once again be racing against the likes of Nadiya De La Vega who won that day. The Nicky Henderson charge is a 16/1 chance (Sportingbet) and many people have tipped up a horse that won impressively at this course last time out.