Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Nolan considering Cheltenham trip

Noble Prince

Paul Nolan is satisfied with the 11st 2lb given to Noble Prince for the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday week.

The Cheltenham Festival winner made a successful start to the campaign in the Poplar Square Chase at Naas last weekend.

"It's a nice racing weight, but we have to make our mind up yet. It just might come a little bit soon from his first run, so we'll call it a bit later. He's come out of the race very well. It was a nice introduction for a horse that had fallen on his last run over fences. It was a lovely school round," said Nolan.

"It was nice to get such a small field for a Grade Three with a nice bit of prize money. It was the right start to the season and hopefully the sign of things to come because we think he's improved again and he seems a lot stronger at home.

"Hopefully we will choose the right races for him and finally get the Grade One victory I think he deserves."

David Bridgwater has made no secret of his high hopes for The Giant Bolster. Bridgwater, who trains near Cheltenham, has been planning a raid on this race for some time and is happy with the 10st 2lb allotted to his charge, who had a prep run over hurdles at Chepstow recently.

"The Paddy Power Gold Cup is definitely the plan and has been for the last eight or nine months and I'm not going to divert now.

"The top-weight (Poquelin, 11st 12lb) might not run so I'd think that we'll be running off 6lb higher, 10st 8lb, which is all right but I suppose the less weight the better!" said Bridgwater.

"If I'd have wound him up for Chepstow, I think that he'd nearly have won. He is a very lightly-raced horse and Chepstow was a proper old-fashioned handicap hurdle with loads of runners and the hustle and bustle will help him experience-wise as you're not going to get a clear run in the Paddy Power.

"The race will have helped with his fitness, experience and confidence. The horse is flying at home and if he gets a clear round and jumps fluently, he'll win! In reality it's a difficult old race, but if he travels well and has a bit of luck in running and is upsides at the last, he'd have better than a good chance."