Friday 23 February 2018

Noble Prince to run in Navan

NOBLE PRINCE has been ruled out of Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham, with trainer Paul Nolan opting to take on former champion chaser Big Zeb in Sunday's Grade Two Fortria Chase at Navan instead.

A winner of the Jewson Chase at Prestbury Park in March, Noble Prince was a popular 10/1 shot for Saturday's big handicap. He had enjoyed a comfortable success on his return at Naas a fortnight ago, and was due to carry 11st 2lb at Cheltenham.

Nolan's charge is one of only two potential Irish raiders that feature in the first showing for this year's King George VI Chase, with Dessie Hughes' Roberto Goldback the other.

Gold Cup victor Long Run tops a list of 24 horses that have been put in the St Stephen's Day highlight, and is as short as 11/10 to win the Grade One for a second successive year.

Four-time winner Kauto Star has also been put in, as has his half-brother Kauto Stone, so impressive at Down Royal last Saturday.

Joncol, the 2010 Hennessy Gold Cup hero that returned to form in brilliant style on his seasonal bow at Thurles last week, will have to carry at least 11st 5lb if he takes his chance in the English equivalent in a fortnight's time.

Paul Nicholls' What A Friend tops the weights on 11st 12lb, while Diamond Harry has 11st 9lb for a rating of 166, a mark 10 pounds higher than that off which he collected 12 months ago.

Willie Mullins, meanwhile, has confirmed that Inspector Clouseau will run in Sunday's Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Irish Independent

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