O’Faolains Boy: on target for the bet365 Gold Cup
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
O’FAOLAINS BOY, an 11th-hour absentee from the Grand National, is in line to attempt to provide connections with compensation in the bet365 Gold Cup Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
The nine-year-old was found to be lame on the morning of the £1 million Aintree marathon after knocking himself overnight, but was reported to be in good form on Tuesday by trainer Rebecca Curtis.
She told the Racing Post: “We worked him this morning and he worked really well. It’s a nice race to end the season and I think the trip should suit.”
However, if the ground dries out too much then Curtis will not run O’Faolains Boy, who is a general 20-1 chance for the Grade 3 handicap.
Five of his six wins have been achieved on soft ground or worse, and Curtis added: “I wouldn’t run him if the ground came up too quick, but they’re due rain Friday. As long as it stays good to soft then he’ll definitely run.”
Dynaste drops in class
Slower ground would also suit David Pipe’s potential runners, Dynaste and Katkeau.
Pipe’s father Martin won the race three times, and his son is keen to add to the family’s tally.
Dynaste will be dropping in class, having finished fourth to Cue Card in the Grade 1 Bowl at Aintree, despite colliding with a broken rail that was caused by a photographer leaning on it.
Pipe said: “Dynaste ran a good race despite a troubled passage and he shapes as though he needs more of a test of stamina these days. Both Dynaste and Katkeau would want some rain.”
Ground and betting update
Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper said on Tuesday afternoon: “I’d describe the chase track as good, good to soft in places, while the hurdles track is marginally slower at good to soft, good in places.”
The betting is headed by the Paul Nicholls-trained Southfield Theatre, who is a best price of 8-1. Victory for Southfield Theatre in the £150,000 bet365 Gold Cup would almost assure Nicholls of a tenth British trainers’ title.
Nicholls extended his lead over Willie Mullins in the trainers’ championship to £51,522 after saddling a winner and two placed horses on Tuesday.
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