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David Pipe: If the real Kings Palace turns up he’s the one to beat in the Paddy Power Gold Cup

The top UK trainer marks your card ahead of Cheltenham's three-day Open meeting

by Sean Goff | November 12, 2015

David Pipe talks to Paddy Power…

It’s great to have Tom Scudamore passed fit by the doctors so he’ll be available for the three-day Open meeting that starts on Friday. We’ve a few runners over the weekend and I’m hoping that between them we can get ourselves in the winners’ enclosure.

Cheltenham, Friday

We’ve dodged the Paddy Power Gold Cup with La Vaticane and she’ll run in the opening race on Friday instead, the Paddy Power Chase.  She’s a nice mare and ran well on her first start for us at Kempton over hurdles.

She’d maybe prefer it softer and a little further than two miles but we went close with Monetaire here last year and hopefully she can be there at the business end also on Friday.

Dell Arca runs in the 1.40pm  and is in good form. He won a Novice Chase at Uttoxeter last May but this is obviously a step up. The former World Hurdle winner More of That sets the standard but I’m hopeful our fella should be able to keep him company until the end.

Champers on Ice was a nice winner at Punchestown last season and should make a smashing chaser in time.  He’s an out-and-out galloper so the 2m 5f trip with just three opponents should be fine. Showed great battling qualities when winning a Punchestown bumper in Ireland last spring and we like him a lot.

Baraka de Thaix should run if the ground is ok. This horse was third at the Paddy Power meeting last year but then his form tailed off. Soft ground could be the key for him.

Up and coming amateur David Noonan rides Alternatif . He was well beaten in the 2m Irish Cesarewitch on the Flat last month but the way the race was run didn’t suit him. They went slow and then sprinted for the last couple of furlongs. Friday’s trip of 3m 1f around Cheltenham should suit him a lot better.

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Cheltenham, Saturday

It’s all about the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday and I should have two runners, both with chances.

Kings Palace has been the ante-post market leader for this race for a while and schooled very well this week. He has some really good form and on the best of it he has a favourite’s chance on Saturday.

He has to go and produce it now but if the real Kings Palace turns up – he’s the one they’ve all got to beat.

Monetaire’s form tailed off a bit at the end of last season but has been in good form at home. The softer the ground the better his chances will be. If he puts it all together – could have a say in the finish off a nice weight.

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Un Temps Pour Tout won the French Champion Hurdle during the summer and we’re learning about him all the time. Hopefully he’ll take top rank over fences too and has schooled nicely at home. The longer-term aim would be that he’s good enough to contest the RSA Chase next March.

Soll could contest the 3m3f handicap at 1.50. An out and out stayer, he’ll appreciate any rain that falls.

Herbert Park is doubly entered on Saturday but will probably end up in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle (3.35pm).

He won three of his five races for us last season, has summered well and is talented. I think he’ll go well.

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Cheltenham, Sunday 

I thought we placed BIDOURY well last year. On the bare form he beat very little – but did it well.

He can cope with better ground but loves the mud so any rain that falls won’t bother him. He’s only a four-year-old and that’s tough against the older horses – but looks to be off a nice mark.

He was only a a boy last year but has strengthened up well during the summer. Whatever he does on Sunday he’s still one to keep onside for the future.

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