Racing: Saturday preview

Horseracing: News, reports and more.
Horseracing: News, reports and more.

Indian Castle has enough range in his artillery to take the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

The Ian Williams-trained six-year-old has rather gone unnoticed in the build-up to the Grade Three handicap, but it would a dangerous game to dismiss his claims.

Despite having not had a run for 247 days, that should not be considered an issue as he is a horse that tends to go well fresh.

Indian Castle also has Cheltenham-winning form, which is always a handy pointer when attempting to unravel this puzzle.

His victory in a novice handicap chase, when trained by Donald McCain, last January was particularly noteworthy as he convincingly defeated Annacotty, who had previously won the Grade One Feltham by 10 lengths.

The Beneficial gelding would also have been a lot shorter in the betting for the Paddy Power had he not ruined his chance of victory in the Kim Muir when he clouted the last fence, eventually finishing seventh as the 7-2 favourite.

Now with the capable Williams, the Worcestershire handler has no reason whatsoever to not have Indian Castle on top of his form for one of the biggest handicaps of the season, even in spite of his lengthy hiatus.

A perceived lack of experience should also not be a problem as the last 10 winners had all raced less than 10 times over fences, while a lovely weight of 10st 8lb can be exploited to the nth degree.

Kings Palace’s fencing bow in the Cheltenham Club Novices’ Chase is keenly anticipated. David Pipe’s six-year-old went places in a bit of hurry over hurdles - winning three on the spin, including two at Cheltenham - to earn a mark of 146.

He is up against a clutch of horses with previous winning experience over fences, but, in receipt of weight from much of the field, his class can shine through.

* Selections -

CHELTENHAM: 12.40 Royal Skies, 1.15 Kings Palace, 1.50 Cape Tribulation, 2.30 INDIAN CASTLE (NAP), 3.00 Big Easy, 3.35 Starchitect, 4.05 Dancing Meadows.

LINGFIELD: 11.50 Chemical Charge, 12.20 Steventon Star, 12.50 Suitsus, 1.25 Big Baz, 2.00 Intransigent, 2.35 Bancnuanaheireann, 3.10 Brave Decision, 3.45 Sail Home.

PUNCHESTOWN: 12.00 Lone Star, 12.30 Clondaw Court, 1.00 Lieutenant Colonel, 1.35 Thegreatjohnbrowne, 2.10 Illtakeitfromhere, 2.45 Big Shu, 3.20 Ice Cold Soul, 3.55 Wildebeest.

UTTOXETER: 12.35 Ballybolley, 1.05 Essteepee, 1.40 Blackwell Synergy, 2.15 Little Boy Boru, 2.50 Kodicil, 3.25 Positive Vibes, 4.00 Robinsson.

WETHERBY: 12.25 Poetic Verse, 12.55 Bordoni, 1.30 Streams Of Whiskey, 2.05 According To Trev, 2.40 Steel Summit, 3.15 Fujin Dancer, 3.50 Byron Blue.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Alpha Delta Whisky, 6.15 Son Of Africa, 6.45 Colour Party, 7.15 Sperry, 7.45 Winter Queen, 8.15 Pin Up, 8.45 John Reel, 9.15 Port Lairge.

DOUBLE: Indian Castle and Kings Palace.