Paul Nicholls: I wouldn’t swap Clan Des Obeaux for anything in the Gold Cup

People ask about the trip for Clan Des Obeaux but the trip is the least of our worries...

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Triumph Hurdle – 1.30pm

Quel Destin has done very well, he keeps on improving and has won his last five, including winning his prep race for this very nicely. He’s really tough, he gallops and he’s won at Cheltenham. I know Sir Erec looks very good, but we think we’ve got a chance here.

We’ve got another nice horse in the race who we may run called Pic D’Orhy. He hasn’t run for us yet, but he’s very interesting. He’s rated 149 on French form, which is actually 3lbs in front of Quel Destin. He won three times in Auteuil in the autumn and was a second in two Grade Ones. He could be a very interesting runner, if it was soft. He’s definitely a dark horse here.

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County Hurdle – 2.10pm

We’ve got a good record in this race. Capitaine won well at Taunton last month. It was his first run for a while and he’s improved since then so he’s definitely got a chance.

Albert Bartlett – 2.50pm

I’ve nothing in this race but it has a habit of throwing up an outsider sometimes and generally you need a horse with plenty of experience.

High Class odds and markets on Cheltenham over at Paddypower.com

Gold Cup 3.30pm

Clan Des Obeaux is having an amazing season. We thought he’d improve this year and we always thought he was a Grade One horse. He ran very well at Haydock on his prep run at Haydock, won the King George at Kempton and then won well at Ascot last month.

His King George win showed us plenty and he beat some really good horses. He then went on to show a mature attitude at Ascot and jumped well.

People ask about the trip for Clan Des Obeaux but that’s the least of our worries.

He stayed on strong at at Haydock, he stayed on strong at Kempton and at Ascot. I think he’s crying out for the step up to 3m 2f.

A Gold Cup is very, very, very tough to win. It’ll be hard for a young horse, but he certainly is in good shape. I couldn’t be more pleased with him and wouldn’t swap him for anything.

Presenting Percy, Native River, Kemboy are obvious dangers. You can get surprises in the Gold Cup. They’re all high-class horses and some come back to their very best form. It’s a very open race, I think.

Foxhunters Chase – 4.10pm

Wonderful Charm and Pacha du Polder were first and second two years ago in this, and Pacha Du Polder won last year. Wonderful Charm came out recently and won very impressively, he seems in very, very good order this year. Last year he wasn’t, but he is this year. He wouldn’t want it too soft. Pacha du Polder always runs an ordinary first race, like he did last year.

He Loves Cheltenham though, loves the hurly-burly of the day and it’ll be his last run of his career so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran a big race.

Grand Annual – 4.50pm

Magic Saint is a high-class horse and we do think that he could well improve. He won very well the other day for a five-year-old in Wincanton but he’s possibly a horse who could be into graded races next year. I’m hoping he’s well handicapped and I’m hoping he’ll run well.

He looks my best chance on Friday.

Le Prezien, of course, won it last year. He’s only 1lb higher so if the ground comes up soft, you wouldn’t rule him out.

Martin Pipe – 5.30pm

We plan to run If You Say Run, who is a high-class mare. But it’s an open-looking contest and Bryony Frost will ride him after her thrilling win on Frodon in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday. She’s one of the best.

High Class odds and markets on Cheltenham over at Paddypower.com

What do you think?