Walkon: last seen pulling up in the Scottish Grand National in AprilPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Thornton: Power hope Walkon best on first run
ROBERT THORNTON believes Walkon will be at his best in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday with the jockey feeling the seven-year-old produces his strongest performances after a break.
Trained by Alan King for the McNeil Family, Walkon was last seen when pulled up over 4m½f Scottish Grand National in April having failed to build on a successful chasing debut at Exeter in December.
However, Thornton has been pleased with how the grey has been schooling recently and agrees with King that Walkon has a strong chance.
"First time out for the past couple of years has been his best run and he's got very decent form in the book," Thornton said. "He's goes well fresh and he's acted around Cheltenham - he won over hurdles there."
Grands Crus heads the betting for the race and while Thornton acknowledges the favourite will be tough to beat, he feels there is a strong argument for it happening.
"Walkon's a Grade 1 winner over hurdles and was only a neck behind Grands Crus off levels in the RSA Chase at the Festival," Thornton told the Gloucestershire Echo.
"I think Grands Crus is the one to beat but we'll get a stone off him."