'He's huge at 50-1': Paddy Power Gold Cup fancy among last week's eyecatchers
Maddy Playle and Marcus Buckland pick out four horses who caught their eye last week. Members can view the race replays and add these horses to their Racing Post Tracker.
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The Russian Doyen
Third, Fontwell, Wednesday
This seven-year-old was making his first start for 347 days and, given Colin Tizzard's horses have been taking their time to come to hand (one winner from runners 25 in the last fortnight at the time of writing), this was a highly encouraging effort.
Under pressure a long way out on tiring ground, he stayed on dourly under Robbie Power to finish third to Chirico Vallis and Mr Pumblechook.
He's a far better chaser – he was fourth in the 2019 novice handicap at the Cheltenham Festival off 141 – and will go to the Paddy Power Gold Cup now as a well-handicapped, unexposed horse with a cracking each-way chance. He's a huge price at 50-1. [Maddy Playle]
Seventh, Cheltenham, Friday
Like Colin Tizzard, Ben Pauling doesn't appear to have his horses firing on all cylinders at present and he has a similar recent strike-rate.
However, this horse put in a fine effort in the 2m5f handicap hurdle won by Captain Tom Cat and, if it wasn't clear enough on his final start at Kempton last season, he is a horse crying out for a step up in trip.
A point-to-point winner over 3m, he was beaten only four and a half lengths here after challenging wide and towards the unfavoured stands' side. Related to some smart types, he is one to note for staying handicap hurdles with cut in the ground. [Maddy Playle]
Second, Plumpton, Monday
Jim Boyle does well with his limited runners over hurdles and there was a lot to like about the run of Peace Prevails at the East Sussex track last week.
A five-time winner on the Flat, four of them for this yard, including over 1m4f at Newmarket in June, she was having just her second start over hurdles and kept on nicely to beat all bar the odds-on Pisgah Pike over 2m.
She was likely flattered by her proximity to the 129-rated winner but showed more than enough to suggest connections can pick up a small race with her this season on good ground. [Marcus Buckland]
Third, Cheltenham, Friday
The John Quinn-trained five-year-old did wonders to stay on his feet, let alone finish third in this hotly contested handicap hurdle, having been the chief sufferer in some interference when two came down at the second-last.
He was pretty ordinary in a couple of spins on the Flat this year, but this is his game and his form figures over hurdles now read 211323.
He seems to go on any ground, though a strongly run 2m brings out the best in him. [Marcus Buckland]
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