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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Crus and Ball in Power fieldHeadlines
Grands Crus

Grands Crus and Hunt Ball are among 22 confirmations for Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham, the first major handicap of the new National Hunt season.

David Pipe's grey disappointed when only fourth in the RSA Chase at the Festival on his final start of last year, but was subsequently reported to be a sick horse.

Hunt Ball was the success story of the season, rising 88lb in the handicap and finishing third in the Betfred Bowl on his final start of the season for fledgling trainer Keiran Burke.

Paul Nicholls holds a strong hand with Cheltenham regular Poquelin heading the weights while Al Ferof, a Grade One-winning novice last term, and Aerial also feature.

Nicky Henderson, Nicholls' big rival for the title this season, could run last year's runner-up Quantitativeeasing, Triolo d'Alene, Tanks For That and Nadiya De La Vega.

Walkon has been well backed in recent days for Alan King while Philip Hobbs has Wishfull Thinking and The Disengager among the possibles.

Calgary Bay could be Mick Channon's first runner in a major race since taking over some of Henrietta Knight's string while Forpadydeplasterer could be well handicapped on his old form.

Hunt Ball came through his last serious piece of work on Monday morning with flying colours and his connections could not be happier.

"He did his last serious work today ahead of the Paddy Power and he was very good, as good as gold, and I was very pleased," said Burke.

"I couldn't be happier and he is exactly where we want him before the Paddy Power."

31 January 2015

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30 January 2015

Hopes rise for Wetherby
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Dude set for two National prep runs
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Wetherby announce inspection plan
Melodic in Exeter frame
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Catterick abandoned
Classy display from Vercingetorix
Ffos Las blow for Carruthers
McCoy in line for Coneygree mount
Blossoming Serge in Supreme hat
Peace declared for Triumph
Hercules features in Bartlett
Games given Neptune entry

29 January 2015

Good news for Burke after X-rays
Bayan handed French mission
Exciting Eagle ready for action
Ellison on Red alert
Brother sets sail for Festival date
Ferof takes Ascot acid test
Cogry has dual Festival options
Hourigan duo to duck National Trial
Salsify back in Foxhunter frame
Wintry Catterick calls inspection
Chepstow on weather watch
Musselburgh bids to beat weather
Legend in line for Kempton repeat
Henderson at Peace for Triumph
Henderson primes Betfair squad
Henderson happy with Sprinter
Unioniste set for Newbury outing
Bolger left in awe of super Sceaux
Sam set for Gold run
Denman date for Obeaux

28 January 2015

Charities get O'Sullevan boost
Betway boosts sponsorship portfolio
Estrella waits on record bid
Spring not on Focus agenda
Warne on comeback trail
Warne on comeback trail
Mann planning Bleu National prep
Henderson dealt Triolo blow
Tornado blows hot at Taunton
Mann duo head to Musselburgh
Ginge given Scilly date
Cue Card goes back to basics
Eagle ready for hurdling bow
Shark angling for Punchestown prize
Nicholls retains Zarkandar faith
Ruby handed World ticket

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