Gold Cup radar for Nicholls ‘Clan’

Clan Des Obeaux shone at Ascot on Saturday for trainer Paul Nicholls
Clan Des Obeaux shone at Ascot on Saturday for trainer Paul Nicholls

Clan Des Obeaux shone at Ascot on Saturday for trainer Paul Nicholls when landing the Betfair Denman Chase over 2m 7f, ridden by Harry Cobden, with the Cheltenham Festival in March looming.

“We can’t wait to go to Cheltenham – I think we’ve got a great chance,” beamed Nicholls, eyeing success in the 2019 Gold Cup next month.

The Leader tip was a strongly fancied favourite, and jockey Cobden said of Clan Des Obeaux, part owned by Sir Alex Ferguson: “I wanted to keep hold all the way – he had loads left.

“I’m delighted and our plan now is the Gold Cup in March. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of – what dreams are made of.”

The Leader tip Monalee was successful in winning the 60,000 euros first prize in the Red Mills Chase over 2m 4f at Gowran Park.

Trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.

Monalee, who beat Anibal Flyer, heads for Cheltenham, entered in both the Ryanair Chase and Gold Cup.

The Leader each way selection Ramses De Teillee finished third at Haydock in the William Hill Grand National Trial Handicap, returning at 8-1.

Cyrname won the Betfair Ascot Chase over 2m 5f to bag the winner’s booty of £85,000, when thwarting The Leader’s tip Waiting Patiently, who finished second.

“I’m impressed, it was phenomenal – a brilliant ride,” said trainer Paul Nicholls, who is undecided whether to run next at Cheltenham or Punchestown.

“We will have to think about the Ryanair at Cheltenham – or go to Punchestown,” said Nicholls.

Jockey Harry Cobden said: “I knew he was good – but not that good! It was some performance.

“Whether we go to Punchestown? I’ll leave that to the trainer to decide. To win races like this, it’s why you get out of bed in the morning.”

Al Dancer returned to the winners enclose on Saturday and has been shortened to 6-1 for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham: “He’s very fast – jumps – and makes it easy,” said jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.

The Leader were also successful in winning selections First Link (6-4), Magic Saint (11-10), Sandhurst Lad (3-1) and Dahawi (4-6).

Leader selections Black Corton, If You Say Run, Dogon, and Sceau Royal, finished second; with Getaway Trump, Burrows Park (6-1), and Miss Green Dream (7-1) finishing third.

Always A Drama trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Richard Kingscote was The Leader’s EIGHTH winning selection when winning at 6-1 at Kempton.

Treacherous a 5-2  winning selection followed Dahawi’s 4-6 winning tip, returning a trio of successful winners on Saturday evening.

Look out for The Leader’s Saturday Racing preview every Friday evening at – No. 1 on the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida.


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