Faasel fired up for crack at Boylesports Gold Cup

FAASEL is all set to take his chance for Nicky Richards in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The six-year-old gave the mercurial Black Jack Ketchum an almighty fright in the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby last month.

But he is set to return to fences this weekend, a discipline at which he is very much unexposed.

“It was a bit of a sickener that Our Vic came out as we looked on a nice weight, but as long as Knowhere stays in we should be all right,” said Richards.

“He’s run four very respectable races over fences, you can forget his last run up at Ayr because he was over the top that day.

“He started his season off very well at Wetherby though, where he surprised one or two people and he’s in good form. I hope he runs a very good race.

“We could easy drop back over hurdles later, it just depends on the way things go with the weather and how his season is going.

“I think he is well able to run very respectably in high-class races over hurdles, and over fences we are trying him in high-class handicaps.

“He’s rated higher over fences because of his Arkle run where he finished fourth and he would have been a lot closer to Aces Four at Aintree but for a bad mistake at the cross-fence.

“He stayed on really well that day, I think he probably wants two and a half to three miles now. I wouldn’t want to drop him back to two as he doesn’t enjoy it.

“I hope two-five round Cheltenham will suit him beautifully. They’ll go a good gallop and hopefully he will be there to shoot at them at the bottom of the hill.

“Even from the days of the Mackeson and the Massey-Ferguson, this race always used to be easier to win than the other one (Paddy Power Gold Cup) as everybody liked to put their cards on the table early, but we’ve always had this race in mind.”

Faasel is 16-1 with the sponsors for the Boylesports Gold Cup.

Palarshan’s connections plan to take their time before confirming their horse a definite runner.

Trainer Henry Daly reckons the nine-year-old is fairly likely to take his chance but wants to make sure he does not ask too much of him at this stage with the bigger picture in mind.

Palarshan is an 8-1 shot with the sponsors and was a fine fourth on his seasonal bow in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, despite being hampered by the fatal fall of Granit Jack.

He has produced other terrific efforts at the same course, winning the Grand Annual Chase of 2003 and finishing second in the Racing Post Plate last March on his first start for two years.

“I’m not quite sure, and I need to talk to the owner first in the next couple of days,” said Daly. “I think he will run, but it depends on a couple of things most importantly the ground to keep drying up.”

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