Prince ready to make mark, says Nolan

NOBLE PRINCE will bid to maintain his unbeaten record over fences in the Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.

Paul Nolan’s six-year-old eased to victory over Sunday’s course and distance at the end of October and while he is stepping up in class to Grade Two level, his trainer is hopeful he can make his presence felt.

“He’s on course to run on Saturday and we’re looking forward to it,” said Nolan.

“He was very good on his first run over fences and we’re hoping that he’ll have a good season.

“It looks a nice race this weekend, but we’ll have our chance as he’s a nice horse and he didn’t put a foot wrong the last day in what was a good beginners’ chase.

“If he jumps as well as he did then, we’ll be very happy with him.”

Nolan could be in for an exciting season with the likes of Shinrock Paddy and Joncol among his ranks.

Shinrock Paddy impressed on his seasonal reappearance at Naas and is now set for a step up to Grade One company, while Joncol needs to bounce back after disappointing at Navan on Sunday.

“Shinrock Paddy is in good form and will go for the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse at the end of the month,” Nolan continued.

“He was very much undercooked for his first run in Naas and is going to come on leaps and bounds for that. The heavier the ground, the better for him.

“Joncol jumped to the right very alarmingly the other day and we’re hoping we’re going to sort out one or two little problems that might have been the cause of that.

“Hopefully you’ll see a different Joncol next time he runs.”

* Grand National winner Don’t Push It is likely to be campaigned over hurdles before a return to Aintree.

Jonjo O'Neill's 10-year-old finally provided Tony McCoy with a victory in the famous race after 14 previous attempts for the rider.

With a chase rating of 164, O’Neill does not fancy running him in competitive handicaps over fences, so it is likely he will spend time over timber before his season kicks into gear.

“He’s in fantastic nick,” said O’Neill. “The ground will dictate where we go, but hopefully it will be sometime at the beginning of next month.”

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