Ground blamed for poor Pady run

Tom Cooper believes testing conditions were to blame for Forpadydeplasterer’s disappointing performance in last weekend’s Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Although the 10-year-old has failed to get his head in front since claiming Arkle Trophy glory in 2009, he has run some tremendous races in defeat at the very highest level.

His trainer was confident of a big effort in the week leading up to his first ever start in a handicap at Cheltenham last Saturday, but the rain arrived the night before and Cooper believes that scuppered his chance.

Cooper said: “Everything is 100% with him. The ground was just totally against him on the day.

“He couldn’t jump out of the ground at all and Paddy (Brennan) did the right thing by pulling him up.

“We’ll play it by ear with him now and see how Christmas goes. There are a couple of options for him at home around that time.

“We’ll be gearing him towards the spring, in all honesty, when hopefully he’ll show his best back on better ground.”

Meanwhile, trainer Shark Hanlon is praying Ardglen makes the final field for the Ladbrokes Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday.

The eight-year-old is currently 28th on the list and with a maximum field of 20 assured, there is no guarantee he will make the cut.

Ardglen is a confirmed stayer, having finished third in the Cork Grand National on his penultimate start.

Hanlon said: “He will definitely run if he gets in and I hope he does because he will absolutely love the ground.

“He ran a blinder in the Cork Grand National and then again at Punchestown.

“He’s in really good form.”

Hanlon hopes a trip to Gowran Park tomorrow will leave stable star Hidden Cyclone ready to shoot at some of the major staying prizes this season.

The high-class seven-year-old missed the second half of last season with injury but appeared as good as ever when winning on his return at Naas last month.

He now continues his comeback in the Carlow IT Students Day @ Gowran Park December 13th Chase.

Hanlon said: “He definitely runs on Saturday, all being well.

“He came out of his last run perfect and I’ve been very happy with him since.

“It looks a good race on Saturday, but we just wanted to run in a couple of small-field races to start off with to get his jumping right before we go and take on the big boys.”

Although Hidden Cyclone is engaged in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on December 9, he is more likely to step up to Grade One level in Leopardstown’s Lexus Chase on December 28.

lLong Run will face five rivals in the Betfair Chase at Haydock tomorrow.

His main rival could be the up-and-coming Silviniaco Conti, while The Giant Bolster, who ran a screamer to beat Long Run to the runner-up spot in the Gold Cup, sets out this season to prove that effort was no fluke for the David Bridgwater team.

Weird Al is an interesting contender for the Donald McCain yard.

The nine-year-old is seemingly at his best when fresh, as he showed when victorious in last year’s Charlie Hall.

Wayward Prince finished second in this season’s Charlie Hall on his first start since being trained by his owner Hilary Parrott and now returns to Grade One level.

The field is completed by the Colin Tizzard-trained outsider Cannington Brook.

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