Ferdy Murphy is praying the rain stays away from Cheltenham to help Europa’s prospects in tomorrow’s Unicoin Homes Handicap Chase.
Europa will be bidding for compensation in the £40,000-added contest having finished an unlucky third in the bonusprint.com Gold Cup at the Prestbury Park track three weeks ago.
The Jupiter Island gelding was hampered by the falling Our Vic at the last fence and had to settle for minor honours behind Monkerhostin.
“He ran well at Cheltenham last time in the big one. He got hampered, otherwise he might have been second, but he wouldn’t have beaten the winner,” said the Yorkshire trainer.
“We’re very pleased with him, he seems well. Hopefully they won’t get any rain down there as he likes a good, sound surface.
“He must run well but we’re just praying that the rain stays away.”
Totesport make Europa 5-1 favourite to land the spoils.
Nigel Twiston-Davies is hopeful that Whereareyounow will cope with a tougher test than 12 months ago when he goes for back-to-back victories in the race.
“It looks a tougher race than last year and he hasn’t had a run this season, so he has it all to do, but he is in great form so I am hopeful,” the Naunton trainer told Racing UK.
“I think he has a bright future and I think he will be a National horse, so I’m hoping he runs well tomorrow.”
Paul Nicholls believes his runner, Le Duc, has the credentials to put up a bold show.
“He has got the form in the book,” said the Ditcheat trainer.
“If you look back at the Arkle when Well Chief and Kicking King beat him, he was staying on strongly, and on that form he will take all the beating tomorrow.
“He had a run over hurdles at Haydock which he enjoyed and then Ruby (Walsh) was really lucky to stay on him at Windsor.
“He is very well in himself, is capable of running well and on the Arkle form has a big chance.”
Unicoin Homes Handicap Chase, totesport bet: 5-1 Europa, 6-1 Whereareyounow, 13-2 Supreme Prince, 7-1 Kandjar D’Allier, 8-1 Joly Bey, Palarshan, 9-1 Redemption, 10-1 Scots Grey, 14-1 Caricciola, Spring Grove, 16-1 Le Duc, Marked Man, 18-1 Upgrade, 50-1 Water Quirl, 250-1 Blazing Batman.