L’Antartique has come through his final piece of work ahead of the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham with flying colours.
Ferdy Murphy’s chaser, who won the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Festival in March, enjoyed a recent pipe-opener at Carlisle where he won impressively.
A subject of significant support in the ante-post market recently, he is as low as 6-1 with VC Bet for Saturday’s showpiece.
“Takashi (Iyama, lad) gave him a bit of work this morning and he was delighted - and he has ridden him for the last two years,” said Murphy
“He knows him quite well, he went up quite strong on the gallops and he was really pleased, he’ll just tick over now until Saturday.
“Going into any big race all you can do is get your horses right and try to get them to peak on the day,” he told At The Races.
“He seems extremely well, I’ve been very happy with him but he’ll need a lot of luck in running in a race like that as he’ll come from off the pace and will need a clear run through. I wouldn’t want anything else in the race though.
“Three Mirrors has been very consistent since we’ve had him and could also run as his major target is the Boylesports in December and I want him to get some experience of the track.”
Nicky Henderson could also be double-handed with Copsale Lad and Crozan likely runners.
Copsale Lad was in the process of running a big race 12 months ago when he was severely hampered by Knowhere, while Crozan was running the race of his life in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival when he came down four out.
“He (Copsale Lad) ran in it last year and he actually got brought to a standstill when Knowhere fell going down the hill,” said Henderson.
“It looks like he (Knowhere) is going to turn up again so we might not follow him this time.
“We have to go left-handed, we have to have good ground, he is well and we thought he had a great chance last year so maybe we will get our just reward this year.
“Crozan started last year well but tailed off. I can forgive his run at Haydock where it was very bad ground and he was running very well in the Ryanair when he came down coming off the hill.
“I put blinkers on him for the first time there and they worked, it looked as if they were doing rather a good job.
“Whether I will keep them on, I will weigh things up as we haven’t got that far yet, I will discuss it with Trevor (Hemmings, owner).
“Copsale is pretty likely to go and Crozan is certainly possible because it looks like Crozan’s first run is always a pretty good one.”
Copsale Lad is a 10-1 chance with the sponsors while Crozan can be backed at 12-1.