As the National Hunt season comes to an end, Paul Nicholls can be forgiven for wanting to write this disastrous campaign off completely and focusing on next winter, but in Bet365 Gold Cup hope There’s No Panic, he might yet have the last laugh.
Victorious in this race on three occasions, including last year with Tidal Bay, the Ditcheat trainer certainly knows how to ready his charges for the season finale. And with three horses entered he looks to have a good chance of landing a fourth renewal.
The Andy Stewart-owned eight year-old certainly ticks a number of boxes for those who follow trends. With nine of the last 10 winners having been aged eight or over, with every one of them having raced in the previous 46 days.
Having been brought down when never really travelling in the Topham Chase at Aintree, There’s No Panic benefits from having some kind of run. Yet he doesn’t come into the contest off the back of a long tough race, like the Grand National or the Scottish National, as many of Saturday’s rivals are.
He has been placed over 3m1f at Sandown off the same mark, so there is nothing to say that improvement won’t be forthcoming. A weight of 9-13 will also do something to ease any worries over stamina, with this being the furthest the horse has been tested over, although that can be said for a number of entries.
With spring certainly looking like it has finally arrived, the drying ground could play to this animal’s strengths, with five out of his six wins coming when ‘Good’ was in the ground description.
There are certainly worse 16/1 shots than Paul Nicholls’ gelding, and with the needed luck in-running, it would certainly be no surprise to see the famous Stewart family black, red and white colours leading them home at the Esher track.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.