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By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent
Friday, October 26, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
Irish trainer Paul Nolan is hoping for better luck with the talented Noble Prince who makes his comeback in the Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree (3.30pm) on Saturday.
Noble Prince, a winner of eight races and over £285,000, had a torrid time in his previous campaign. He followed up on a victory at Naas with three successive second places and was then pulled up when strongly fancied for the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival.
The eight-year-old hit the big time the previous year when landing the Grade 2 Jewson Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham and the County Wexford handler has revealed that his charge is in good form ahead of his seasonal debut.
“Noble Prince has had a few niggling problems but he seems fine and hopefully we have him reasonably fit enough for his first run,” Nolan said. “We are pleased with him and he will come on for the run but he is in good form.
“When you are second a few times in a row like he was last season it can get a bit frustrating and disappointing but at the end of the day when you move up to that class it can be hard to make the next step from being a novice.
“Unfortunately, he found Big Zeb too good for him on a couple of occasions and he was very disappointing at Cheltenham but when he came back out of it, he was injured, so hopefully we have him right and he won’t have any repercussions from that injury.
“He is definitely better on better ground and he has no chance against the Irish stayers on ground as it is at the moment. In most places it’s virtually bottomless and that’s why we are going over to Aintree. You never like going across the pond needing a run but he is a straight as we can get him for his first run.
“It’s one step at a time with him at the moment but he will have to take on the better horses and we just hope he stays in one piece and pays his way through the season. If he could pick up a win or two it would be great.”