Noble Prince heading to Aintree
Nolan raider on course for Old Roan run
Last Updated: October 22, 2012 5:13pm
Noble Prince: Set to reappear at Aintree at the weekend
Irish raider Noble Prince is set to head to Aintree for Saturday's Betfred Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase.
Paul Nolan's charge could clash again with Philip Hobbs' Wishfull Thinking, whom he beat into second when they clashed in the Grade Two Jewson Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011.
Last season, Noble Prince won on his reappearance at Naas and then took second place on his next three outings including in the Grade One Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase behind Big Zeb before disappointing on his final start in the Ryanair Chase back at Cheltenham.
Nolan, who trains in Co Wexford, said: "All being well between now and then, Noble Prince is a likely runner in the Betfred Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase.
"He has had a few niggling problems but he seems fine and hopefully we have him reasonably fit enough for his first run. 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."
The going at Aintree is currently good to soft and Clerk of the Course, Andrew Tulloch, reported on Monday: "We are forecast a dry week, with temperatures set to become cooler by the weekend.
"I am delighted with the condition of the track - it is looking in great shape and everyone here at Aintree is looking forward to getting back racing again."