Walkon given December date after Paddy Power Gold Cup second
Last Updated: 28/11/12 12:54pm
Walkon: Cheltenham date
Alan King will bid for Cheltenham compensation with Walkon in the Grade Three Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup on Saturday, December 15.
The seven-year-old was narrowly denied major honours at Cheltenham for the second time in his accomplished career when finishing three lengths behind impressive winner Al Ferof in this month's Paddy Power Gold Cup (and 12 lengths ahead of the third Nadiya De La Vega). He filled the same spot behind Zaynar in the 2009 Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle when beaten three quarters of a length.
King said: "Walkon came out of the Paddy Power Gold Cup well and the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup is the plan.
"He didn't surpass my expectations at all in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. We were very pleased with him beforehand and we were expecting a big run and we got one.
"He has gone up 5lb which seems acceptable but I can't do much about that - it is a bit frustrating but you have to learn to live with it."
King has also entered lightly raced nine-year-old Bakbenscher, who returned from a 609-day absence to come home an eye-catching fifth in the Grade Three Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow in October.
King added: "Bakbenscher is unlikely to run and I have put him in there just in case. He will run this weekend over hurdles but I am still undecided where he will go at the moment."
The race is being sponsored by the Stewart family, headed by well-known racehorse owner Andy Stewart, who has enjoyed tremendous success with four-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero Big Buck's.