Paul Nicholls calls Haldon Gold Cup the ‘perfect race’ and expects it will be ‘very informative’ for Hitman and Greaneteen’s Grade One chances
- Nicholls believes Greaneteen needs a run before competing at the highest level
- Veteran trainer said Hitman has the ‘right profile’ to impress in second season
- Hitman finished second to Protektorat in Grade One race at Aintree last year
- Haldon Gold Cup has been Hitman’s target since last season, Nicholls said
Paul Nicholls believes today’s Haldon Gold Cup will be ‘very informative’ as Hitman and Greaneteen strive to become genuine Grade One campaigners this season.
The duo appear to give their trainer a stranglehold on this afternoon’s six-runner feature at Exeter and Nicholls issued an upbeat bulletin over the chances of Hitman, who wound up last season chasing home Protektorat in Grade One company at Aintree.
‘He’s got the right profile as a second-season novice and he’s getting 17lb off Greaneteen, so it’s a nice starting point for him,’ said Nicholls.
Paul Nicholls believes today’s Haldon Gold Cup will be ‘very informative’ for two of his horses
Greaneteen is striving to become a genuine Grade One campaigners this season
‘He’s fit and well, and I hope he’ll run very well. It’s a slightly shorter trip than he was running over last season — but he’s not short of speed.
‘You could argue that at Aintree two and a half miles was just far enough for him. But he’s a stronger horse now and the trip should be fine.
‘He wants to be winning this if he’s going for the Tingle Creek but this will tell us a lot about where we go afterwards.
The trainer said the Haldon Gold Cup will be ‘very informative’ for Hitman and Greaneteen
Nicholls believes Greaneteen (right) needs a run before competing at the highest level
‘It will be very informative.
‘From the back end of last season this has been his target and he’s hopefully ready for the task and I feel he’ll be running in the better two-mile races later in the season.’
Nicholls added: ‘Greaneteen always needs a run for him to compete at the very highest level. This is the perfect race.’