Sunday, February 24, 2008

Noland Favourite in the Arkle

John Hales does not expect to be in a prime position to view ante-post favourite Noland in the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival next month.
The owner lost the hugely promising Granit Jack at the course earlier this season when he suffered a fatal fall two out, and at one stage it was reported he did not want Noland to go to the showpiece meeting.
But while he accepts the Arkle is the logical target for his Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old, he will just be glad when it is all over.
"I'll be in the gent's loo," he told the Shropshire Star. "I just want him to come back safe and sound.
"I'm still not happy. His ability has got him to Cheltenham and I know he has to go there.
"But I won't be able to watch. I won't be able to relax until he's home again safe and sound. It's coming down that hill that worries me."
Noland won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2006 and is unbeaten in two starts over fences, the latest of which came at Sandown on Friday.
He is a best-priced 4-1 favourite with Ladbrokes for the Arkle on March 11.
The Big G

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