Despite being a novice race, the Haldon Gold Cup has been run in previous years by some of the biggest names in the sport. Previous winners of the race have included Paul Nicholls, who has won six times.
During Paul Nicholls's time as a trainer, he has saddled more Haldon Gold Cup winners than any other trainer. With six wins and six seconds, he has a fine record. Paul has a good record at Exeter too, having saddled seven winners of the feature showcase race there.
Paul has saddled more than 20 winners of the Haldon Gold Cup over the last 20 renewals. Among his biggest winners are: Greaneteen (2022), Politologue (2017), Azertyuiop (2004) and Denman (2011, 2012, 2013).
Paul Nicholls has a great record in the Betway Haldon Gold Cup, which is a two-mile chase open to both sexes. Almost all previous winners of the event have come from grade one chases at the Cheltenham Festival.
Paul Nicholls has a strong hand in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park in December, and could have another big winner. He saddles two horses in the race. His five-year-old Hitman is sent out, and could be a big contender. He has won two hurdle races in the last few months.
Greaneteen is a Paul Nicholls trained horse who defied the odds to win the Betway Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last month. The gelding is an exciting novice chaser who could be a strong contender for the Grade One Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December. He is carrying 11lbs less than when fifth in the Tingle Creek last season, so there is a chance he will improve.
Paul has won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Aintree Festival three times with two different horses. He has also saddled three winners of the Coral Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Newbury. He has two horses in the showpiece at Exeter, including Greaneteen, who has won the Betway Haldon Gold Cup.
Traditionally known as Devon's richest race day, Haldon Cup Day is held at Exeter racecourse on Friday 4th November. The race is run over a two mile trip over twelve fences and is open to both sexes.
The most recent Haldon Gold Cup has attracted some impressive cast. One of the older winners was Martin Pipe's Sabin Du Loir, which snuck through a five-furlong gap to win by five and a half lengths. Another was Eldorado Allen, who put on a bold show in last year's Festival.
The race is run over a two mile circuit at Exeter and is open to runners aged four and over. It has attracted a strong field in recent years and the betting is proving to be more competitive than ever. The last three renewals have seen three 'favourites' go on to win.
The Haldon Gold Cup is one of six races held on the day. The other races are the 'Future Stars' Silver Bowl Novices' Chase, the Unibet Elite Hurdle, the Betway 'Future Stars' Silverbow Novices' Chase, the Betway 'Futurestars' Novices' Handicap and the Betway 'Future Stars' Novices' Chase.
In recent years, the most successful trainer is Paul Nicholls. He has saddled more winners than any other trainer in the last 20 renewals of the race. His winners include Azertyuiop, Tchico Polos, Greaneteen and Politologue. The trainer has also saddled some other horses to win the Betway Haldon Gold Cup.
The most recent winner, Greaneteen, is now back for a third season. His victory last month at Exeter was the equivalent of Denman's 2009 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. His career rating of 171 is impressive. This is only the second time the horse has managed to beat the top weight in the Betway Haldon Gold Cup, the first being two years ago.
Among the myriad of horse racing events to grace the greens at Haydock last Saturday, none stood out more than the Grade 2 Savills Chase. While many of the contestants were left in the dust, the likes of Frodon, Fury Road and A Plus Tard managed to win their races. Considering that the ten runners-up all contested this year's Grade 2 Savills Chase, the prize purse is likely to be more than a mere handful of pounds. This year's field also includes last year's victors, Ahoy Senor and McFabulous. While this field was less than enthusiastic, Thyme Hill sprang into contention in the latter stages of the race and proved a worthy contender.
While a number of horse racing stalwarts may not be on their best behaviour, Thyme Hill is certainly worth a punt. It has already performed in graded competitions - the most impressive of which was its maiden win in a Grade 2 at Newbury. It was also the winner of the grand old lady of a graded handicap at Ascot. It is a worthy entrant in this year's Grade 2 Savills chase - and is a worthy winner of the aforementioned prize. It is also one of the few horses in the field to show up when it counts. A worthy opponent in the flesh, Thyme Hill is a standout horse for the Haldon Gold Cup. This year's edition is likely to be more exciting than the previous. The prize purse will be a more lucrative swag bag to boot.
The competition isn't as daunting as it was last year, but the name of the game is still the same. The best horses will be selected in early January, and a win over the fences is a definite possibility.
Traditionally known as Devon's richest day of racing, the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter will move to Friday from its traditional Tuesday slot. It will join Badger Beers Chase Day at Wincanton on the same day. It is one of six races on the card.
The Haldon Gold Cup attracts a quality field of horses. Paul Nicholls has saddled the winner of the Haldon Cup three times in the last four years. He also has two horses targeted for the showcase race.
Greaneteen is a Grade One winner who will make his seasonal return in this 3m handicap chase. He was the Tingle Creek Chase hero last season, but he was well beaten in this race 12 months ago. He is rated 168 and will need to give his rivals a lot of weight to win.
The other three Grade Ones in the field are Killer Kane, The Platinum Queen and Mister Malarky. The latter has won the Silver Cup at Ascot, while the former has notched a fourth place finish in the RSA. The field is relatively small, with only 16 horses declared.
The other contenders include the likes of Thyme Hill 4/9, who has shown potential over hurdles in the past. Similarly, Sizeable Sam is a huge horse who should be well suited by fences. He has not won since winning the Ultima at Cheltenham last season.
Gordon Elliott has three horses in the field, but his best is likely to be Gevrey. He has been running very well over fences in recent times and will be ridden quietly to give his rivals a run for their money. He is a 6lb higher in the weights, but will need to make amends for his disappointing Cheltenham Festival win.
During his time as a jump racing jockey, Joe Tizzard has won nine Grade One races. Tizzard has also trained a handful of winners. He is the son of jockey Colin Tizzard. The pair had a successful partnership when they rode Cue Card to four Grade One victories. This helped propel the Tizzard family to big success.
In the mid-1990s, Tizzard made a name for himself riding Paul Nicholls' horses. He helped make Nicholls' reputation as a profitable trainer. He has won a variety of Grade One races and has ridden eight National winners. Tizzard's last win was on Gentleman Jon in the Wincanton Novices' Chase on 6 March.
Tizzard rode Cue Card to a Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013. He also won the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November. He finished second in the King George VI Chase. He was one of the top horses in this year's Arkle Chase.
Tizzard has had 19 winners so far this season and hopes to continue that run. His next ride is likely to be Cornish Rebel, who is trained by his brother. He has a legitimate chance of winning the Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on 19 November.
Tizzard, who is 34, lives with his mother and his younger siblings. He has a herd of dairy cows on his Godney farm. Tizzard and his wife Rachel were married in Godney on August 27, 2021. They frequently travel to their farm. Tizzard's mother, Pauline, and his sister, Sarah, are a major part of their household.
Tizzard is expected to take over the training licence from his father Colin in October. He has already won 91 races in his career as a jockey and trainer.