Cloudy Too in running for Gold Cup race

SUE Smith’s Cloudy Too is among 36 provisional entries for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, jump racing’s blue riband race.

The chaser was a convincing winner of Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day when Jonathan England’s mount beat, amongst others, Cape Tribulation – last year’s Gold Cup fifth.

His entry is probably contingent on the Cheltenham ground being very soft or heavy in March.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However Cloudy Too is the only Yorkshire-trained horse amongst the Gold Cup entries after Malton’s Malcolm Jefferson opted not to enter Cape Tribulation.

Other horses of interest include Kim Bailey’s Harry Topper, who won Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase, and former Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude whose owners include Yorkshire-born rugby union player Mike Tindall.

Trained by Michael Scudamore, Monbeg Dude’s jumping has improved markedly thanks to the tutelage of Tindall’s wife Zara Phillips.

The field is headed by the 2013 winner Bobs Worth, one of three entries by Nicky Henderson, while his great rival Paul Nicholls has five intriguing contenders – Al Ferof, Rocky Creek, Silviniaco Conti, Tidal Bay and Unioniste.

Meanwhile High Eldick-based Smith has entered Grand National hero Auroras Encore, Vintage Star and De Boitron in Doncaster’s Sky Bet Chase on January 25.

The 50-strong line-up also includes Keith Reveley’s Night In Milan who beat Cheltenham Festival prospect De Boitron on Town Moor last month. “He has gone up the weights a little bit, but is still a young horse and there might be a little bit of improvement there,” said the Saltburn trainer.