Ga Law won the Paddy Power Gold Cup in gritty fashion at Cheltenham; he heads for the Sky Bet Chase - live on Sky Sports Racing - at Doncaster this weekend; Snowden feels he could well end up turning into a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender
Tuesday 24 January 2023 13:48, UK
Trainer Jamie Snowden is in no doubt as to the potential of Sky Bet Chase contender Ga Law, with a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup bid in 2024 on the horizon for his star chaser.
The seven-year-old returned with a career best in the Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting in November, just getting the better of French Dynamite to claim the £90,000 prize under Johnny Burke.
And while the initial plan was to head to Ascot, that was scuppered due to frozen ground and instead attention will now turn to Doncaster and the Sky Bet Chase, live this Saturday on Sky Sports Racing.
He also has an entry at Cheltenham, but Snowden expects to send his stable star up in trip for the £100,000 Doncaster feature over three miles.
"The plan was always to go up in trip and he won the Paddy Power [Gold Cup] through stamina after being a bit outpaced in the race earlier on," Snowden told Sky Sports Racing.
"Ascot looked a perfect stepping stone for that but obviously that's not to be so he's in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster. There's a two-mile-and-four [furlong] at Cheltenham which we'll put an entry in for but the Sky Bet is plan A.
"He doesn't want to be running on fast ground so safe ground is what we're looking for. The best of his form hasn't been on a bog but the ground at Doncaster or Cheltenham should be fine."
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Ga Law has also been given entries for both the Ryanair Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and whilst odds of 66 and 100/1 for them races would indicate they are longshots, Snowden insisted he feels his horse could develop into a Grade One performer.
"I've put the fancy entries in but a lot depends on how these next few runs go," he added.
"Look at Imperial Commander though, he won the Paddy Power and went on to win the Ryanair that year and the Gold Cup the year after.
"It'd be nice to think he might develop into a Gold Cup horse in 2024 but a lot of water has got to pass under the bridge before that and he's got to keep improving.
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"He's only a young horse, only seven, and with very few miles on the clock. There's no reason why he couldn't keep improving."
"I think that's probably a bit pie in the sky this year but never say never.
"I was rather hoping if things had gone well at Ascot we might look at the Denman at Newbury but that's probably a bit too close to Doncaster and Cheltenham.
"There's a three-mile Listed race up at Kelso in March and of course the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival but a lot of that depends on how we go at the weekend."