Laura Morgan Aims for Glory at Cheltenham with Twin Assault on Paddy Power Gold Cup
As anticipation builds for the upcoming Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham, trainer Laura Morgan could be on the brink of her most significant training achievement to date. Hailing from Waltham On The Wolds, Morgan had a standout season last year, securing 40 wins in total. This time around, she has fewer horses in her stable but hopes to make an impact on the big stage.
In an interview, Morgan explained that while this season may not match the previous one in terms of quantity, she has focused on improving the quality of her horses and aims to compete during major racing events. She commented: “We’re not going to have the season we had last year, but I’ve tried to up the quality and hopefully we can have runners on the bigger days.”
Morgan’s leading contender for Saturday’s race is Notlongtillmay. The seven-year-old excelled last season with three consecutive wins over fences before finishing as runner-up behind Stage Star at Cheltenham Festival’s Turners Novices’ Chase in March. Notlongtillmay made his seasonal reappearance last month with a commendable fourth-place finish under a heavy burden.
Morgan believes that Notlongtillmay is now primed for success after gaining valuable experience from his recent run. Reflecting on his performance, she said: “Two miles is way too short and I’d left him short enough as well – it wasn’t like he was fully tuned up for that.” With improved conditions ahead and favorable weight allocation (11st 4lb), she expects him to excel even further.
The second horse representing Morgan’s stable is Whistleinthedark. Overcoming expectations since arriving at her yard, the horse rose from a rating of 113 to an impressive 144 with four consecutive victories in his debut season over fences. Although Whistleinthedark has not competed since April, Morgan is confident that he will deliver a strong performance.
Despite missing out on a planned warm-up run due to event cancellations, Morgan assured that Whistleinthedark’s training at home has compensated for the lack of competitive action. She praised his progress and admitted: “I never thought he’d be rated what he’s rated and would do what he did when he first arrived. I thought he’d be an average, fun handicapper, but he’s been brilliant.”
Acknowledging the challenge ahead at one of racing’s most prestigious events, Morgan emphasized her excitement about competing against larger yards and expressed confidence in her horses’ capability to exceed expectations. She concluded optimistically: “They won’t let us down – these two don’t know how to!”