Horse racing: Donny test on cards for Noble

Nicky Richards reports Noble Alan to be "sore and bruised" after falling in the Vote AP Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The grey looked likely to play a hand in the finish when taking a tumble three fences from home in the competitive handicap, and his trainer is certain that would have been the case.

"No doubt he's a bit sore and bruised," said Richards. "Brian (Harding) was in today riding out and all he said was that he couldn't say he was going to win, but he said he definitely wasn't beaten.

"We wanted to find out if he would stay the trip or not and it looked like he would.

"We were right beside the winner when we came down, so it might have been interesting. We'd definitely have been in the shake-up."

Richards will now nurse his charge back to full fitness before eyeing

up further big prizes in the spring, with a trip to Doncaster in January his likely next start.

"I won't rush him back now and the unfortunate thing is he needs nice ground, which he might not get until the spring now," the Greystoke

handler continued.

"I suppose his next race if the ground is right will be that good two-mile handicap at Doncaster that Kalahari King won last year (January 29).

"After that, hopefully we can look at something like the Grand Annual at the Festival.

"He's a very strong travelling horse so a race like that would suit him well, we'll just have to see."