The last day of another glorious festival has arrived and with it, the showpiece event, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
It’s a race I’ve had success in over the years so hopefully we can find the winner again this time round. It’s an exciting line up with intriguing stories attached to nearly every runner so no matter who wins we’re sure to have an another emotional finale.
Presenting Percy definitely takes the role as the most fascinating runner in the race and arguably of the whole festival. His trainer has become somewhat of an enigma because of his lack of interaction with media and more importantly his ability to deliver brilliant performances whilst not following conventional thinking in his training methods. If he were to win here it would only enhance the aura he has created. Percy hasn’t jumped a fence in public since his outstanding win in the RSA this time last year and that is just too much of a negative for me to back him. If he were to win it would be an amazing achievement by all involved.
Native River the defending champion will be very popular among punters and rightly so. A horse that gives every ounce of effort whenever he runs, he will be rode prominently and will be driven into every fence by champion Dicky Johnson. He will again hope to make this a massive stamina test in the hope that others will cry enough and with the ground in his favour it might well work again. He should be bang there at the finish but wont be the selection this time round.
Others that are worth a mention include Clan Des Obeaux this years King George winner has been very impressive in his victories this season. An improving horse he has been well touted as a Gold Cup horse by his trainer for a while now so he’ll be hoping his confidence will be justified come 15.45.
Bellshill is the pick of Ruby Walsh and comes into the race in good form and the fact that Ruby picked him tells us he must be in with a serious chance. Might Bite is the forgotten horse of the race. Finished second last year after an epic showing it is hard to believe he is now unfancied by so many. His runs have been poor but a return to form would see him bang there.
Having spoken about the main protagonists and not siding with any of them it does mean we have a decent priced selection for this years big race. Kemboy won the big three mile chase at Leopardstown over Christmas for us at 12/1 and sprung a big surprise in the process. A young improving chaser he showed that he can play at the top table with a stunning performance that day. Ruby dismissing him is a big negative but I believe if he sharpens up his jumping he could throw up a massive shock and give Willie Mullins his first win in the race.
For an each way saver bet it could pay to side with Elegant Escape, an excellent winner of the Welsh Grand National he has stamina in never ending supply and could well place at a big price.
The banker on the card tomorrow looks to be Sir Erec in the Triumph Hurdle. Joseph O’Briens favourite looks sure to run a huge race and although short odds he will be very hard to pass.
Best of luck to everyone involved tomorrow, hopefully we can finish off with a few more winners. My pick for the Gold Cup is Kemboy.
Check out the full Gold Cup betting market here: https://come0n.co/Gold_Cup