Gold Cup Day Betting Tips
The final day of Cheltenham is almost upon us and it’s nearly time for the coveted Gold Cup. This looks like it isn’t going to disappoint and we’ve picked out some of our best tips for you. If you back any horse that doesn’t run don’t worry as we offer Non Runner No Bet here at 21.co.uk.
The opening race of the final day at the Festival looks to be a welcome one for punters. Antepost backers were hit with a scare last week when news broke that red hot favourite Sir Erec had a stone bruise. Joseph O’Brien has since said the horse will be fine for the race and it’s very hard to look past him. The four-year-old has won both his starts over obstacles this season impressively and has form on soft ground from his flat racing days. The biggest stepping stone for this race has been the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, a race in which six winners have gone on to Triumph Hurdle glory. Sir Erec defeated stablemate Garden of Babylon by six lengths in this in February and we think he’ll repeat the feat on Friday at Evs*.
Historically the County Hurdle has been a fiercely competitive handicap and this year is no different with the betting currently 8/1 the field. A large field over two miles usually means a bit of luck is needed here and in the last ten years only one winner was priced below 10/1. Previous form at the course itself usually gives an indicator in most races at the Festival however that isn’t the case here. Only one recent winner (Lac Fortuna in 2014) has won at the course before. Willie Mullins has won this race four times in the last 10 years so it could be worth siding with one of his here. Mullins has a host of entries including favourite Whiskey Sour at 8/1* but three of his four winners were not the most fancied runner of the stable according to the odds. Willie Mullins could find another Festival winner here in Mr Adjudicator. This horse has ground and distance form in Ireland and if he can bring that to Cheltenham 11/1* looks a good price.
Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle
This Grade One Novices Hurdle has always been an excellent race in which to find future stars, with some of the best young stayers facing off for the first time. Despite the race only being 15 years old it has produced classy sorts such as Penhill, Unowhatimeanharry and Bobs Worth. Again, it’s another race at the festival that looks like a bit of a puzzle for punters with the betting 6/1 the field. Nicky Henderson will be looking to take this race for a second time and he has a huge chance in Birchdale. He still looks very green and might have been a tad fortunate in his latest win when Brewinupastorm fell at the last but he is open to more improvement. We fancy him to go well and you can back him here 13/2*. No horse has won at shorter odds than 11/1 in the last renewals of this race so with that in mind it could be worth an each way bet also. Dinons was having a great season before being badly hampered and almost brought down at Navan in November. He hasn’t been seen since but he could appreciate this step back up in trip and 14/1* looks a good price for an each way bet.
It’s all been building up to this for most of these horses and the Gold Cup looks like it’s not going to disappoint. This race is a true test of a chaser, fluent jumping and tactical race speed is needed here, with those that are prone to jumping errors usually getting found out. This is usually a race for a shorter priced horse with only one of the last 10 being priced bigger than 8/1. Last year’s winner Native River could be the first horse to retain the Gold Cup since Best Mate won the race three times in a row from 2002-2004. He will be sure to make a bold bid from the front under champion jockey and regular rider Richard Johnson. However, we think this year may be a first Gold Cup win for Willie Mullins, who has had 16 runners but no wins in the last 10 years. Mullins will be desperate to add this to his list of credentials and Kemboy who has won five from eight over fences looks his biggest chance. He stepped up his form in a Grade One race at Leopardstown in December, winning by eight lengths and beating horses such as Road to Respect and Monalee. He has seen huge improvement in the last year since coming fourth in the JLT Novices Chase at the Festival in 2018. The only concern could be that he is untested at this trip and won’t stay but if his last appearance is anything to go by, he had plenty left in the tank. We’re hoping Kemboy will be the second horse in the last ten years to win this at odds of higher than 7/1 and you can back him here at 8/1*.
The Foxhunters Chase is ran over the same course and distance as the Gold Cup, often being referred to as the amateur Gold Cup. This race often sees young improving hunters face off against some more established names. Pachu Du Polder has won this race the last two years and it would be an incredible feat if he could do it again. However, only one horse aged over 11 has won this race in the last 20 years, so we will be looking elsewhere. Enda Bolger is renowned for training cross country chase horses, guiding On The Fringe to consecutive wins in hunter chases here at Cheltenham as well as at Aintree and Punchestown. This year he sends Stand Up And Fight to the race, who impressed mightily when winning at Down Royal on Boxing Day. He was out jumped by Fenno’s Storm at Kilfeacle last time out but we hope that experience will help here. The seven-year-old is very highly regarded by owner John P McManus and favouritism looks justified at 7/2*.
The Grand Annual is the oldest race at the Cheltenham Festival, first being ran in 1834. The betting is currently 5/1 the field and this race usually features a strong pace, with frontrunners trying to control the tempo. This race looks like another tricky one to solve Nicky Henderson has always had a strong public desire to win this race which is named after his father. Usually this seems to tip the betting odds, with many punters thinking Henderson horses don’t come at value in this race. Paul Nicholls has made no secret that favourite Magic Saint is one of his biggest chances of the Festival hopes. The five-year-old looked comfortable when storming home at Wincanton in February and remains open to improvement here. The ground will suit and he can be backed here at 5/1*. It’s worth noting that this race has only been won by one favourite in the last 10 years with seven winners coming in at a price of 10/1 or higher. With this in mind it could be worth looking at an each way bet and Not Another Muddle looks an interesting choice. Gary Moore’s charge has returned from a long lay off this season with two good performances at Sandown, placing on his return and winning the subsequent race. The eight-year-old is well known to love soft ground, with every appearance coming on it and he’s proven to stay at this trip. We think he looks like a great each way bet and you can back him here at 11/1*.
Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle
Well it’s almost over, the last race is here until next year. The final race of Cheltenham this year is the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, a race in which the Irish and Great Britain have both won five times each. Gordon Elliott will be hoping to win this race for a third year running and nose the Irish ahead with current favourite Dallas Des Pictons. However, this race has only ever been won by one favourite and eight of its 10 winners have come in at 11/1 or higher. The lack of previous Cheltenham experience doesn’t appear to be as much of an issue in this race, with five winners only running at the course once before and nine of them were recording their first Cheltenham win. We do think the favourite will win this year however, in Dallas Des Pictons. Elliott’s six-year-old has won over distance and further this season, proving he can stay. He’s beaten large fields over in Ireland in his last two appearances, showing fight to hold off late challenges and we think he can do it again at 9/2*.
*All odds from 21.co.uk’s online sportsbook are correct at the time of writing.
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