At the risk of sticking our necks out (we promise not to delete this post after the race if it’s way off!), here’s our attempt to pick a winner for the Gold Cup later on today and our reasoning (scroll down to the bottom). Who are we to give out horse racing tips? Well, our success rate is as good as anyone else’s I suppose- we’d advise you look at a number of sources, read the rationale and arrive at your own opinion (we do).
The big news is that Champion jockey AP McCoy could switch nags and ride favourite Sir Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup later on today
McCoy had been down to ride Sunnyhill Boy for owner JP McManus, but the horse has been withdrawn from the race (bang goes our tip for an outside bet for the Gold Cup. We have had to adjust our thinking on that one, he’s not going to finish in the places if he’s not running).
The favourite is Bobs Worth who heads up quite an interesting field of nine runners.
Sunnyhill Boy was withdrawn from the race, following Bog Warrior – who ran (this week) – who is also out.
So there should be some competition now for the money on Bobs Worth, the Hennessy Gold Cup winner (who has not been out since his win at Newbury in November).
McCoy – who hasn’t struck gold here at the West Country festival, will attract interest in Sir Des Champs, a double Cheltenham Festival winner, who follows Bobs Worth (just) in the betting.
McCoy won at Cheltenham last year on Synchronised
Long Run, the 2011 glory horse and third last year, is also in the running and will try to win his title back under amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen. Young chaser Silviniaco Conti is also attracting the smart money.
Well, we love the name (that’s important right). But on to his form, Silviniaco Conti is a tidy runner, and he has sailed past Long Run and last year’s Gold Cup no. 2 The Giant Bolster this season.
He’s come first in his previous 4 chases, and he’s won 3 out of 3 this year. He’s a winner and should be well fancied.
The favourite Bobs Worth is a quadruple winner at Cheltenham.
But bear in mind that no Hennessy winner has ever headed directly to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with no races inbetween, and won without another race.
And don’t forget Captain Chris ridden by Richard Johnson. His wife Fiona is due to give birth at any time to their third child. That would be a great story, wouldn’t it?
The running has been good to soft, good in places, but we are expecting a bit of rain today.
The Giant Bolster, could do well, having come second last year Synchronised.
And Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude, owned by rugby lad with royal connections Mike Tindall, along with James Simpson-Daniel of England and Welsh fly-half Nicky Robinson) could be a good outside bet.
Gold Cup race card [3:20 pm Cheltanham time]
Horse; jockey; trainer
1 Bobs Worth (Ire); Barry Geraghty; Nicky Henderson
3 Cape Tribulation; Denis O’Regan; Malcolm Jefferson;
4 Captain Chris (Ire); Richard Johnson; Philip Hobbs
6 Long Run (Fr); Sam Waley-Cohen; Nicky Henderson
7 Monbeg Dude (Ire); Paul Carberry; Michael Scudamore
8 Silviniaco Conti (Fr); Ruby Walsh; Paul Nicholls
9 Sir Des Champs (Fr); [jockey to be announced]; Willie Mullins
11 The Giant Bolster; Tom Scudamore; David Bridgwater
12 Wayward Prince; Jack Doyle; Hilary Parrott
We Try and Pick a Winner
We are going for Silviniaco Conti. [Currently 9:2 at PaddyPower].