Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview
GOLD CUP PREVIEW:
After three terrific days racing we’ve eventually made our way to the highlight day of the meeting which features the Gold Cup, with over £350,000 going to the winner. Last year we saw Al Boum Photo claim the crown beating Anibale Fly by just over two-lengths and Bristol De Mai back in third. Two of those runners are amongst the twelve-strong field this time round with the exception of Anibale Fly and I’ve got a runner-by-runner guide for you below (in alphabetical order).
AL BOUM PHOTO - Last year’s winner who came into the race with a sole run in a listed event at Tramore as his prep having fallen at the previous season’s festival in the RSA. His prep this year is similar with just the one run, again at Tramore, when winning a Grade 3 by the same six-length distance and if in similar form here he’s sure to run his race again, though for me may find it tough to win back-to-back Gold Cups.
BRISTOL DE MAI - Third last year but has always hinted that his best days come at Haydock with plenty of give in the ground. He was however a good second to Santini in this year’s Cotswold Chase but faces a stiff task to turn the tables with that runner here and will be lucky to get a place this time round.
CHRIS’S DREAM - Has won both starts this season, once over 3m the other over 2m4f and he’s very lightly-raced for his age but he needs to prove he can stay this trip on this undulating course and his only run here saw him beaten almost 40-lengths in the Albert Bartlett two seasons ago. I’d be looking elsewhere for the winner.
CLAN DES OBEAUX - Eight-year old who put in a career-best performance when winning the King George VI back in December and though sixth in this last year he did run a good race. He’s got previous course form having placed a few times over shorter trips and if able to reproduce or even improve further on his last run then he would have a big chance here. One of the likelier winners.
DELTA WORK - Third in last year’s RSA having previously won the Pertemps Hurdle the year before, this seven-year has the right profile to be winning this race as he shapes as though this test would suit. He’s won back-to-back Grade 1’s since the turn of the year having struggled on seasonal reappearance but has won six graded races which has included five Grade 1’s and is the sole runner for the Gordon Elliot yard who have been in flying form so far this week. He’s my idea of the winner.
ELEGANT ESCAPE - Outsider of the field and will need drastic improvement to be involved here having pulled-up the last day but will be available at a good price on some of the best uk betting sites. Has ran ok a couple of times in big handicaps this season but this is much tougher and I’d be shocked if he’s even involved when turning for home.
KEMBOY - Fell at the first in this last year but then went on to win two Grade 1’s at Aintree and Punchestown but has twice finished behind Delta Work this season and may need to brush up on his jumping this time round if he’s to reverse that form, though if he does then he’d have a squeak of a chance.
LOSTINTRANSLATION - This is a horse that I’ve been following for a while and I think he’s got a great chance here if you can forgive his recent pulled-up run in the King George VI. He’d previously won the Betfair Chase having jumped superbly and a couple of runs last year over much shorter trips were impressive. He was second in the JLT last year before bolting up in the Grade 1 Mildmay at Aintree and if re-discovering that sort of form this progressive sort would have a big chance if seeing out the trip as he has the speed to outpace them up the hill.
MONALEE - Nine-year old’s have won this race previously but I feel this horse is up against it here at the weights and over this trip. He did run Delta Work to within a head last time out but that came over shorter and he’s previously struggled when attempting this sort of trip.
PRESENTING PERCY - Another nine-year old though he was impressive when winning the RSA two years ago but has since had problems and his only win after that came over hurdles. Has been held in three runs this season behind a couple of these and he’d need a career best to be winning here I feel.
REAL STEEL - Not fancied in the betting and arrives here with question marks having been pulled-up when last seen in a 2m4f Gowran Grade 2. He’d previously won in that grade at Thurles and this is his first try over this sort of trip but is previous festival form is a worry.
SANTINI - The market leader in the build-up to the race, he was a staying-on second in last year’s RSA behind Topofthegame with Delta Work back in third and arrives here on the back of a win in the Cotswold Chase. He seems the sort who’d appreciate this stamina test but the drying ground might be a concern and I’m not so sure the first-time cheek pieces is a positive for him, he’s not my idea of the winner.
1st DELTA WORK, 2nd LOSTINTRANSLATION, 3rd CLAN DES OBEAUX.