LIKE every other jumps fan I’ve been mulling this one over for the last 12 months. The finish last year was almost unbelievable when it looked like Silviniaco Conti was sure to win before he suddenly wandered like an old drunk in the last 100 yards and three other horses passed him.
Silviniaco’s form has been better than ever this year, winning the King George at Kempton with some aplomb, and Paul Nicholls has suggested that the horse had ulcers last year that may have contributed to his below-par performance.
I think he has a massive chance once again but the race is so open that it is difficult to tip him at the current odds. I will keep my eyes open for price boosts etc and maybe have a saver on him because I would love to see him win but I reckon there is better each way value elsewhere.
3.20 – Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
– 3 miles 2 furlongs
– Most valuable race of the festival
– Horses need to be thorough stayers but also travel at pace
– Won last year by Lord Windermere who lines up again this year
There are quite literally 10 of these that I could make a strong case for and I am fascinated to see how it pans out. Road To Riches brings some great form over from Ireland and his win in the Lexus Chase puts him right in the mix. Bobs Worth was the winner two years ago and can now be backed at a big price, largely due to his poor recent form which is enough to put me off to. Carlingford Lough would absolutely bring the house down in Tony McCoy’s last ever Gold Cup but I’m not sure if his form is quite good enough. Coneygree is a breathtaking novice who jumps and travels so well but his usual riding style is to lead from the front and it is a huge ask to win from the front in a Gold Cup. Djakadam is far too short for me with question marks over his form and his jumping. Punters are backing the Ruby and Willie Mullins factor here.
Each way Selection: Lord Windermere
Last year’s winner has had a quiet season but it is very similar to his preparation for last year and I think Jim Cullotty knows exactly what he is doing. Davy Russell will do his best to keep Lord Windermere in touch and then hope to pick them all off again. The odds are remarkably high for a horse that won last year.
Each way Selection: Road To Riches
His form in the Lexus is some of the best on offer and he has the potential to improve further whilst others have already peaked in many cases.
Lord Windermere – 3 points each way at 14-1 with Totesport
Road To Riches – 2 points each way at 11-1 with Totesport