Gold Cup Tips – Day 4 – Cheltenham 2015
Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup (3.20) brings together a fascinating clash between the last two champions, Lord Windermere and Bobs Worth, and the current 3/1 clear favourite, Silviniaco Conti.
Conti To Lift Cup?
It’s a clash that could deliver a classic, with Silviniaco Conti earning his place at the head of the market courtesy following wins in both the Haydock’s Betfair Chase and Kempton’s King George Chase over 3m the last twice. His quality and form cannot be questioned, but there is a lingering doubt as to whether Cheltenham is his track, having failed to make the top two in three visits.
Some may see that as harsh, as he was only beaten under 2l when fourth in last year’s Gold Cup, possibly finding a stiff 3m2f to far when wandering around on the run-in. A repeat of that may well be good enough should the others run averagely, but at this stage there looks to be better each-way value around.
Windermere Back For More
At 12/1, last year’s winner, Lord Windermere, looks well priced having shown touches of form this season without winning, which was a similar pattern 12 months ago when he lost all three races before triumphing here. His latest 8l third behind Carlingford Laugh (10/1), wasn’t too bad as he has not always run well at Leopardstown, and it may be that Cheltenham in the spring brings him alive, having won on both visits to the festival, If it does, then odds of 12/1 will look big come Friday afternoon.
Carlingford To Laugh Last?
As for Carlingford Lough, there can be no knocking his Hennessy Gold Cup win last month, but some punters may be concerned that he jumped badly in the RSA Chase here 12 months ago. He has the class, but still has to prove it over the extra two furlongs here, though if anyone can drag him over the line then it is Tony McCoy, riding in his last Gold Cup.
Like Lord Windermere, Holywell (9/1) lines-up on Friday having won on his only two visits to the festival, including a Grade 3 handicap 12 months ago (3m, good to soft). Jonjo O’Neill’s 8yo started slowly this term, but hit back to win a small event at Kelso last month (3m2f, good to soft), recording a career best in the process.
Mullins Goes For Gold
Meanwhile, Willie Mullins comes to the party via Djakadam (9/1), who fell in last year’s JLT Novices’ Chase, before winning the Thyestes Handicap Chase in January (3m1f, heavy). That win was some performance under top weight, and he is very much in the “could be anything” category.
Mullins also has Boston Bob (16/1) and On His Own (20/1), with the latter aiming to go one better following his short head second to Lord Windermere in this 12 months ago. Despite only sixth behind Carlingford Laugh last time, his previous second to Road To Riches in the Lexus confirmed he retains the same level of form as last year, and while difficult to predict, at 20/1, he may be worth chancing to have a good day.
Noel Meade’s, Road To Riches (8/1), made much improvement over the last year, winning four of his six races. His Lexus victory was a statement that he was good enough for the Gold Cup, and Meade was confident following that vicory that further would suit.
A winner of good ground, he ticks plenty of boxes as he approaches Cheltenham for the first time.
Bobs Worth To Retain Title?
As for the 2013 Gold Cup winner, Bobs Worth (12/1), then he lost his title when fifth last year, before being beaten 12l on his only run this season at Christmas. Barry Geraghty keeps the faith and spoke highly of his homework last month, adding that he hated the mud at Christmas. Kauto Star returned to regain the Gold Cup several years ago, and Bobs Worth will be need to be of that class if emulating him.
The Young Pretenders
On the subject of Bobs Worth, he won Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup in the same season as landing the Gold Cup, which Oliver Sherwood’s, Many Clouds (8/1) will also seek to do. He followed that win up in a Grade 2 over C&D here last time, and another step in the right direction will see him bang there.
Another improving sort is the 8yo, Coneygree (10/1), trained by Mark Bradstock, Winner of a Grade 1 novice over 3m at Kempton (good to soft), he then led from the front to win a reliable Grade 2 trial at Newbury last month, again over 3m (soft). He will need to be very good if making all to win a Gold Cup, but looks sure to give punters a run for their money.
While each of the last 10 Gold Cup winners previously raced at Cheltenham, Road To Riches is taken to overcome that stat on his debut here. The manner in which he powered home in the Lexus suggested this longer trip would suit and good ground won’t be a problem.