Gold Cup – Cheltenham 2017 Day Four Tips
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Gold Cup field took a twist on Friday with the unfortunate news that Don Poli had to be ruled out of the race by trainer Gordon Elliott.
Although nothing had been confirmed at the time of going to print, Elliott may now reroute Empire Of Dirt to the big race of the week.
Personally, I feel that Empire Of Dirt holds a stronger chance than Don Poli would have in the Gold Cup so although it’s unfortunate to lose a multiple Grade 1 winner from your team, Gordon Elliott’s defence of the Cheltenham Gold Cup may have got stronger. The 10/1 about him is likely to be popular and single figures before long.
Third Time Lucky
It’s a tough race to get a hold on and hard to believe that Coneygree, Don Cossack, Thistlecrack and Vautour, who probably would have held the first four positions in the betting for this year’s Gold Cup, are all missing, but I’m predicting third time lucky for Djakadam.
This is a wonderful game of opinions and there’s no doubt that over the course of the week opinions in this field can change. But Djakadam is still only an eight-year-old, you could argue he was second in two stronger Gold Cups than this one and according to his trainer…
you can take it that his preparation has been much better this time around than it was previously.
The Tizzard Duo
Native River is an admirable horse who will run his heart out and for me, he will make the frame here. His performances this season have been very good and the horse is a Grade 1 winner. He won last season at Aintree as a novice. So you can definitely say he’s a notch above being just a handicapper, but I can’t have his stable companion Cue Card.
What a horse Cue Card has been. The 11-year-old, won the Champion Bumper here SEVEN YEARS AGO and is still winning Grade 1 races. That’s incredible longevity, but I don’t think he wants the extremes of the Gold Cup.
I think the trip might catch him out along with his age.
He was still a long way from home when falling in the race last year.
If Champagne West can put in a good round of jumping he will ruffle a few feathers. His weight carrying performance in the Thyestes Chase is up there with the best of them and he won that Gowran Park highlight off a 9lbs higher mark than Djakadam did when he finished second in the Gold Cup a couple of years ago.
His jumping is a worry however and that would be a real cause for concern in the Gold Cup. If you are having a good week though, I’d be having a little each-way saver on him.
Champagne West (Each-Way) 16/1
*Prices correct at time of publication.