Cheltenham Festival Tips 2019 – Gold Cup
Gold Cup Winner
Niall Cronin gives us his Cheltenham Festival Tips 2019 for the Gold Cup.
The Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown provided something of a reshuffle in the betting for Cheltenham’s blue riband event.
While it may have been a unique season in Ireland with Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins and Jessica Harrington being exceptionally patient and Henry de Bromhead speaking very cautiously about his running plans, the British contingent in the staying division seem to have been less interrupted by the ground conditions.
Presenting Percy would have been Ireland’s main contender in many books but he had a quiet day in his County Galway stable as the rest of our staying chasers locked horns and it’ll be interesting to see who stamps their authority on the Leopardstown feature.
I must admit that I’d be a fully signed up member of the Presenting Percy fan club if there was one going. He is great for Irish racing on so many levels, despite the fact that his racecourse appearances are almost less common than a solar eclipse.
Presenting Percy just seems to do it when it matters
…and while his arrival at Gowran Park can’t be the sole reason for the crowd congestion at the gates beforehand, he is sure to be another massive draw for the Red Mills Chase back at that track this month.
That said, you can’t ignore the obvious change in the weather at the minute and the fact that the only two people connected to the horse who spoke after his Galmoy Hurdle win both mentioned the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham more than once.
There is only one Gold Cup and it would still have to be a big price that Presenting Percy bypasses it for the Stayers Hurdle but if anything was to happen to the Red Mills Chase because of the weather well then the best price of 3/1 with BoyleSports for the Gold Cup would look very short indeed.
Even at this stage, with this mad season where horses have had to bypass so many obvious engagements 3/1 about any horse in the Gold Cup looks short, especially when he hasn’t run over fences since the RSA Chase.
For that reason we need to look elsewhere here for a bit of each-way value.
At the prices available at the moment Sizing John should be considered at 20/1. It is somewhat contradictory to be putting him up as an alternative to Presenting Percy who has at least run this season and has no history of any injury, but don’t forget Sizing John has been there, done it and got any t-shirt that was going but most importantly brought the Gold Cup home with him.
Again taken out of the Dublin Racing Festival by Harrington, I actually thought the front runners in the Dublin Chase could set it up for him to run well over two miles on his comeback but now it looks like he’ll be set for a Gowran Park showdown with Presenting Percy.
Of course, Presenting Percy was beaten by Harrington’s Our Duke in the Red Mills last year before going on to win the RSA Chase and you’d have to think that
if Sizing John puts in a bold show at the Kilkenny track and shows his wellbeing his odds will crumble for the Gold Cup itself.
Sizing John may be coming back from an injury but he has only run one bad race since joining Harrington and hadn’t many disappointing efforts when with de Bromhead either. You could indeed say that his last run was when he picked up his injury and that probably explained why he was so well beaten in the Christmas Chase last season.
At the moment Sizing John is reported to be in good form at home and he must look a massive price at 20/1 to win a race he won before and in a year where it looks wide open.
Gold Cup winner Native River has already had two more runs than he did at this stage last year, while his stable companion Thistlecrack will be a dark horse for many.
Clan Des Obeaux and Frodon have emerged as another two contenders for the Gold Cup maestro Paul Nicholls, while Gold Cup runner-up Might Bite has really fallen out of favour with a couple of disappointing efforts which now see him at 14/1 to go one better than last year for Nicky Henderson.
Kemboy is the next best of the Irish in the betting for the Gold Cup at 7/1 but it’ll be interesting to see if he franks his Christmas form as many were quick to crib that effort because of the slow gallop.
Niall Cronin’s Cheltenham Festival Tips 2019 – Gold Cup
Sizing John (E/W) 20/1
*Prices correct at time of publication.
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