Niall Cronin’s Cheltenham 2019 Tips – Gold Cup
A field of 16 runners go to post for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and it promises to be a fascinating finish to another extraordinary week in the Cotswolds.
The Gold Cup narrative this year revolves around Presenting Percy, the RSA Chase winner of last year.
When winning an RSA Chase in an emphatic manner you are entitled to be catapulted into the Gold Cup reckoning. Wednesday’s RSA Chase winner Topofthegame is already as short as 8/1 in some places for the Gold Cup next year.
We don’t have much more to go on other than last year’s RSA Chase win with regard to Presenting Percy’s chances as we haven’t seen him over fences in a race since.
Our only glimpse of Pat Kelly’s stable star was the Galmoy Hurdle, although he was fit, ready and able to win that in good style at the end of January.
The 7/2 about Presenting Percy must be on the short side given just how competitive this race is and Native River, who is the standard setter here following his win last year, is a 4/1 chance, while the King George winner Clan Des Obeaux is also in the mix.
Bellshill is the most likely to give Willie Mullins a first Gold Cup having been second in the race six times but Presenting Percy is the pick of the race.
Presenting Percy had to show us his wellbeing at Gowran Park in the Galmoy and he did just that. We didn’t learn that much.
Going around Galway three times left handed can’t be underestimated. That is a big plus and as good as any prep run.
The form of the RSA Chase last year shouldn’t be overlooked either. Al Boum Photo was a faller at the second last when still posing some challenge. He too is in the Gold Cup today but after the RSA he went back and won a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse and should have won one at Punchestown. He has won his only start at Tramore this season too.
Monalee was second, beaten seven lengths by Presenting Percy and that looks solid form, while Elegant Escape has gone on to win a Welsh National with plenty of weight and he was 14 lengths behind Presenting Percy so you can hardly knock Percy’s form.
He was just a length off Our Duke in the Red Mills Chase as a novice and importantly, Presenting Percy carried top weight to win a Porterstown Handicap Chase over 3m5f at Fairyhouse last season so we know he’ll stay.
We’ve seen Altior and Tiger Roll win at four Cheltenham Festival’s so far but Presenting Percy can go one step closer with a third win on the bounce on this most famous of stages.
*Prices correct at time of publication