Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners and Riders

So we come to the main event of the week the 2014 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners and 14 horses will head to post. I have to say this year’s renewal looks one of the best for some time and it’s time for the talking to stop. So who are you with Bobs Worth or Silviniaco Conti or perhaps even a new horse on the block?! Well I’m going to plump for horse Bobs Worth , even though confidence has been slightly dented in the build up to the big day. I think Silviniaco Conti is the main danger but here are my thoughts on the field.

Bobs-Worth

Paddy Power have gone crazy again, now 7/1 on Bobs Worth for Gold Cup, currently 7/4

 

No.
Colours
Horse
Form
Approx. Odds
Bet
Age
Trainer
Jockey
Rating
1

Bobs Worth

11-61

2/1

bet

9 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
185
Bobs Worth returns to defend his crown and is entitled to be a short priced favourite in his bid for back-to-back victories. He put a disappointing reappearance in the Betfair Chase behind him when landing the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas in pulsating fashion. Unbeaten in five starts at Cheltenham, three of those victories coming at the Festival, Bobs Worth has never been headed when hitting the front. Anything close to last year’s performance would surely be good enough again. GET 7/1 AT PADDY POWER – SPECIAL OFFER
2

Cloudy Too

3-1012

50/1

bet

8 Sue Smith Jonathan England
165
Saddled by Grand National winning trainer Sue Smith, Cloudy Too has won two of his four starts this season, including the Rowland Meyrick Chase over Christmas at Wetherby. He found Captain Chris far too good in the Grade One Ascot Chase last time out and was well down the field behind Triolo D’Alene in the Hennessy Gold Cup. It would be a surprise if he’s good enough to make the frame in this.
3

First Lieutenant

3-3423

10/1

bet

9 MF Morris D J Casey
175
First Lieutenant has finished runner-up at the last two Festivals, behind Bobs Worth in the 2012 RSA Chase and beaten nine lengths by Cue Card in the 2013 Ryanair Chase. He then went on to land the Grade One Betfred Bowl at Aintree. Although he is without a win so far this season, a narrow second behind Bobs Worth in the Lexus Chase reads very well and the former Neptune Novices’ Hurdle winner does seem to come into his own at this time of year. He is one of two runners for Gigginstown Stud, who enjoyed their finest hour in this race with War of Attrition in 2006.
4

Houblon Des Obeaux

16143

50/1

bet

7 Venetia Williams Liam Treadwell
170
One of two runners for trainer Venetia Williams, Houblon Des Obeaux won the listed Silver Cup at Ascot in December. A likeable and consistent sort, he has finished in the frame on eight of his 13 chase starts to date, but whether he’s good enough to be competitive at this level is open to question. However, the Williams’ Grand National winner Mon Mome did spring a surprise when finishing third behind Imperial Commander in the 2010 Gold Cup at odds of 50/1.
5

Katenko

1-F443

66/1

bet

8 Venetia Williams Aidan Coleman
167
Although lower rated than his stablemate, Katenko was in good heart last winter, winning two competitive handicap chases at Sandown and Cheltenham, including a nine length defeat of subsequent Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Johns Spirit. A faller in the Hennessy Gold Cup won by Triolo D’Alene, he has yet to recapture that form this term and finished a distant third in the Denman Chase last time out at Newbury.
6

Knockara Beau

512512

66/1

bet

11 George Charlton Jan Falteksek
158
The veteran Knockara Beau is an admirable sort, winning 11 out of 46 races under rules, including five victories over fences. Two of those successes have come this term, so he retains plenty of ability, although he is unlikely to be good enough to trouble the main contenders in Cheltenham’s Blue Riband event.
7

Last Instalment

111/31

7/1

bet

9 Philip Fenton Brian O’Connell
171
Last Instalment showed plenty of promise as a young chaser, winning his first four starts over fences in the 2011/12 season, including two Grade One Novice events at Leopardstown, before getting injured. He returned to the track after a two year absence in January, before scoring in scintillating fashion in the Grade One Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown, beating Tidal Bay by eight and a half lengths. However, that was on soft to heavy going and the faster ground will not be in his favour.
8

Lord Windermere

31-876

33/1

bet

8 J H Culloty Davy Russell
161
Jim Culloty enjoyed tremendous success in the Gold Cup as a jockey, thanks to his amazing partnership with the legendary Best Mate. Now a trainer, he won the RSA Chase with Lord Windermere last year, but the horse has failed to fulfil that promise in three starts this season and was 26 lengths behind Last Instalment in sixth at Leopardstown on his latest start. Question marks remain over his ability at top level.
9

Lyreen Legend

423-55

40/1

bet

7 D T Hughes P Carberry
158
Dessie Hughes and Paul Carberry team up with Irish challenger Lyreen Legend, who is another that looks likely to just make up the numbers here. Runner up behind Lord Windermere in last season’s RSA Chase, he could only finish fifth behind Bobs Worth in the Lexus Chase and filled the same position in the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup behind Last Instalment last time out. Not quite up to this grade.
10

On His Own

176611

18/1

bet

10 W P Mullins Ruby Walsh
165
On His Own has been campaigned as a Grand National horse in the last two years, although he has fallen on both of his visits to Aintree to date. He has looked better than ever this season when landing the Thyestes and Bobbyjo Chase and his trainer Willie Mullins believes he deserves this step up in class to see if he can prove himself at Gold Cup level. He is an interesting outsider that could reward each way backers.
11

Silviniaco Conti

1F3-31

3/1

bet

8 Paul Nicholls Noel Fehily
183
Silviniaco Conti fell in this race last year when a well fancied second favourite, so we can only guess if he would have been good enough to challenge Bobs Worth. He subsequently failed to fire when third in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree and could only fill the same spot in the Betfair Chase on his seasonal reappearance. He then made amends in no uncertain fashion at Kempton, landing the King George VI Chase by three and a half lengths, turning the tables on his Haydock conqueror Cue Card. Trainer Paul Nicholls will have high hopes that Silviniaco Conti can emulate his other Gold Cup winners See More Business, Kauto Star and Denman.
12

Teaforthree

203-92

40/1

bet

10 Rebecca Curtis Nick Schofield
162
Another horse that was originally being aimed at the Grand National, where he finished third last year, Aintree remains the target for Welsh National runner-up Teaforthree. An out-and-out stayer that relishes marathon distances, he may find them going too quick early on, but will be running on when others have cried enough. He also has Cheltenham Festival form, having won the National Hunt Chase in 2012, so if there is going to be a shock he could run into a place at a big price.
13

The Giant Bolster

7-7U51

14/1

bet

9 David Bridgwater Tom Scudamore
172
A big priced outsider often makes the frame in the Gold Cup and The Giant Bolster was the surprise package two years ago when runner up to Synchronised at 50/1. He proved that was no fluke when finishing fourth in last year’s race behind Bobs Worth and beat Hennessy runner up Rocky Creek decisively by seven lengths last time out in the Argento Chase. Although not the most consistent horse, he deserves his place in this line-up and jockey Tom Scudamore has been bullish about his chances of finally landing the big one.
14

Triolo D’Alene

81-131

10/1

bet

9 Nicky Henderson AP McCoy
168
After scoring at 20/1 in the Hennessy Gold Cup, the Grand National was declared the main aim for Triolo D’Alene, but connections have since had an apparent change of heart. Winner of the Topham Chase at Aintree last season, he landed two of his three starts in the autumn, but has not been seen on track since his Newbury success. Still only seven years old, there could be further improvement to come and trainer Nicky Henderson thinks he could be the dark horse in the race, although it would be a surprise if his overall form was good enough to win this.
Selection: Bobs WorthNext Best: Silviniaco ContiEach Way: On His OwnLong Shot: Teaforthree

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