The Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview
Please see our 2013 guide http://www.cheltenham-festival.com/cheltenham-gold-cup-runners/
(by tipster Carl Harris) As much as I hate backing against Kauto Star, I can’t see him being there this time, my favourite horse over jumps of all times. Nothing would give me more pleasure to see Kauto Star win a third Gold Cup, that said you cant bet on sentiment.
For me Long Run is the danger to the reigning champion, Imperial Commander, who has raced just once since winning last year. He will be tuned to the minute for this and looked impressive on a recent racecourse gallop. I think this is a great race with three former winners lining up, all have a chance with Long Run the new kid on the block. For me though it will be Imperial Commander.
Three Gold Cup winners line up for the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Will it be a previous winner or will a new pretender land the big prize?
Here are the runners for the 2011 Gold Cup run over 3m 2f 110y on Friday
Albteras Run – won the Ryanair Chase in 2010 under Tony McCoy but has struggled this season to find any sort of form. Richard Johnson takes the ride, with McCoy aboard Kempes but in all honesty it would be difficult to give him a realistic chance. He is a big price though.
Carruthers – another outsider who is campaigned in all the big races and talked about fondly by the pundits, given his connections. But from a betting point of view this is one, that on all known form, really has no chance. Would be an upset the size of Norton’s Coin if this one was to win. Rated only 146, the lowest in the field. Shouldn’t be in this field in truth.
China Rock – Mouse Morris trains, an Irish raider who is a lively outsider. An each-way outsider at a big price but he is not guaranteed to get the trip. He is a good jumper but stamina is the worry for China Rock backers.
Denman – former Gold Cup winner, second to Imperial Commander, the Tank as he is called is now 11 years old. Paul Nicholls though says he has a good chance and this is really his last big chance of regaining the Gold Cup. Sam Thomas gets on well with Denman who we last saw giving lumps of weight in the Hennessey Gold Cup, finishing a creditable third. I think he has a good chance if fully fit. He is certainly fresh.
Imperial Commander – reigning champion who beat Denman and Kauto Star last year. He has only had one run this season having been laid out all year for this. Paddy Brennan will know exactly how to ride him and though not as good as Kauto Star at his peak he is worthy favourite. Will take a good one to beat him.
Kauto Star – where do we start. Dual Gold Cup winner and the best chaser of his generation. He is 11 years old now and hasn’t looked the horse he was. Well beaten in the King George, a race he has owned in recent years, but connections say he had an infection that day. Sadly it will take a big effort to win this one and his price may be a bit short given his chances.
Kempes – Ap McCoy takes the ride. Willie Mullins has had a good festival with Hurricane Fly and Quevega winning on Tuesday. Won the Irish Hennessey last time out and has each-way claims here. McCoy rides for his retained owner JP McManus who cruely missed out on seeing Binocular defend his Champion Hurdle title. Realistic place claims.
Long Run – the progressive young horse in the field. Won the King George in very good style at Kempton last time and will be ridden by the owners son. Many punters would rather see a professional jockey take the ride, but there was no problem last time and he showed himself to be a very capable rider. A very strong claim who may serve it up to Imperial Call. Very strong winning chance.
Midnight Chase – has the heart of a lion and we may not have yet seen the best of him. Cleary goes well at Cheltenham and at a big price this is many people’s idea of a very good each way bet at a big price. It would be a big win for the stable, a young trainer very much on the up.
Pandorama – 9 wins for 11 starts is a good return. A talented horse who has had a few problems of late but showed he was back to fitness at Leopardstown last time out and with Paul Carberry aboard he is in safe hands. Again a very lively outsider with strong place claims.
Tidal Bay – Former Festival winner who has the talent but may just be a bit below the class required to win the Gold Cup. Northern raider trained by Howard Johnson who certainly knows what it takes to win at the Cheltenham Festival.
Weird Al – difficult to see this one win. Rated 152, though he has won plenty of races he was found wanting when stepped up in class last time in the Hennessey, well beaten by Denman and is on far worse terms today. No chance.
What A Friend – Paul Nicholls trains, certainly the third string, but does have outside claims. Second in the Aon Chase last time he is not out of it, but his price represents his chances.
This is realistically between Imperial Commander, Denman, Long Run and Kauto Star. I think Imperial Call will win but Long Run will make him work for it. Denman in third.
1- Imperial Commander
2- Long Run