It’s the big one & the one we’ve all been waiting for. The main event, the Blue Riband, it’s the Gold Cup over 3 miles 2 furlongs with 11 rivals trying to wrestle the chasing crown from last year’s winner, Al Boum Photo.
There are some pretty strong trends in finding the winner of this; second season chasers have a good record in this whilst it’s also imperative that you ran in either the King George, Paddy Power Chase or the Savills over the festive period. All but 2 of the last 15 had never run in the Gold Cup before and the same number came from the top 3 in the betting. Previous form at the Festival is also a good pointer.
So, what of this year’s field? Well, last year’s winner Al Boum Photo is holding favouritism at the minute and, since his win from Anibale Fly 12 months ago, he’s raced twice finishing 2nd in the Punchestown Gold Cup last May before winning the Savills at Tramore on New Years Day. He’s had the same prep as last year but I think he’s vulnerable.
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Santini is an interesting contender for Nicky Henderson having beat one of today’s rivals Bristol De Mai here in January and he was 2nd in the RSA as a novice here last year.
Back in 3rd in that RSA was our selection for this, Delta Work. He’s gone from strength to strength since, winning the Punchestown Champion Novice to round off his first season chasing. This term, he opened with a disappointing run at Down Royal but looked in need of the run but has won both starts since, getting up by a head to deny Monalee in the Paddy Power Chase and then outpointing Kemboy in the Irish Gold Cup. He continues to improve, is a top class stayer and has won at the Festival before when landing the 2018 Pertemps. Of the front 3 in the market, he’s the one whose form is the hardest to pick holes in.
Clan Des Obeaux won his 2nd King George, this one being substandard, and will struggle to improve on his mediocre 5th in this last year, whilst Kemboy unseated here 12 months ago & has finished behind Delta Work on each of his last 2 starts, a comment that can also be applied to Presenting Percy. Lostintranslation was a leading fancy for this until putting in an awful effort in the King George at 7/1 looks too short to overlook that run.
I’m not certain any of the others are quite good enough so the 3 against the field would be our selection Delta Work, last year’s winner Al Boum Photo and Kemboy. Whatever happens, it’s sure to be a cracking race and one I’m very much looking forward to.
Back Delta Work (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 5.50 Skybet (⅕ odds 1-5)