It’s finally here, the race we’ve all been waiting for The Cheltenham Gold Cup. Won last year by Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack, it was expected to be the destination for Thistlecrack this season before he was sadly ruled out of contention with injury. However, if you’re a Colin Tizzard fan never fear, as the trainer has two out of the top three in the betting at his disposal to take the race.
Eleven-year-old Cue Card was the horse many punters wanted to win the race last season, having already won The King George and the Betfair Chase. He looked to be travelling well but fell three from home leaving Djakadam and ‘The Don’ to battle it out. He’s back for another crack at the race this year and looks to be in good form having won the Ascot Chase by fifteen lengths on his last outing ahead of Shantou Flyer. Currently at odds of 7/2 he has drifted in the market over the last few days, so we could see him go off at 4/1 tomorrow.
The other Tizzard trained challenger for this race is seven-year-old Native River, and with three wins from four outings this season, he certainly looks an enticing prospect. Winning the Denman Chase on his last appearance just over a month ago, he has also won the Welsh Grand National and the Hennessey Gold Cup Chase. A horse that doesn’t seem to shy away from a battle, he is rated slightly below Cue Card although priced the same in the market. He seems to be more favoured than his stable companion as things currently stand.
Willie Mullins-trained Djakadam is the nearly man of the Cheltenham Gold Cup having finished second here for the last two seasons. We’re not sure why the eight-year-old has managed to pass the post first considering he has only finished outside the top three once in his last ten starts and seven of those have been Grade One races. He would prefer softer ground if he is to perform to his best, but with his trainer singing his praises, could it finally be his year.
It’s hard to ignore some of the outsiders in a race like this, especially if you consider anything can happen at Cheltenham. 66/1 shot Irish Cavalier started the season strongly be defeating Cue Card in the Charlie Hall Chase, however, he seems to have fallen by the weigh side since. He could be a fair weather horse, so a run here at Cheltenham might suit his race more, but at those odds he looks definitely worth a punt here.
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