This year’s Cheltenham Festival culminates on Friday with the blue riband event – The Gold Cup.
The race always provides the big talking point and my two against the field are Long Run at 5/1 and Kempes at 9/1.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Distance: 3m 2½f
1 Albertas Run 33/1
Trained by Jonjo O’Neill.Won at last year’s Festival.Don’t discount.
2 Carruthers 66/1
Best on soft/heavy ground.30 lengths behind Imperial Commander last year.
3 China Rock 33/1
Trained by Mouse Morris who trained First Lieutenant to win here on Wednesday. Hasn’t won over further than 2 miles 7 furlongs.
4 Denman 11/2
Winner in 2008. Trained by Paul Nicholls.Affectionally known as ‘The Tank’ by his followers.Ran with great credit behind Diamond Harry in the Hennessy.
5 Imperial Commander 7/2
Last year’s winner.Been off following injury. Trainer reports to be back to very best.
6 Kauto Star 5/1
Winner in 2007 and 2009. Attempting to win for a third time at the age of 11.Trained by Paul Nicholls.
7 Kempes 9/1
Trained by Willie Mullins.Won well last time.Needs some improvement to win this but well capable of doing so.
8 Long Run 5/1
Trained by Nicky Henderson.Stormed to victory in the King George.Some concern over whether he acts on this course.
9 Midnight Chase 14/1
Gone from strength to strength, landing three staying handicaps. Still has a lot to find on the form book.
10 Neptune Collonges 25/1
Third in the 2008 Gold Cup.No back number but probably prefers soft/heavy ground.
11 Pandorama 14/1
Won the Lexus Chase in December, then was sidelined by injury. Trainer Noel Meade reports the horse to be fully fit again.Prefers soft ground.
12 Tidal Bay 16/1
Good Cheltenham form having won an Arkle and a Cleeve Hurdle in the past.Possible outsider.
13 Weird Al 20/1
Another who loves running at Cheltenham.Not out of it.
14 What A Friend 33/1
Beaten by Noland in the Aon Chase.Not totally reliable.
Each-Way: 1/4 odds 1, 2, 3.
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.