The 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup takes place on Friday 13th March and we have picked out five horses to consider when doing your Gold Cup bet at the Cheltenham Festival.
The biggest race of the jumps calendar is renewed again this year with a good mix of the new breed of staying chasers and the already proven older boys. Who will prevail? Here are my thoughts.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips – 5 Horses Watch
He is one to watch for sure for a number of reasons, not least because he was last year’s winner. In 2014 he was given an absolutely fantastic patient ride by Davy Russell where he ran on late to eventually break the tough On His Own and The Giant Bolster. Jim Culloty managed to get this horse in fantastic shape during the season before delivering him fully fit at the Cheltenham Festival. This is one of the reasons this season also, he has not really done anything of note so far this season, however, in his last run there were signs of improvement for sure and he has yet to really be ridden into a race the way we saw in last year’s Gold Cup. Another reason is his staying ability. In last year’s renewal, he was some 10 to 15 lengths down turning for home before some excellent jumping and some staying power bought him home.
This can only be good should he bring the same arsenal to the table. He also now has the big race experience and Jim Culloty and his team now know how to win a Gold Cup, granted being a hold up horse is not always ideal if they become outpaced, but they are a smart trainer-jockey team, so I cannot see them being far away again this year.
One of this year’s big improvers for me, going from strength to strength. I believe he is a deserved favourite for the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup following his displays over the Christmas period and beyond. He has been a much more assured jumper this season whereas I always felt he was a bit novice like at times last year, with this showing in the 2014 Gold Cup. He was leading coming into the final fence and during the run in, however he pulled left and cost himself a fair chance of winning in doing so. I have not witnessed that this year, he has been a much more mature horse especially with the front running tactics employed seeming to suit.
He has been able to pace races and dominate the tactics whereas in previous races he has been the one reacting to what is happening up front. Another plus is the confidence Paul Nicholls and his team have in this horse. I thought last year was his big chance to win major honours and I didn’t think he would come back the same horse this time, however, they have turned him round and got him into excellent form. If he gets around with good solid jumping and without incident elsewhere, you could well be looking at the 2015 Gold Cup winner, albeit with plenty of other laying down a challenge for the crown.
This is an interesting contender, firstly because of the nostalgia or AP McCoy being on board in his last ever Gold Cup race, but, secondly because there has been no stopping this horses rise through the handicaps on his way to earning his place at the Festival and the Gold Cup. For a long time he has flattered to deceive racing in handicaps before a spurt of excellent performances over the last year or so. It could be argued he hasn’t beat anyone of note, however, this horse is a very willing chaser who will pass the stamina test of the famous Cheltenham hill. Add into the mix that the legend that is AP will be on board, could just coax out a huge performance from this JP McManus horse. Definitely one to watch, even if it’s just off the back of AP choosing to ride him, he is worth serious consideration for an each-way Cheltenham Gold Cup 2015 betting tip.
Alan King’s representative is one that has not always been one to catch the eye this season, however has always been there or there about. Since switching to the larger objects he has won twice and placed twice in 6 starts, coming second when well in touch for the win last time out where being beaten by another Gold Cup runner, Many Clouds. There are a lot of people who would write him off based on that as he was in receipt of weight then, however, I don’t feel he was ridden correctly that day as he was trapped in a tight group leaving him too much to do with too little time to do it.
I firmly believe this horse is a talent as a chaser and with no other options for the Gold Cup I believe Alan King will send him to test his hand. IF this horse goes and gets ridden positively up to the pace of the race he will without doubt be close approaching the line. He is a horse who always has a big performance in his locker and was ever so unlucky not to be crowned the RSA winner in 2014. If you look at the record of RSA winners/runners up heading on to the Gold Cup, it is relatively good so this is cause for encouragement. Another horse to look at especially at a big price. Big danger.
I am going to be bold here. This horse is a superstar in the making. When I first saw this horse over the larger obstacles, one things came to mind. Denman. This horse has so many similarities in the way he operates it is uncanny. His jumping is phenomenal for a ‘novice’ chaser, even though he is 8 years of age. He jumps straight and high, very rarely coming into contact with the fences. His temperament is also Denman like, very straightforward, a bowl along type who is willing to make every yard. He is a big powerful horse who ran his more experienced competitors into the ground in his last performance. I do find it very difficult to pick faults in this horse as I don’t believe he has any glaring ones. His stamina is proven, he has a fantastic running stride, jumps well and to top it off is ridden by one of the best up and coming jockeys in Nico de Boinville. So what are the worries?
Simply, there are no guarantees he will run in this Gold Cup with the owners looking towards the RSA instead. In my opinion that would be a great shame as I don’t believe he has anything to lose going into this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. There are horses there for the taking and in my opinion he has earned his shot at the big one. If he went and it didn’t work out, then at least he tried, next year is another chance but I don’t think that would be the case, I really believe we could be looking at a superstar chaser over the next couple of years.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2015 Betting Tips:
I have looked at this race and form over and over again and it simply isn’t easy to overlook any runner. However, my thoughts are that if Coneygree does take the Gold Cup path, he will win. If he goes for the RSA then I also firmly believe he will win that easily. So knowing he may not run, my pick for the Gold Cup is last year’s winner, Jim Culloty’s representative, Lord Windemere. Good luck to one and all across the week.
Coneygree – 12/1 with Bet365 (each-way).
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