The Open meeting at Cheltenham is the traditional curtainraiser for the new National Hunt season and the feature race as always is the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday 16th November, we have ant-post betting tips.
There is a real blend of second season chasers and experienced veterans in the field still and as you would expect for such a valuable prize, a whole host of horses have a great chance at landing the spoils.
David Pipe, just like his father Martin, loves to target this meeting and just like his old man he seems to churn out the winners year in year out here and won this race back in 2011 with Great Endeavour.
His best chance this year would seem to lie with Dynaste (13/2 Betfred), who was one of the best novice chasers of last season. He only lost once, finishing second behind Benefficient in the Golden Miller Trophy (Jewson). Other than that blip he routed the opposition in the Feltham at Kempton on Boxing Day and won easily at Aintree in the Mildmay Novices.
Pipe has confirmed that his main target is the King George on Boxing Day at Kempton but he has a great chance of winning this competitive chase.
I followed this horse closely last season and his sound jumping, high cruising speed and ability to tackle any ground will make him one of the leading chasers this coming season.
However, he won’t have it all his own way in this race. Up and coming chaser John’s Spirit, likely to be ridden by the record breaking AP McCoy, is improving at a great rate of knots and won at the course last month.
Whether he can improve enough to beat Dynaste remains to be seen but his backers should be given a good run for their money and I expect him to be amongst the contenders (7/1 William Hill).
Dynaste’s stablemates, Ballynagour and Salut Flo, also have live chances of winning here. Ballynagour was a red hot favourite to win the Byrne Group Plate at the Festival last March but didn’t make the frame. However he easily won at Warwick before that and seems to alternate running good and bad races so could give Dynaste most to think about (12/1 888Sport).
Salut Flo (14/1 Ladbrokes) has had injury problems but won at the Festival last year, leading from pillar to post where Ballynagour failed this year. If back to his best he may be hard to reel in.
However, my each way tip is Battle Group (16/1 Coral). The Johnny Farrelly trained 8-year-old has won his last three races including twice at the Aintree Festival, seems to thrive in big fields and if able to dictate he could easily finish in a place.
My Paddy Power Gold Cup tip to win is Dynaste for the Pipe/Scudamore combination and each way is Battle Group to give his trainer a first big win in this country.
Paddy Power Gold Cup 2013 Betting Tips
Dynaste to win – 13/2 with Betfred
Battle Group each-way – 16/1 with Coral
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