Gold Cup Preview 18/03/2016
The biggest race of the festival looks like a blockbuster clash. It is open this year and all the runners will fancy their chances. Our selection goes to Don Cossack. He is top priced with Bet365 at 3/1. He just simply has the best form in the race and if you take the opinion like many that he would have won the King George but for falling then he should be a shorter price.
Don Cossack comes into the Cheltenham Gold Cup with very strong credentials and looks to be producing his best form over the last two seasons. He is a horse who should improve on his form over the winter for the drying ground. His best performances last season were at the spring festivals. He was third in the Ryanair at Cheltenham. He then went on to record brilliant wins at Aintree and Punchestown.
Perhaps more significantly is the fact he beat Cue Card (best price with William Hill at 4/1) at Aintree and then beat Djakadam (best price with Coral at 10/3) at Punchestown. These two horses are also well fancied for the Gold Cup but with Don Cossack already beating both of them he should be the pick.
He was staying on well in the King George before falling at the second last. I feel that the way he was staying on that day is perfect for the Cheltenham hill. The extra two furlongs in the Gold Cup should help Don Cossack on Friday.
It is a positive that he is not coming into the race off the back of that fall having won at Thurles since. Whilst he was beating horses at a lower level that day it is more about the clear round.
Another positive is the fact jockey Bryan Cooper has opted to ride Don Cossack over Don Poli (4/1). Both horses are owned by the same connections and Bryan Cooper would have had the choice.
Djakadam could pose the biggest threat in the race. He finished second in the Gold Cup last year and could improve this year. He was only six last year and that was a terrific performance for a six year old. He should be able to give another good show this year. He will be looking to continue Ruby Walsh’s brilliant week.
He was a good winner in December but that was over a shorter trip. He then fell at Cheltenham Festival Trials Day which could be a concern. He has now fallen twice at Cheltenham from three runs.
He would however have a good chance if his jumping holds together.
Cue Card comes into this year’s Gold Cup chasing a one million pound bonus after already winning the Betfair Chase and the King George.
He seems a rejuvenated horse this year and looks back to his very best. He has previous Festival form after winning the Ryanair Chase.
He will however have to overcome the poor recent record of ten-year-olds. No ten-year-old has won the race since 1998. Get the latest Cheltenham betting odds and info here.