Paddy Power Gold Cup betting and odds
The jumps season firmly announces its arrival on Saturday with the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham, writes Mikey Mumford. Little Josh grabbed the headlines for Nigel Twiston-Davies and son Sam twelve months ago, and they team up with course and distance winner Billie Magern this time. Mon Parrain is the clear market leader for Paul Nicholls after his second to Always Waining at Aintree in March but there are plenty in with chances in this early-season clash. So far, 21 runners will contest the Grade 3 event over 2m4f and fifteen fences will have to be successfully negotiated.
Paddy Power Gold Cup form & tips
Poquelin Previous course and distance winner who was a little stretched by 3m in the Charlie Hall Chase a fortnight ago. Will appreciate the drop back in trip although he will find it difficult carrying top weight and may struggle to get competitive.
Wishfull Thinking Never out of the first two in his last six runs and scored in four of those. Prefers a little bit of cut in the ground but rates a main danger on the back of his Punchestown win in May over a little further; one of the leading contenders.
Mon Parrain Won on his first start on British soil at Sandown and found only one too good next time at Aintree giving over a stone to the eventual winner. Has won over 3m therefore has no problems with the trip and likely to get his good ground so everything looks in place for a bold bid.
Great Endeavour Sixth in this last season when well fancied and posted a good effort next time beaten only by Poquelin. Remained competitive at Aintree on his last run but is probably vulnerable to an improver in this sphere. No reason why he shouldn’t give his usual sound running but place claims at best.
Araldur Largely consistent performer who is often thereabouts and made the step up into better company with a good second in a listed event at Wetherby last month. Recent run will hopefully sharpen him up and probably more to come from him this season.
Quantativeeasing Defied previous poor marks when good second to the useful Divers at the Cheltenham Festival and had some very good yardsticks in behind. But got it all wrong next time at Fairyhouse and must improve significantly for that run but has proved he is up to this company.
Divers Had a couple of these trailing in behind on his last couple of runs but was pulled up latest at Carlisle after a mistake 4 out. Remains to be seen what the problem was that day but had previously run well over this distance on good ground. Would need to convince of well-being before supporting.
Billie Magern Trainer won this event last year with 20-1 outsider Little Josh and holds a strong hand this time round. The seven-year-old won over this course and distance last month and recent run is an advantage. Done most of his winning on good to firm ground but should make a case nonetheless.
A great early-season clash and interesting to see which way some of these go in the market after a lay-off. Mon Parrain rates a main danger after two solid runs while Wishfull Thinking hasn’t been out of the top two in his last six runs. But this one could go to a better treated rival and ARALDUR can make the most of a recent spin at Wetherby. Quantativeeasing could sneak into the minor honours. [Mikey Mumford]
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