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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kevloaf's Avatar
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    2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup

    There have been snippets of National Hunt news over the last few weeks and I can't wait! As can be expected, before the season starts and injuries start to appear, this race in particular looks absolutely mouth watering. I will try and remember to post the betting table periodically through the season so we can see what has changed!

    There will no doubt be huge changes to these markets, especially as the Triple Crown seems to be the target for Sizing John and Might Bite as well a few of the older contenders.

    Last season, I had backed every horse in the Gold Cup, each with varying degree's of overall profit. That won't be to everybodies taste which is fair enough, and it isn't guarenteed as I don't know what will turn up and what the morning prices will be... last year I was fortunate that Thistlecrack was taking a huge chunk out of the market for so long.

    THis year, I have a stronger view than I did last year (at this early stage) as I was blown away with Our Duke in the Irish Grand National. He now has an official rating of 167. Sizing John (the reigning champion, who backed up at Punchestown) is 1 lb higher on 168. I love the way he has been slowly brought along and the decision to bypass Cheltenham this year (RSA Chase) could end up being a very shrewd move as he may still be able to progress and be slightly under the radar (in terms of price). I think the 10/1 about Our Duke is still a very good price, however, I only have 2 pts on at 12/1 in singles so far and can't see his price contracting much until Christmas time... so no need to back it again. The plan is for Jessica Harrington to keep her stars Our Duke and Sizing John apart, with SJ lined up for a go at the triple crown, it'll leave Our Duke in Ireland and the first real market shaping race over there won't be until the Lexus at Christmas time? If we see an impressive performance in the first leg of the triple crown at Haydock (25th November) the market may very much focus on the UK runners so I'll be keeping an eye on Our Duke's price even as he stays in his box.

    The first leg of the triple crown does lead me nicely on to the other horse I have already backed, and that is Might Bite (1 pt at 14/1) and 2 pts (50/1 Triple Crown). The case has been made elsewhere (ante post bets thread) about why it is a good price for the latter and if he does win at Haydock, it'll be impossible not to have him as fav for Kempton where he was (and did despite falling) put up an almighty performance in the Kauto Star/Feltham. The trends will favour the record of RSA chase winners, as well as King George winners and if Might Bite has won the first, I fully expect him to win the King George, whoever turns up to have a go at him! If that did happen, I wouldn't be able to fancy MB at the price he would be for Cheltenham, as he clearly has some screws loose. The RSA chase win in a photo against Whisper was one of the most exciting finishes that I can remember but you can't see him getting away with that again!

    Talking of crazy horses, Mullins' best chance in the betting at this stage is Yorkhill. No point speculating too much at this stage as we still don't know if he is a 2 mile hurdler, or a 3m2f chaser - but he'll continue to divide opinion and take a huge chunk out of the market wherever he turns up as a dual festival winner. Ruby can only ride one, and personally I can't see Djakadam being given another bite at the cherry in the GC (so he'll be Ryanair or Grand National bound?!) so I see it as a straight toss up with Douvan. I appreciate they're different owners, but these are arguably Mullins' two highest profile horses and when the Ryanair is there for the taking with either, I'd at this stage be amazed if they didn't get split up! It isn't feasible to me to see Yorkhill in the QMCC. Douvan could, but I now think it is more likely we see him try a step up in trip. If that went really well (and he won the King George for example) then he'd obviously have to take in the Gold Cup, which may push Yorkhill in to the ryanair (where he has two festival distance wins to his name).... alternatively if it didn't go so well, we could see Douvan 'do a Vautour' and crush the Ryanair field! I've already spent too much time waffling about this though, and the prices of each considering the targets aren't certain until about a week before - I'll move on.

    I have backed one other horse 1 pt - Coneygree at 50/1 and although that price has long gone after his fine effort behind Sizing John in Ireland, I don't expect him to get there Not going to mention every horse but at the head of the market Sizing John and Thistlecrack both look too short at this stage. Thistlecrack got beaten and has been out since so will need to see him again and I hope he does come back because he is superb! Sizing John just looks too short to consider at this stage but I have nothing to knock him with.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kevloaf's Avatar
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    Had some trouble with the picture of the odds being too big... will sort that out later

  3. #3
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    Really fancy one of Our Duke or Might Bite for a Gold Cup Charge

    I thought Our Duke would go Hennessy (or whatever its called now) then *** RACE then Gold cup similar to Native River but Paddy Power are giving Our Duke as 20/1 for the Hennessy?? Does that say that the target is unlikely

  4. #4
    I think JH has already said Our Duke will be campaigned in Ireland during the first half of the season.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kevloaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faugheen_Machine View Post
    I think JH has already said Our Duke will be campaigned in Ireland during the first half of the season.
    Yeah that is my understanding too. Unlikely we'll see an Irish horse come over to carry top weight in a handicap - would certainly hammer home those Denman comparisons in my head if we're wrong though

  6. #6
    Senior Member Istabraq's Avatar
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    Good effort Kev and great to see some detailed chat back, but can I assume that you don't consider Minella Rocco a challenger at all ?
    On decent ground I think he's a leading runner....

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kevloaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Istabraq View Post
    Good effort Kev and great to see some detailed chat back, but can I assume that you don't consider Minella Rocco a challenger at all ?
    On decent ground I think he's a leading runner....
    Certainly do.... got plenty of time to discuss his claims. I did think he was 'short enough' though at this stage... there is that stat that always comes out about the success of horses that didn't win at their first attempt. I think, in short, what is needed to win the race this year, will be higher than last year - Sizing John sets that standard ATM.

    Minella Rocco with a better prep can't be ruled out? I have also found that I backed Coney Island in the same colours at 50/1 earlier this year! I see he isn't quoted with every firm though, hope I haven't missed anything and its negligance on their part!

  8. #8
    Senior Member jono's Avatar
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    Great opening post Kev. I keep meaning to add my thoughts but it's quite a lengthy response!

    In the meantime, an update on Sizing John...

    'Fantastic' Sizing John delighting Harrington after summer of fun
    https://www.racingpost.com/news/news...ng-john/298576

  9. #9
    Senior Member Old Vic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevloaf View Post
    Certainly do.... got plenty of time to discuss his claims. I did think he was 'short enough' though at this stage... there is that stat that always comes out about the success of horses that didn't win at their first attempt. I think, in short, what is needed to win the race this year, will be higher than last year - Sizing John sets that standard ATM.

    Minella Rocco with a better prep can't be ruled out? I have also found that I backed Coney Island in the same colours at 50/1 earlier this year! I see he isn't quoted with every firm though, hope I haven't missed anything and its negligance on their part!
    Coney Island missed Cheltenham and was put way for the year - dont think it was too serious but would like to hear some news. Young horse with plenty of scope to improve ( past Our Duke) but a bit afraid they might take the Imperial Commander route to Gold Cup via Ryanair.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mayo's Avatar
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    Douvan a safer bet than Yorkhill imo.

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