Cheltenham Gold Cup Guide

Al Boum Photo

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Paul Townend

Last year’s winner has followed the same preparation this season to regain his crown.

The 8 year old wasn’t the slickest of jumpers in the gold cup last year but his stamina shone through to get the job done.

Willie has kept him lightly raced, which could be the main key in bringing a horse back from such an attritional test like the gold cup and try retain the title.

He won his warm up race on New Year’s Day quite handily and the form has been franked well since.

Clearly the one to beat, he’s holding a lot of last year’s runners on form.

This could provide Mullins a second win in the Gold Cup.



Bristol De Mai

Trainer - Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey - Daryl Jacob

The Haydock specialist maybe hasn’t been his sparkling best this year chalking up a couple of 2nd places, but the form in defeat is still solid.

Beaten on home turf in the Betfair chase at Haydock by Lostintranslation was a closely run affair.

The youngster just got the better of him on the run in.

Last seen at Cheltenham in the Cotswolds chase he was again just outstayed by a youngster in Santini.

He’s a thoroughly classy stayer and placed 3rd in last year’s running. He’s not one to be ruled out despite a big price.

Chris’s Dream

Trainer - Henry De Bromhead

Jockey - Aidan Coleman

Showed himself to be a really classy handicap staying chaser this year when taking the Troytown handicap chase at Navan back in November.

Carrying a hefty weight he cut through the soft ground to win handily in the end.

It looks like decent enough form but he has previously floundered in Grade 1 company.

Against thorough classier animals he might find himself out of his depth.

A recent 2.5 mile win showed he does have some tactical speed and beating solid mare Shattered Love is some good form to come into the festival on.

There were talks of a Ryanair tilt but this has obviously become the main target.

Deservedly a big price, he has plenty to find on ratings.

Clan Des Obeaux

Trainer - Paul Nicholls

Jockey - Harry Cobden

This 8 year blew the King George field apart in December.

A 21 length demolition job of the top rated chaser in training gifted him his second win in the race. Winning it in consecutive years.

He has a really high cruising speed and appears at the business end of his races swinging away on the bridle.

A slightly different preparation this season will see him line up fresher this year and it could make all the difference to his effort

If he sits slightly further off the pace this year it wouldn’t be surprising for him to be competing for a place.

Delta Work

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Mark Walsh

A real stayer this 7 year old, he showed real tenacity in the 2018 Pertemps Final to win in a photo finish.

Maybe disappointed slightly when favourite in the RSA and held by Topofthegame and Santini.

But, this year he’s been lethal since he had his warm up run.

He’s recently taken the Saville Chase in Ireland and the Irish Gold Cup.

He looks to be the biggest threat to Al Boum Photo out of those coming over from Ireland. He’s already beaten Presenting Percy and Kemboy this season so he holds a few of those in the running on form.

Highly expect this one to be right in the mix if he upholds the form he’s been showing this season.

Elegant Escape

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey - Jonjo O’Neill Jr

A very thorough stayer on his day, but his form has mainly come in handicaps.

Now 8 years old he should be hitting full swing but really struggled to land a blow on his last 2 starts, finishing 6th and pulling up.

It might be a case that the handicapper has really sunk his teeth in and a step into conditions races will suit him more.

Off a high mark of 161 he’s struggling to get truly competitive in the races he’s normally been very dominant in.

He has the ability to stay on during attritional tests, but he’d really need a career best to get very competitive in a hot looking Gold Cup.

Kemboy:

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Patrick Mullins

Reasonably well fancied for this at 8/1 last year, he lost his chance to show what he was capable of when he unshipped at the first fence.

Issues with his ownership led to him needing to him having quite a disrupted campaign.

He only managed to get his first outing at the end of December and shaped like he needed the run.

More was expected last time out in the Irish Gold Cup but he struggled to justify favouritism, finishing 2nd to Delta Work.

Immediately he would look like that form holds him behind delta work and he’d ideally be wanting the ground to be as close to good as possible.

Lostintranslation

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey - Robbie Power

Spent his novice chasing season locking horns with Defi Du Seuil over 2.5 miles. Eventually losing out in the season 2-1 in their 3 clashes.

He rounded out the season finally being upped to 3 miles at Aintree and took the field apart very easily, beating some really smart horses, including RSA winner Topofthegame.

This campaign has been a little stop start, a smart enough win at Carlisle opened the pipes.

He followed that up with a huge performance in the Betfair Chase where he scalped Bristol De Mai.

The disappointment came in the King George, where despite being well fancied he really reached for a fence and pulled up soon after.

A bounce back to form could be on the cards but he’d have to really step up and show he’s as good as he looked at Haydock in November.

His electric jumping and stamina could put him firmly in the mix.

Monalee

Trainer - Henry De Bromhead

Jockey - Rachael Blackmore

This 9 year old has been used at a variety of trips and it would appear that no one really knows what he is best at.

He’s had some solid wins over 2.5 miles in the books, so a tilt at last year’s Ryanair looked a really sensible option.

But in the hot race he was found wanting for something.

He struggled to really lay a glove on the front 3 home.

Last time out he lined up in the Saville’s Chase and ran what must be a career best to only go down by a head to Delta Work.

He tried to set the pace for the field that day and just failed in trying to steal the race from the front.

He could absolutely love this trip and go close again, or will just get found out for top class stamina and maybe not get home.

He becomes quite a difficult horse to truly assess at this untested trip.

Presenting Percy

Trainer - Patrick Kelly

Jockey - Davy Russell

A top class win in the 2018 RSA led to everyone you knew telling you Presenting Percy would win the Gold Cup. Sadly last year’s favourite failed to sparkle and was found to be lame after the race.

His form before and immediately after the RSA win was top class and he just looked like a horse who could really make the step up to Gold Cup easily.

However, this season he’s failed to live up to the hype despite the fact that he’s had no real issues that we know of.

3rd, 5th and 3rd don’t scream gold cup winning form.

Delta Work has handily seen him off twice this year so he’d be hard to get excited about to reverse that form.

He does however have an each way chance, but now at 9 years old he’s dangerously close to not delivering the promise he showed as a novice chaser.

Real Steel

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Brian Hughes Quite surprising to see this 7 year old entered for this race over the Ryanair.

He’s showed some really good form this season over 2.5 miles despite pulling up last time out.

He easily brushed Footpad aside back in January and a tilt at a top 2.5 mile chase looked on the cards.

Yet he’s in here and has a lot to prove with stamina. He’s yet to run over 3 miles as a chaser so could well be crying enough quite early on during a truly run gold cup.

The only time he tried 3 miles over hurdles was in the 2018 Albert Bartlett and he finished a massive 51 lengths behind the winner.

With everything to prove 33/1 looks far too short, it would be a surprise if he got competitive.

Santini

Trainer - Nicky Henderson

Jockey - Nico De Boinville A potential superstar in the making? A really tough preparation for last year’s RSA he still put in a massive performance to finish 2nd to Topofthegame.

Expectations were high for his seasonal reappearance yet he just scrambled over the line to beat Now McGinty by a head.

Didn’t look the running of a Gold Cup horse and he was immediately taken out of the King George.

After a wind op he came out on trials day in the Cotswolds chase and put in a might performance to beat Bristol De Mai over what was nearly the Gold Cup trip.

He solidified himself as a top stayer and immediately went up in the betting to be one of the principles in the market.

Wether he can replicate that form on the big day is yet to be seen but he looks to be one who’s going to be right in the thick of it.

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