Gold Cup Guide

16. Presenting Percy

Trainer - Pat Kelly

Jockey - Davy Russell

Open race with a few disputing the favourite positions but Presenting Percy under Davy Russell looks primed with plenty of success at the festival for Russell. Two straight wins at Gowran and Cheltenham in the lead up to the festival and a mix of hurdles and chases and favoured in each only missing out at Gowran Park last year in February, heavy ground chase in a grade 2 but at a shorter trip. This trip suits much better and must continue the form seen recently to dispute amongst the others favoured like Anibale Fly, Clan Des Obeaux, and, Native River.

6. Clan Des Obeaux

Trainer - Paul Nicholls

Jockey - Harry Cobden

Won the King George and then soon after followed it up with a Grade 2 win also all under Harry Cobden but was given the chance after Might Bite fell well short of the mark and Bristol De Mai falling hampering other horses. However, the strong finish at the King George despite the help from other horses is nothing to be sniffed at and can contend with the best of them. If returning to the same form as the last two races could well make the mark and could justify the favouritism.

15. Native River

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey - Richard Johnson

Won over might bite last year in this race and this makes up a rerun of the King George, outstaying Might Bite again given the bleed but Clan Des Obeaux looks the favourite of this rerun given the win at King George. Thistlecrack also outstayed Native River finishing 12l ahead with the front two outclassing the rivals. Questionable whether the same conditions and runs will be had but a return to form for any of these will result in a chance for Native River to make ground and finish strongly. Likes this ground too and could make all the difference in this bolstered King George rerun.

10. Kemboy

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - David Mullins

Just outside the favourites on this one but still fares a good chance given the recent form. A significant race last time out saw him win at Leopardstown in the grade 1 race in the winter races in December. Was an outside chance then and could prove to do the same this time out in a similar class of horses but this is a bit of a steeper task. First in the last four, gives the Mullins stables a lot of potential with DJ Mullins on board- significantly over his regular rides on Invitation Only.

3. Bellshill

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Ruby Walsh

Strong chaser recently, under Ruby Walsh last time out in the preparation race at Leopardstown in February, beating the likes of Road To Respect and The Storyteller, in a decent Grade 1 chase. Last years Punchestown meeting showed his potential over the shorter trip yet again over 3m 1f and just outside the favourite odds made all and came home well. Yet another Walsh and Mullins festival combination this year and could be another success while just outside the favourite odds again as hes used to in the last few races.

11. Might Bite

Trainer - Might Bite

Jockey - Nico de Boinville

Didn’t run well in the King George chase when favourite at 3/1 and proved the longer odds on favourites. Nico de Boinville regular rider again to help this great pedigree of a horse to the first grade 1 win since Aintree last year on soft ground. King George can be forgiven if Henderson’s assessment and wind op subsequently after the chase found a bleed, wind op could be crucial to improving and coming back to form for this successful yard. Won the RSA in 2017 and needs to find more after the King George, having gone through a lot in that since then will be great to see a mighty return.

1. Al Boum Photo

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - P. Townend

Only two downfalls so far, could rectify those mistakes and when running out at Champion Novice Chase last year at Punchestown and could have placed and got in close behind under Paul Townend. Then again could have placed at Cheltenham Festival last year but falling in the RSA just 2 out from the finish. Many favoured over this one but could stand an outside chance if finishing well like Mullins yard can do.

14. Thistlecrack

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey - Tom Scudamore

Came second in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, under preferred jockey Tom Scudamore again this time out and could make all the running if the ground suits but should result differently if Might Bite and others return to form as well. Has just missed the mark on numerous occasions this season so will also need to improve more despite beating many of this field last time out, with the ground looking to set heavier with more rain coming.

2. Anibale Fly

Trainer - A J Martin

Jockey - Barry Geraghty

An outside shot and has only had one preparation race at Gowran Park coming second of four. Barry Geraghty the regular rider but hasn’t found much success recently but grade 1 a step up may prove too difficult. But close at the Grand National last year proves the staying power and potential over this shorter trip. Can make the ground up but needs to improve if the longer trip than those on form is anything to go by.

8. Elegant Escape

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey- Tom O'Brien

Third in the RSA and could have placed ahead of the fallen Al Boum Photo. Made up all ground at Chepstow in the Class 2 Handicap among a larger field of 20 and won it under Tom O’Brien on soft ground, which could be a vital bit of experience and shows the potential of a slight outsider for this Irish chance horse in the Gold Cup.

4. Bristol De Mai

Trainer - Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey - Daryl Jacob

A horse that has become well liked and just fell despite a strong contender in the King George VI Chase despite the outside odds. Given the form over Grade 1’s is definitely a strong potential winner but given the fall last time out and just missing the mark narrowly at Aintree last year and Cheltenham last January may justify the longer odds for such an impressive horse but others also have a stronger form.

9. Invitation Only

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Patrick Mullins

Came first last time out at Gowran Park, on soft ground in a large field in a handicap chase under Ruby Walsh, but this time out Patrick Mullins is aboard for the first time this season. Recent success has helped claim after a third place, pulled up, third, unseated, then came back to form with a respectable third and the win last time out. Looks likely to build on this form in a grade 1 after the last handicap and one to watch out for with a variety of prices on the bookmakers.

16. Shattered Love

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Jack Kennedy

Sore shins were the evident reason for tailing off last time out at Leopardstown, and a shock display could be the anomaly so can make all again if returning to form. Is used to running in Grade 1’s too which is needed for this against a well experienced field will need to improve on form over the last season though. Kennedy on board again for Gordon Elliott whose among the few trainers in great form and records over this festival already.

6. Definitely Red

Trainer - Brian Ellison

Jockey - Danny Cook

Longer shot than many with a similar form, but the second place was only a two runner race. But two wins before over 3m 1f and 3m under regular rider Danny Cook, but all within a much smaller field. Unseated rider at Aintree in April last year over 3m1f on soft ground.

7. Double Shuffle

Trainer - Tom George

Jockey - Jonathan Burke

Fifth at Kempton in the King George, and over that course & distance again came second in February under regular rider Jonathan Burke. Grade 2 races haven’t been too far off the mark for Double Shuffle so is much farther off the mark than the rest and is likely the longest shot of them all given the position in his first Grade 1 race on Boxing Day- up against the likes of Clan Des Obeaux and Native River again on that basis will struggle against them again.

15. Yala Enki

Trainer - Venetia Williams

Jockey - Charlie Deutsch

Long shot in this one, struggled in his handicaps leading up to this one and has tried varying trips over 3m. Back to regular jockey Charlie Deutsch after last time out at Haydock in the class 1 under Hugh Nugent instead. But a third at Chepstow in a large field of the Welsh National provides a little potential but possibly not at this level yet with many experienced successful grade 1 horses majorly favoured over this Williams trained horse.

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