Sizing John Can Give Harrington First Gold Cup Win

It's been a topsy turvy week for punters and we aim to pick the bones out of the biggest race of the week, the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.

Eight winners this century have won a race at the Festival previously and four more have placed. Every winner so far since 2000 has already been a Grade 1 winner over fences. Horses beaten on their first try at the Gold Cup have never come back to win since 2000 in 62 attempts.

Friday 17th March - 3.30pm OddsWon/LostBet
Gold Cup    
Tips Sizing John (each way)    Best Bet @ 9 / 1  

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The Top Of The Market

Djakadam has been all the rage in the betting since Wednesday and Willie Mullins return to form on Thursday saddling four winners on the day has only increased punters interest in the 8yo. Second on two attempts at the Gold Cup, escuses could be made on both occasions but he'll have to defy a trend for horses coming back after losing at their first attempt at the Gold Cup (62 have tried and failed since 2000).

Colin Tizzard's had dominated the market in the lead up and even when long time favourite Thistlecrack was ruled out of the race through injury, old favourite Cue Card and Native River are sure to prove popular on the day.

Eleven year old Cue Card was clipped in the betting following his fine display in the Betfair Ascot Chase last time and he's sure to get plenty of support on the day. You just wonder whether last year was his best chance, when falling three out with every chance.

Native River has been a massive improver this season. Second in the four miler as a novice last season he went to Aintree and won the Mildmay Novice Chase. Beaten on his first appearance this season at Wetherby over hurdles it proved the ideal prep for the Hennessy which he won at Newbury before then going on to win the Welsh National impressively.

Plenty were willing to crab that form but the way he quickened up in the Denman Chase the last day would suggest he's got some genuine class about him and deserves his place amongst the market leaders.

Each Way Squeaks

Sizing John may have seen the wrong end of Douvan on seven occasions during his career, but the Jessica Harrington trained seven year old has stepped out of Douvan's shadows this season stepping up in trip and has genuine claims here.

A winner over two and a half miles in the Grade 3 Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles was impressive enough and Sub Lieutenant's run in the Ryanair on Thursday would frank that form.

It was the win in the Grade 1 Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown over three miles and half a furlong which really got people's attention however and his owner Alan Potts was always going to target this race after that.

The rating accrued that day puts him bang in the mix and I'm confident he'll get the trip and pose a question to the likes of Native River up the run in at an each-way price (8/1 generally).

Outlander is another at bigger prices who can run a big race and his form from the Lexus Chase at Christmas gives him a good chance in what looks a really competitive race.

The Best Of The Rest

More Of That can be backed at 16/1 but the RSA Chase third last season just has too many question marks next to his name.

Minella Rocco holds some form over Native River from last year's festival over four miles but the pairs' careers have gone separate ways since and he's far too poor a jumper to seriously consider here.

I'm not sure Cheltenham is Bristol De Mai's course and he ran disappointingly at Newbury behind Native River. Champagne West ran a great race to land the Thyestes Chase last time but he's another with course form doubts whereas Irish Cavaliar is a horse who could run a big race at a big price if he gets good ground on Friday.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Prediction

  1. Sizing John
  2. Native River
  3. Outlander

2017 Gold Cup Odds

Posted: Thursday, 16th March 2017

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