Our Duke Tipped To Land The 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup

Posted: Thursday, 15th March 2018
Author: Chris Knight

The most prestigious race of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival takes centre stage on Friday afternoon as horse racing enthusiasts look forward to a hugely competitive renewal of the Gold Cup...

Friday - 3.30pm OddsBets
Gold Cup
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Our Duke to win    Best Bet 5/1
Road To Respect (each way) 12/1

The Big Three

Fifteen of the past seven winners of the three-mile, blue riband event have come from the front-three in the betting and we are excited by the prospect of Might Bite, Native River and Our Duke going up against one another.

Nicky Henderson's Might Bite (9/2 with Paddy Power) is bidding for a remarkable treble after he won the RSA Chase (despite his dramatic late swerve) twelve months ago before landing the King George VI Chase at Kempton. The 9-year-old didn't have to beat much in the King George - a race that has produced ten of the past eight winners of the Gold Cup - and he didn't appear to particularly appreciate the soft ground.

Native River managed to get on the podium in the Gold Cup following a gruelling season that saw Colin Tizzard's 8-year-old win the Ladbrokes Trophy, Welsh National and Denman Chase. Tizzard has opted to give Native River an extended break before he landed the Denman Chase again and he is sure to be a major player on Friday.

Our preference is to back Our Duke at 5/1 (Betfred) though as Jessica Harrington's Irish Grand National winner has been building nicely back to form since suffering a back injury. Fourth in the Irish Gold Cup in his first start for 92 days, the 8-year-old then went on to beat Presenting Percy in the Red Mills Chase and he will surely improve for the run. The form of that Red Mills success has been enhanced by Presenting Percy's hugely impressive win in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

The Best Of The Rest

Willie Mullins Killultagh Vic has had injury problems during the past 18 months and fell in the Irish Gold Cup, although the 2015 Martin Pipe Handicap winner at Cheltenham warrants respect at 9/1. Mullins also has Djakadam engaged and the 33/1 chance will attract each-way backers after twice finishing runner-up in the Gold Cup before taking fourth last year. Djakadam finished third in the Irish Gold Cup, a race which went the way of Joseph O'Brien's Edwulf.

Meanwhile, Definitly Red handled Cheltenham well when winning the Cotswold Chase earlier this season and is worthy of consideration at 12/1 (Unibet), although it is Road To Respect which gets the each-way nod from us.

Road To Respect won the Brown Advisory Plate at Cheltenham Festival last year and Noel Meade's 7-year-old has won twice at Grade One level, including the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown - five of the last twelve Gold Cup winners ran in the Christmas Chase.

This is a race where class tells as the last eighteen winners had won at Grade One level previously, with Our Duke and Road To Respect heading our shortlist for the race.

2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

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