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Cheltenham Festival

2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup Ante-Post Tips: Willie Mullins To Claim First Gold Cup Victory On Friday

Friday 8th March 2019
Al Boum Photo is a lively outsider in a wide open renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup
Al Boum Photo is a lively outsider in a wide open renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Dual Cheltenham Festival winner Presenting Percy will bid for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory on March 15, but the Pat Kelly-trained raider will face a multitude of lively rivals in the festival blue riband event, which will be contested by some of the premier chasers in training.

We take an in-depth look at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which will take centre stage at 3:30pm next Friday and make our ante-post selection for what should be an epic renewal.

Favourites Are Worth Taking On

Retaining the Galmoy Hurdle on his sole start this season, Presenting Percy will head to the Cheltenham Gold Cup as the market leader, but his uncharacteristic route to the Gold Cup will leave a doubt on whether he is at the top of his game for the toughest race of his career.  A winner of the Pertemps Final (2017) and RSA Chase (2018) at the Cheltenham Festival, Presenting Percy is a real top-class performer at his best, but Kelly's failure to get a chase run into him this season could mean he's a little rusty over his fences, and the 7/2 shot is rather skinny for the Irish raider claiming Gold Cup glory.

Clan Des Obeaux is the form horse heading into the race as the Paul Nicholls-trained star has picked up valuable wins in the King George VI Chase and Denman Chase this season, and he will be a premier challenger for Britain.  One of the most progressive chasers in training this season, Clan Des Obeaux will be a major player, but having failed to win at Cheltenham on his previous four appearances that just leaves a nagging doubt that he may just find a few too good, and he is easy to take on at the current skinny odds.

Reigning Gold Cup hero Native River finished 13 lengths behind Clan Des Obeaux in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, but Colin Tizzard is sure to have him firing on all cylinders on the final day of the festival and he could well be the most solid option of the front three in the betting.  Not out of the first three since the 2015 Albert Bartlett, Native River is the solid each-way bet for the race, but a lack of match practice this season could see him also struggle in the closing stages, and he may just find it tough to emulate last year's fine front-running victory.

Al Boum Photo The Best Of The Mullins Clan

Willie Mullins may have been a dominant force on the National Hunt scene for over a decade, but the master of Closutton has failed to taste victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the wait could finally be over for the master of Co. Carlow, as he can claim Gold this time around.

Mullins could unleash a four-pronged attack at the 2019 renewal and it's Al Boum Photo that spearheads that quartet and the exciting chaser could be the value play for punters in a wide open betting heat.  A Grade One-winning novice last season, Al Boum Photo stepped out of the novice division in style by cruising to victory in the Listed Savills Chase at Tramore, and there could be a lot more to come over fences.  A faller in the RSA Chase last season, the seven-year-old will need a career best here, but providing he can see out the energy-sapping Gold Cup trip then he has the class to land a huge blow, and if he can just track the leaders and then pounce in the closing stages then he marks sensational value.

Kemboy is another notable Mullins contender and was an impressive Grade 1 winner over three miles last time out, and he could also land a significant blow if reproducing that sort of run, but he may just lack that class factor to prevail, while Bellshill and Invitation Only add more depth to the Mullins battalion, but both will lack the ability needed to win the toughest race of them all, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Best Of The Rest

Last year's runner-up Might Bite is a potential each-way contender, but the Nicky Henderson-trained star has failed to fire this season and it's hard to fancy him with any major confidence, while Thistlecrack will look to build on his fine second placed finish in the King George VI Chase, but Colin Tizzard's star will find it tough to turn that Kempton form around with Clan Des Obeaux, and he will be running for a place at best.

With rain hitting Prestbury Park in recent days, it's seen Welsh National hero Elegant Escape take a major tumble in the betting, but he failed to get the better of Frodon when the pair met in the Cotswold Chase on Trials Day, and it's hard to see the former turning that form around.  Elegant Escape will be doing all his best work late on, but while he oozes stamina he just lacks that bit of quality needed to prevail in this event.

Of the others, Shattered Love and Bristol De Mai have some smart form on their CV's, but the former will have to end a long wait for a winning mare in this contest and will struggle, while Bristol De Mai has often struggled around the undulations of GL50 and will surely be making the numbers up in what should be a fascinating showpiece event.

Cheltenham Festival Odds

2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

Presenting Percy D N Russell / P G Kelly 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/2 4 7/2 7/2 7/2
Clan Des Obeaux Harry Cobden / P F Nicholls 9/2 9/2 9/2 9/2 9/2 5 9/2 9/2 9/2
Native River R Johnson / C L Tizzard 6 6 6 6 6 13/2 6 6 6
Kemboy D J Mullins / W P Mullins 8 9 8 8 8 17/2 9 8 8
Bellshill R Walsh / W P Mullins 11 11 11 11 11 12 11 11 11
Thistlecrack T Scudamore / C L Tizzard 12 12 12 12 12 14 12 12 12
Al Boum Photo P Townend / W P Mullins 12 12 12 12 12 14 12 12 12
Might Bite Nico de Boinville / N J Henderson 16 14 16 16 16 16 14 14 16
Elegant Escape T J O'Brien / C L Tizzard 16 16 16 16 16 18 16 16 16
Bristol De Mai D A Jacob / N A Twiston-Davies 20 20 20 20 20 22 20 20 20
Anibale Fly B J Geraghty / A J Martin 20 20 20 20 20 22 22 20 20
Shattered Love J W Kennedy / G Elliott 28 28 33 28 28 33 28 28 28
Invitation Only Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins 33 33 33 33 33 40 33 33 33
Definitly Red Danny Cook / B Ellison 50 50 50 50 50 66 50 50 50
Yala Enki Charlie Deutsch / Miss V Williams 100 100 100 100 100 125 100 100 100
Double Shuffle J J Burke / T R George 100 100 100 100 100 125 100 100 100
Each Way Terms 4
1/5
4
1/5
- 4
1/5
4
1/5
4
1/5
4
1/5
4
1/5
4
1/5

2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

BEST ODDS
1. Presenting Percy D N Russell / P G Kelly
4
FREE BET ODDS
4
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
2. Clan Des Obeaux Harry Cobden / P F Nicholls
5
FREE BET ODDS
5
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
3. Native River R Johnson / C L Tizzard
13/2
FREE BET ODDS
13/2
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
4. Kemboy D J Mullins / W P Mullins
9
FREE BET ODDS
9
9
17/2
8
8
8
8
8
8
5. Bellshill R Walsh / W P Mullins
12
FREE BET ODDS
12
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
6. Thistlecrack T Scudamore / C L Tizzard
14
FREE BET ODDS
14
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
7. Al Boum Photo P Townend / W P Mullins
14
FREE BET ODDS
14
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
8. Might Bite Nico de Boinville / N J Henderson
16
FREE BET ODDS
16
16
16
16
16
16
14
14
14
9. Elegant Escape T J O'Brien / C L Tizzard
18
FREE BET ODDS
18
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
10. Bristol De Mai D A Jacob / N A Twiston-Davies
22
FREE BET ODDS
22
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
11. Anibale Fly B J Geraghty / A J Martin
22
FREE BET ODDS
22
22
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
12. Shattered Love J W Kennedy / G Elliott
33
FREE BET ODDS
33
33
28
28
28
28
28
28
28
13. Invitation Only Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins
40
FREE BET ODDS
40
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
14. Definitly Red Danny Cook / B Ellison
66
FREE BET ODDS
66
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
15. Yala Enki Charlie Deutsch / Miss V Williams
125
FREE BET ODDS
125
100
100
100
100
100
100
16. Double Shuffle J J Burke / T R George
125
FREE BET ODDS
125
100
100
100
100
100
100
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 15:19 . Odds are subject to change.
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