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Horse Racing

Cheltenham Gold Cup Horse By Horse Guide

Friday 17th March 2017
Native River

Today is the day we get to enjoy the most important race in the National Hunt game, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup the feature event on the final day of the Festival. We have already enjoyed three magnificent days of sport but today is the one we have been waiting for, with the blue-riband race of the season taking centre stage.

Is Native River the one to beat in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Is Native River the one to beat in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

We have a field of 13 runners going to post this afternoon, and with the betting tight at the top, we take a look at each of the runners...

Bristol De Mai
Age 6
Form 2-2213

Stormed to victory in the Peter Marsh Chase off of a mark of 154 which would put him the frame here. Found to be lame after disappointing last time out behind Native River, and a massive ask at just six.

Champagne West
Age 9
Form FP-311

Very similar profile to Bristol De Mai having won a handicap in impressive fashion in Ireland last time out. A massive improver this season and might put up a bold show from the front before fading.

Cue Card
Age 11
Form -43121

A racing legend who at his best would be too good for this field. Impressed last time against average company, but history suggests winning a Gold Cup at 11 is unlikely.

Djakadam
Age 8
Form 23-213

Runner-up in the last two Gold Cups and easy to see him in the frame once again. Didn't impress over Christmas but kept fresh for this and connections flying this week. Plenty to like.

Irish Cavalier
Age 8
Form 151P35

A solid horse in soft ground but conditions have gone against him here and he will be outclassed. Thanks, but no thanks.

Minella Rocco
Age 7
Form 21-3FU

A huge talent who won the four miler at Cheltenham last season. Ground will suit and has the talent to be in the mix, but has fallen on his last two starts which is a worry.

More Of That
Age 9
Form 3-P36U

Another huge talent who has lost his way since beating Annie Power to win the Stayers' Hurdle. Produced a much better run in the Irish Gold Cup before falling at the last and might be an each-way player.

Native River
Age 7
Form 1-2111

A relentless galloper who has done nothing but impress this season for Colin Tizzard. Hennessy, Welsh National and Denman Chase winner who will be very tough to pass up the hill.

Outlander
Age 9
Form -22F21

Lexus Chase winner who is looking to give the trainer and owner a second consecutive winner in the race. Progressive horse for an in-form handler but this is much tougher.

Saphir Du Rheu
Age 8
Form 5-3F21

A winner at Kelso last time out but he has lost his way since a very promising novice chase career. Connections respected but shouldn't be good enough.

Sizing John
Age 7
Form 3-3211

A classy horse who has loved the step up in trip this season. Kinloch Brae and Irish Gold Cup winner who will be pleased to see good ground this afternoon. Has the class to go close but stamina will be stretched to the limit.

Smad Place
Age 10
Form 16-473

Former Hennessy winner who is sure to set a strong gallop on the front end for Alan King. Form this season has been below par though, and hard to see him making an impression.

Tea For Two
Age 8
Form 3-5241

Impressed in a Graduation Chase at Exeter last time out but this is a monumental step up in class. Should give Lizzie Kelly a good spin but will do well to finish in mid-field at best.

Race Prediction

  1. Native River
  2. Djakadam
  3. Minella Rocco

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