The Cheltenham Gold Cup is without doubt the highlight of the Cheltenham Festival and brings together the best horses around. This year’s race promises to be one of the most exciting for years with several horses involved capable of winning the coveted prize. Once again though the showdown between 2007 winner Kauto Star and Denman who brilliantly took the crown last year looks set to attract the most attention from punters. Kauto Star looks as though he will head into the big race as favourite after showing excellent form this season as he aims to regain his crown which he lost after being beaten by Denman last year. Kauto Star looked in fine shape as he won the King George at Kempton and that coupled with Denman’s rusty form mean Kauto is currently priced at around 2/1 with most bookmakers.
Denman was brilliant in winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year and was expected to sweep all before him once again this season. However, things have not gone quite to plan for Denman since that victory last year especially as he started this season with a heart problem. On his return from injury in the Levy Board Chase at Kempton he was a mile second to fellow Gold Cup contender Madison Du Berlais which caused his odds to drift significantly. It remains to be seen how that will affect him in the Big race but a fully fit on form Denman is a joy to watch and is capable of winning any race.
Another horse attracting a lot of Interest is Neptune Collonges who finished third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year. The grey won superbly in the Hennessey Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February where he jumped like a dream and stayed the distance comfortably. With this in mind he is bang in form going into the big race and is worth a look at odds of 11/2. Madison Du Berlais pushed himself into contention after beating Denman in the Levy Board Chase at Kempton. He won in convincing fashion by beating Denman on his return from injury by 23 lengths. On that form he is most definitely one to consider although it is difficult to gauge his true form as Denman was clearly rusty on his comeback. Madison Du Berlais is currently available at 8/1 with many bookmakers.
We feel based on form this season it is very difficult to look beyond Kauto Star for the 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup at odds of 2/1. However, he will have to work hard for victory as there are several strong contenders ready to pounce should Kauto slip-up.