The big day is finally here as Kauto Star and Denman get ready for the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup in what has been one of the most hyped up races of all time. Over the past couple of years theses two stablemates have shared a Gold Cup each and with Kauto Star already having won in 2007 the current score stands at 2-1 to the defending champion. Kauto Star is the defending Champion having become the first horse ever to reclaim the Gold Cup last year and heads into this years race as the odds-on favourite to make it number three.
There is no doubting that Kauto Star was the one to beat last season and he has taken that form into this year with some more fine performances. His Gold Cup Odds were slashed considerably at Christmas when he won the King George Chase for a 4th consecutive year in stunning fashion. Kauto Star simply blew the field away that day and on that form its hard to see him being beaten by anybody at the Cheltenham Festival. If there is any horse that can beat Kauto Star then it is of course Denman who on his day is a relentless galloper and is more than capable of breaking any horse no matter how good they are. He showed that in 2008 when he simply bashed Kauto Star into submission when he set a relentless pace at the head of the field and his tactics are set to be the same this afternoon. He produced a dazzling display in the Hennessy Gold Cup in November to take the win carrying top weight and on that form looks impressive. AP McCoy will take the ride on Denman today after having a warm up run last month in the Aon chase, it didn't go to plan though as Denman unseated the Champion jockey. That was a worrying run for Denman backers and he drifted in the markets as as a result, he will need to be at his very best if he is to get close to his stablemate and rival Kauto Star.
Its not just a two-horse race though as the Gold Cup Form might suggest as there are one or two others who might just be able to get themselves in the mix. Imperial Commander ran Kauto Star very close in November in the Betfair Chase and has to be the one most likely to push the big two. He is already a Cheltenham Festival winner as is Cooldine who is another with great each/way claims. He produced a stunning display last year to win the 2009 RSA Chase and looks like he is coming into form at just the right time. Realistically though it looks like we are set for a treat with Kauto Star v Denman part III on the menu, the eyes of the sporting world will be on Cheltenham this afternoon for the most anticipated race in recent memory.