The Paddy Power Gold Cup is without doubt one of the very best betting races of the season and that will be the case once again this Saturday as thousands of punters descend on Prestbury Park. The Open Meeting for many is the real start of the Jumps season and it is looking like a brilliant three days of sport with the 2m4f Handicap Chase without doubt the highlight.
Wide Open Betting Market for the Big Race
Picking winner when it comes to the Paddy Power Gold Cup is one of the toughest tasks of the entire season and once again it looks like a wide open affair with any number being backed. Having said that, the likely favourite for the big race is the very classy Kings Palace who has been given the nod to run by his trainer David Pipe this week.
At times, Kings Palace has looked like a horse of the very highest level and there is no doubt that connections certainly think very highly of him. He has won four times at Cheltenham which in his favour but he has flopped on both occasions he has appeared at the Festival including last season when only 6th in the RSA Chase which is a worry.
There is no doubt that Kings Palace is one of these horses that splits opinion but he does have class and does look fairly weighted despite the fact this might be short of his best trip and in truth he is a difficult betting proposition at 7/1 with Sky Bet.
Other horses towards the head of the market include the Dr Richard Newland trained Boondooma (9/1) who looked very good last month when winning a 2m Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. He is clearly a horse on the up and looks well set for a big run although like most of these, this is a step up in class for him. Respected.
Irish Cavalier won the 2m4f Handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival back in March which is cracking form, while he looked very good when winning on his season debut at Newton Abbot and although he does have plenty of weight on his back here, it would be a major surprise if he was out of the frame for Rebecca Curtis on Saturday.
One of the horses behind Irish Cavalier at Newton Abbot was Art Mauresque who will be re-matching here for Paul Nicholls. The 5-year-old is a second season chaser, and on that bare form with Irish Cavalier, has just under three lengths to find and is in receipt of 9lbs this time. The Ditcheat in-mate has since won a Novice Chase at Cheltenham during the Showcase meeting and he potentially could be well handicapped on 147.
Paul Nicholls has won the Paddy Power Gold Cup twice in the last three years which is a bonus for Art Mauresque who despite lacking big field experience, does make appeal at 12/1 with Paddy Power.
This really does look like a competitive renewal this season any number of nice types potentially in the mix at slightly bigger prices. One of those is certainly Oscar Rock (16/1), who looked very good at the end of September when winning at Market Rasen, while Johns Spirit (12/1) won this a couple of years ago and loves 2m4f around Cheltenham which ensures he is respected for Jonjo O'Neill.
Art The Narrow Pick
This is a very difficult race for punters but for my money this comes down to Irish Cavalier and Art Mauresque who both have plenty in their favour . They met at Newton Abbot recently when Irish Cavalier came out on top and while it would be no surprise to see Rebecca Curtis pick up the prize, it is Art Mauresque who is the pick here in receipt of 9lbs and he could well be ahead of the handicapper for Paul Nicholls.