Review Of The Gold Cup At The Cheltenham Festival: Gold Cup Winner Native River 8-1 To Follow Up In 2019

Read our betting review on the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 winner
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Native River and Might Bite dominated the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup  to such effect that none of their 13 rivals were ever able to mount a serious challenge as Richard Johnson’s mount outstayed the favourite in a vintage renewal.

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Year on year the Cheltenham Festival never fails to produce many memorable performances and 2018 proved no different. Altior kept his unbeaten record over fences with a stunning, and at one stage unlikely, victory in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase while leading Irish novice hurdler Samcro looked the next jumping superstar when outclassing the opposition in the Ballymore.

On the opening day Footpad and Buveur D’Air justified strong confidence when taking the Arkle and Champion Hurdle respectively before Wednesday produced another potential chasing star of the future in Presenting Percy, easy winner of the RSA Chase. For many however, the highlight of the week was achieved in Friday’s Timico Gold Cup, a race where two of the leading fancies – Native River and Might Bite – set out their stall from the word go, the pair totally dominating the extended 3m 2f contest to the extent that none of their thirteen rivals were ever able to mount a serious challenge.

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With Richard Johnson’s mount setting out to make it a thorough test of stamina, Nico De Boinville and 4-1 market leader Might Bite made sure they were never far away from the Colin Tizzard-trained son of Indian River and with both jumping for fun up front it was just a question of which one of the two would prevail from some way out. Momentarily hitting the front at the second-last last year’s RSA winner could not withstand the superior stamina of the 2016 four mile National Hunt Chase runner-up who passed the post some four and a half lengths in front of Nicky Henderson’s charge.

33-1 Irish raider Anibale Fly stayed on to finish a never-nearer third ahead of fellow countrymen Road To Respect and Djakadam but this was a two-horse race from flagfall and all being well a re-match is on the cards in 2019. Better ground would certainly play more to the strengths of Might Bite but whatever the prevailing conditions the Gold Cup is usually won by the horse with the greater stamina and there is little doubt that Native River comes out on top in that department making the 8-1 available with Betfre

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