Author: Will Smith
Published: 10:09 23/04/2013
It has been a little quiet on the betting front of late, as the burgeoning flat and concluding jumps seasons converge. This is encapsulated by Sandown Park’s traditional mixed meeting this coming weekend, the highlight of which is of course the Bet365 Gold Cup (known to many as the Whitbread Gold Cup).
Before that Punchestown Festival starts on Tuesday, and there isn’t much grabbing me from across the Irish Sea on the first day. The highlight is undoubtedly the Growise Champion Novice Chase, where I think Harry Topper and Dedigout are value calls against the Willie Mullins pair Boston Bob and Back In Focus. I can’t pick between them though, so feel it best to sit back and enjoy what should be the race of the day.
Looking at the prices for the Bet365 Gold Cup at the five-day entry stage, there is a real standout bet at huge odds of 40/1. Dovers Hill is not trained by a fashionable trainer, and is just the type of horse that will fly under the radar. He may be an 11 year old, but is lightly raced, and anyhow horses of that age have won this three out of the last five years.
Mary Hambro’s exuberant bold jumping front-runner is just the type to excel at Sandown where jumping at speed is at a premium. Indeed he has already shown a real liking for the course – winning a 3m ½f handicap chase on his seasonal reappearance last year.
The form of that win couldn’t have worked out better as the second and fourth won handicaps soon after, while the third home was Auroras Encore, who went on to win at Haydock before finishing a brave second in last year’s Scottish National – (and of course recently won the Grand National itself).
Dovers Hill then contested last year’s renewal of the Bet365 Gold Cup, only for the ground to turn drastically against him. To finish sixth when it looked as if he might drop right away shows that the trip of 3m 5½f is well within his compass. The forecast is set fair to produce his beloved good ground, while he goes extremely well fresh, and hasn’t been seen since last year’s race.
40/1 is a ridiculously good price about a horse that will be cherry ripe for the day.
bet365 Gold Cup: Dovers Hill – 40/1 (Bet365, Ladbrokes, Stan James)