Author: Will Smith
Published: 10:23 15/11/2014
The state of the ground at Cheltenham, which jockeys reckoned was slightly softer than advertised yesterday, and the fact that there was a shower overnight, have led clerk of the course Simon Claisse to change the official description to ‘soft’ for Paddy Power Gold Cup day.
In light of that, I am only even more hopeful for my two bets in the main race. Buywise at 7/1 now is very appealing, given that they may have to omit the fences in the home straight again today, if the sun comes out. And now we know the ground is definitely very testing, Kapga De Cerisy at 22/1 is well worth an each-way investment with Bet365, as they offer 5 places.
The main dangers on this ground look to be Indian Castle and Persian Snow, as most of the rest would prefer decent ground.
I suggested backing Golden Chieftain for the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton last weekend, to confirm the promise of his reappearance run at Cheltenham’s October meeting, only to see him depart at the first.
I remember a similar thing happening at this time last year with Restless Harry, who kept unshipping his jockey (including once here at Cheltenham), only to enhance his odds when he next won at Newbury.
I feel the bookies have not afforded Golden Chieftain enough respect for the 1.50 as a result of his fall last weekend, but if anything he will be better suited to the demands of this race. Recall he won by miles at the festival in 2013 off a 2lb higher mark, and he will love the ground. At 12/1 with William Hill, he is the value bet of the day.
Old friend/foe The Druids Nephew is in opposition, but he has to be taken on again, as he is up 9lbs for beating vastly inferior opposition at Huntingdon last time. Not only that, he has never looked suited to Cheltenham, nor to enjoy soft ground, or shape as if he will get the extreme 3m 3½f trip. If he gets any shorter than 9/2 then he would be a must lay on Betfair.
Golden Chieftain – 12/1 (William Hill)