2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Tips

Paddy Power

Tagged under: 3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase 3m 2 1/2f

After the exploits of Sizing Europe who added a new name to the roll of two mile chasing champions, pundits are asking we’ll see a new three-mile star crowned in this yeat’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Nicky Henderson’s progressive six-year-old is the young pretender to reigning champion Imperial Commander and the two previous Gold Cup winners, Denman and Kauto Star.

Long Run destroyed the field in the King George VI Chase at Kempton and I the process denied Kauto Star a record breaking fifth victory in the Grade 1 race. Punters should not be discouraged by his amateur rider, Mr Whaley-Cohen who gets along famously with the horse. The worrying factor for Long Run is his poor record at Cheltenham where he disappointed in last year’s RSA Chase and made a number of jumping errors when beaten favourite in the Paddy Power Chase in November. His Kempton run in January is compelling and a reproduction of the form would put him in with a great chance. Boylesports is set against the youngster, so if you are looking to back him, you’re guaranteed the best price with the Irish independent bookmaker.

Gold Cup favourite Imperial Commander loves Cheltenham and has scored on six of his 10 runs at the track. He looked in good shape when making a winning reappearance at Haydock but was forced to miss the King George VI Chase after being denied a supplementary entry due to red tape. He delighted his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies in a recent racecourse gallop at Kempton and is reported to be in perfect condition for Thursday’s race. He is best priced at 9/2 on Thursday morning and punters are advised to take those odds which are expected to shorten nearer to the “off’.

Kauto Star became the first horse to regain the Gold Cup when adding the 2009 title to his victory in 2007. He fell badly in last year’s race and racegoers have yet to see the best of him in two starts this season. Trainer Paul Nicholls reported he had an infection when finishing third in the King George VI Chase behind Long Run and remains confident of a good show in his bid to become a three-time Champion.

Denman won the Gold Cup in 2008 winner and has been runner-up for the last two years. He has not been greeted in the winner’s enclosure for over a year but produced a fine weight carrying performance to finish third in the Hennessy Gold Cup on his only run this term. Denman has an excellent record at the track, finishing either first or second in his seven runs but underfoot conditions will be against him unless there is rain on the day.

Midnight Chase and Kempes look the best of the outsiders, the former is a progressive and game front runner with a liking for Cheltenham and makes his debut in exalted Grade 1 company. Many Irish pundits are sweet on the chances of Willie Mullins’ Kempes after his impressive win in the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown last month. The going was heavy that day, but the eight-year-old has won a Grade 1 novice chase on good ground and connections are hopeful he will act at Cheltenham.

Imperial Commander is the logical choice in a competitive race; punters looking to oppose the favourite should consider Paddy Power’s Money Back offer, which refunds losing win stakes as a free bet if your horse finishes second to Imperial Commander.

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