A fine Cheltenham Festival climaxes with the Gold Cup on Friday. Despite the withdrawal of the two favourites, it’s certain to be another frantic day for the bookies. If you’re tempted to have a punt on the race, it’s well worth opening an account with Sporting Index*. They offer a range of spread betting markets on every race and a choice of free bets for new clients**. So, if you’re looking to make a few quid but lack inspiration, read on for their Senior Racing Trader’s thoughts ahead of the big race:
All that Glitters
The Gold Cup has become an extremely interesting and open race in recent years. With Best Mate and Kingscliff ruled out, I expect more of the same this year. I’m surprised to see Kicking King running, particularly after his initial withdrawal by the Taafe stable. Despite his victory in the King George I cannot fancy this horse; interrupted preparation and definite stamina doubts mean you should look elsewhere for the winner.
Strong Flow has always been held in high regard by his trainer Paul Nichols and only injury has prevented him from an even more successful career to date. His Gold Cup trial was the Aon Chase at Newbury where he jumped well and ran a solid race only to be beaten by the late Farmer Jack. An improved performance is likely at Cheltenham.
If I was having a punt though, my money would be on Celestial Gold. Impressive recent victories in the Paddy Power and the Hennessey illustrate his progressive profile and his liking for Cheltenham. Despite some strong competition, especially from current favourite Beef or Salmon, I think it will be a good day for trainer Martin Pipe.
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