Cheltenham 2019 Day Four Preview – Horse Racing Betting March 15

Kemboy can become a man in the Gold Cup

Cheltenham Festival

What a brilliant finale to this year’s Festival, which has survived intact despite the threats of equine flu and Storm Gareth. There is likely to be even more drama on the fourth and last day with the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup taking centre stage. Sixteen runners have stood their ground, including the first two from last year, and there will be no quarter given.

Recent Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2018 Native River 8 Richard Johnson Colin Tizzard
2017 Sizing John 7 Robbie Power Jessica Harrington
2016 Don Cossack 9 Bryan Cooper Gordon Elliott
2015 Coneygree 8 Nico de Boinville Mark Bradstock
2014 Lord Windermere 8 Davy Russell Jim Culloty
2013 Bobs Worth 8 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2012 Synchronised 8 A P McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
2011 Long Run 6 Sam Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
2010 Imperial Commander 9 Paddy Brennan Nigel Twiston-Davies
2009 Kauto Star 9 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls
2008 Denman 8 Sam Thomas Paul Nicholls
2007 Kauto Star 7 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls
2006 War Of Attrition 7 Conor O’Dwyer Mouse Morris
2005 Kicking King 7 Barry Geraghty Tom Taaffe
2004 Best Mate 9 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight
2003 Best Mate 8 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight
2002 Best Mate 7 Jim Culloty Henrietta Knight
2001 Race Abandoned
2000 Looks Like Trouble 8 Richard Johnson Noel Chance
1999 See More Business 9 Mick Fitzgerald Paul Nicholls
1998 Cool Dawn 10 Andrew Thornton Robert Alner
1997 Mr Mulligan 9 A P McCoy Noel Chance
1996 Imperial Call 7 Conor O’Dwyer Fergus Sutherland
1995 Master Oats 9 Norman Williamson Kim Bailey
1994 The Fellow 9 Adam Kondrat Francois Doumen
1993 Jodami 8 Mark Dwyer Peter Beaumont
1992 Cool Ground 10 Adrian Maguire Toby Balding
1991 Garrison Savannah 8 Mark Pitman Jenny Pitman
1990 Norton’s Coin 9 Graham McCourt Sirrel Griffiths

Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends

  • 15 winners in the last 20 years had run in the King George or the Savills Chase that season.
  • Only two winners in the last 18 years had not finished either first or second in their previous run.
  • Only one of the last 18 winners had run more than 12 times over fences previously.
  • All but one of the last 11 winners had raced no more than three times that season.
  • No winner aged older than 10 since 1969.

Last year’s 1-2, Native River and Might Bite, are back for more but the latter has had a troubled preparation and he had no excuses 12 months ago when out-battled by Colin Tizzard’s thorough stayer. They were also going half-a-stride too quick for Native River (available at 9/2 with 888sport) in the King George at Kempton over Christmas but he stayed on strongly in the closing stages to finish third behind Clan Des Obeaux (also a best 9/2) and stablemate Thistlecrack (16/1 with several bookmakers).

Presenting Percy was immediately ear-marked as a future Gold Cup winner when running away with the RSA Chase at last year’s meeting. He’s bidding for a third success at The Festival but has only run once so far this season and that was over hurdles, though he did win. Trainer Patrick Kelly is not a slave to convention, however, so expect a big run at a best 4/1.

Willie Mullins has yet to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup but has had the runner-up in four of the last six years and has assembled a powerful team again. Two of his quartet are the only ones that fit all the trends and Ruby Walsh would presumably have had his choice. He’s gone for Bellshill, who would have needed the run when fourth behind KEMBOY in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown but has nine lengths to find with his younger stablemate.

David Mullins again rides the seven-year-old, who looks as though he’ll relish this extra distance and has more class than given credit for. He’s stepped up a notch this season and the 11/1 with Ladbrokes looks excellent value in a wide-open renewal.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Current Best Odds

Presenting Percy 4/1, Clan Des Obeaux and Native River 9/2, Kemboy 11/1, Bellshill 12/1, Thistlecrack 16/1, Al Boum Photo, Elegant Escape and Might Bite 20/1, Anibale Fly and Bristol De Mai 25/1, Shattered Love 28/1, Invitation Only 40/1, Definitly Red 50/1, Double Shuffle and Yala Enki 100/1

(Odds correct at 11.00am March 15)

The Gold Cup support card isn’t bad either, though the amateurs are probably best left to their own devices in the Foxhunter and the closing Martin Pipe looks a punter’s graveyard and if we are playing catch-up at that point, desperation may take hold.

Imperial Cup runner-up MONSIEUR LECOQ is even better treated in the Randox Health County Hurdle as he can race off his correct mark. Runners in that race have a good record when making a quick reappearance at Cheltenham and Jane Williams’ five-year-old is a tempting 14/1 with 888sport.

COMMANDER OF FLEET could be another for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott in the Albert Bartlett at a general 7/1 as he looked ready for a step up 3m when beating Rhinestone at Leopardstown while it would be no surprise to see a repeat performance from LE PREZIEN in the Grand Annual.

There has been plenty of money for Paul Nicholls other runner, Magic Saint, but Barry Geraghty’s mount is only a pound higher than when coming with a wet sail off a strong pace last year and will again have the race run to suit. He will again need luck in-running but he’s been campaigned with this race in mind and there have been worse 10/1 (general) chances this week.