After the Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is perhaps the most famous event in jumps racing. Run over 3 miles 2 ½ furlongs, it is a gruelling test of stamina, resolve and jockey’s skill. The eagerly-awaited race will take place on Friday 16th March at 3.30pm.
Despite being several weeks away, punters are already scouring the main horse racing and online betting sites for any good 2018 Cheltenham betting tips for the Gold Cup and other races at the Festival. It is one of the biggest betting events of the year and plenty of scrutiny will be put on every race between now and then.
Two things happened recently to shift the focus of the betting chatter for the big race however. Firstly, Might Bite had a brilliant run at the King George VI Chase, which led to his odds being slashed to 3/1 by several top bookmakers. Secondly, last year’s Gold Cup winner, Sizing John, could only finish 7th in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase and promptly had his odds lengthened.
Might Bite is undoubtedly worthy of his place as early favourite for the Gold Cup though. Nicky Henderson’s horse had a stellar year in 2017, capped off with that King George VI win. As far as betting tipsters are concerned, he is the horse to beat.
Still, there are plenty of other interesting candidates for this year’s Gold Cup. In fact, only once in the last four years has the favourite finished in the first three in the Gold Cup (Don Cossack, 9/4 winner in 2016). So, it is a race where punters can find a bit of value.
One such runner could be Native River. Currently priced at 12/1, Colin Tizzard’s gelding has not been seen in a race since finishing third in last year’s Gold Cup. Native River is a class act however, and is expected to make his comeback at the Denman Chase at Newbury in February. If he performs well there, that 12/1 could be shortened considerably.
Value could also be found in Bristol De Mai. The win at Haydock by 57 lengths in November’s Betfair Chase was outstanding, especially considering his opponents included Cue Card and Outlander. He had a bad run at the King George, but has later been found to have stomach ulcers. 22/1 are the odds offered for him at the moment. Tempting if he can recover.
Below is a guide to the ante-post betting favourites for the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup:
|Horse:||Best Odds/Bookmaker*:||Trainer:||Probable Jockey:||Notes:|
|Might Bite||7/2 (William Hill)||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville||An incredible 2017 culminated in King George VI Chase win.|
|Sizing John||7/1 (Sporting Bet)||Jessica Harrington||Robbie Power||Last year’s Gold Cup Winner.|
|Coney Island||10/1 (Ladbrokes)||Eddie Harty||Barry Geraghty||Won his only race outside of Ireland – at Ascot in December.|
|Road to Respect||11/1 (William Hill)||Noel Meade||Sean Flanagan||Has beaten Yorkhill twice in the last 12 months.|
|Native River||12/1 (William Hill)||Colin Tizzard||Richard Johnson||Was among the favourites for last year’s Gold Cup. Finished 3rd.|
|Our Duke||12/1 (Stan James)||Jessica Harrington||Mark Walsh||Limped to 7th place when odds-on favourite for Jnwine.com Champion Chase in November.|
|Bristol De Mai||22/1 (William Hill)||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Daryl Jacob||Won the Betfair Chase at Haydock by 57 lengths. Disappointing run in King George VI Chase soon after.|
|Disko||25/1 (William Hill)||Noel Meade||Bryan Cooper||Two big wins since coming 3rd to Yorkhill in 2017 JLT Novices’ Chase.|