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Punchestown Gold Cup: runner-by-runner guide

Frank Monkhouse | 26 April 2017

We take a glance at the six contenders

Your midweek explodes to life as the highlight of the Punchestown Festival, the Gold Cup, goes on Wednesday at 5.30pm. Six-runners lay their reputations on the line in an attempt to bank a bumper prize pot.

Sizing John rates as the traders pick here, going into the day at the head of the market as a convincing even money favourite. That approach will come as no surprise to punters, but is he the nailed-on winner of this race that the prices would suggest? We flick through the six runners and look at the chances of each, in price order.

Sizing John

Robbie Power’s ride will be extremely popular in the betting ring today, but that even money ensures he will go in multiples, with single bets reserved for those big hitters out there. The six-year-old gelding has been a real improver this season, getting better with every run, and his win in the Cheltenham Gold last month was nothing short of what the team deserved. He has stamina to burn, but steps down in trip for this contest. That won’t be too much of a concern, as he showed a great turn of foot when it mattered in March. A similar showing will be more than enough.

Djakadam

We are set for another pulsating battle between the two market leaders, and Djakadam rates as the main danger, according to both the odds and the form. What will catch the attention of punters however is the way the second-fav has been written off, with Coral’s racing team confident enough to trade 11/4 to anyone who wants to have a go. Mullins’ rep made an error when going well in the Gold Cup last month, and without that he may just have won. We’ll never know. The team will fancy their chances of an upset and he rates as my value pick in the race.

Coneygree

Followers of this horse will remember all too well that the experienced 10-year-old was a winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2015, beating Djakadam into second. He didn’t put a foot wrong that day and you won’t see many better winners of the race. Stats have him on a fantastic winning run, but he has been used sparingly in recent years, and this will be his first appearance since November 2015. That inactivity could prove costly.

HORSE RACING

Outlander

We are getting to the bigger prices now and Elliott’s charge goes into the day as a 7/1 shot, fourth in the betting. Has been hampered by injury recently and looked like it was a bad decision to stick him in the Gold Cup, finishing 10th of 13. Gives some of his best performances around here, so is always dangerous, but deserves to be the price he is on form.

Champagne West

The second biggest price in the field, which suggests he will need all the luck in the world just to get near the eventual champion. If De Bromhead joins him in the winner’s enclosure this evening I will be surprised, and so will everyone on Coral’s trading floor. Won at Gowran earlier this year, but found his level last month.

Flemenstar

Goes as a 100/1 shot and I really struggle to see too many having anything more than a few coins on his chances here. This is a competitive renewal and maybe a few years ago he’d push them close, but the 11-year-old has had his day in the sun and would need to roll back the years to upset these. It shouldn’t happen.

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