Xmas runs put Bobs Worth back on top of Cheltenham Gold Cup tree
With the top 11 horses in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting in action over the Xmas period in either the King George VI Chase at Kempton or the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, some clues have been noted as to which may perform best in the most prestigious Festival contest.
Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card have been the most consistent two chasers over the early part of the season, with the former following up on finishing third in the Betfair Chase by winning the King George.
The flatter track at Kempton arguably played to his strengths, while trainer Paul Nicholls stated afterwards that the horse was being specifically trained to peak in the King George.
Silviniaco Conti is now 4/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds and he is hard to oppose as an each-way proposition, especially after falling three out last year when looking to have a real chance of victory.
Cue Card is now 7/1 to win the Gold Cup, with question marks re-emerging over whether he has the stamina to triumph over 3m2f, particularly with the Cheltenham hill to climb up the run-in.
He faded tamely late on at Kempton to finish second after landing the Betfar Chase so impressively. Should he reproduce his Haydock performance, he is another worthy of each-way consideration.
Bobs Worth was the clear favourite to win the Gold Cup for a second straight year ahead of the new season, as not only will he line up as the defending champion, but also as the owner of a five-race career unbeaten record at Cheltenham.
However, a well-beaten performance in the Betfair Chase raised some doubts as to how well he had wintered.
Any cobwebs appeared to be blown out with a gutsy victory in the Lexus Chase in Ireland, where not only did he appear to benefit from a prior run, but also slightly firmer ground.
Bobs Worth is now back as clear favourite to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup at 5/2 and this will certainly be a reasonable price if the rain stays away in March.
Of the others, Sir Des Champs finished fourth in the Lexus Chase for the second season running and he can take a few races to find his best. At 6/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds, he shouldn’t be underestimated.