FORTY horses have been entered in the Betfred Cheltenham
Gold Cup after the entries were published today. The main contenders for national hunt racing’s blue riband all stood their ground including the ante-post favourite and Hennessy winner Bobs Worth, pictured left.
The March 15 highlight looks wide open and that is reflected in the latest Cheltenham Gold Cup ante-post market.
Nicky Henderson, the trainer of Bobs Worth, also has 2011 winner Long Run and three other entries with Finian’s Rainbow, last year’s Ryanair Chase hero Riverside Theatre and Roberto Goldback completing his formidable team.
And while there is no Kauto Star this year, Paul Nicholls still has a strong hand to play. Apart from hotly-fancied Silviniaco Conti, he also has Lexus Chase victor Tidal Bay, Kauto Stone and What A Friend among the possibles.
Twelve of the 40 entries are from Ireland including leading contenders Sir Des Champs and Flemenstar. The Hennessy Gold Cup runner-up First Lieutenant is also among the entries for Prestbury Park as is former Champion Chaser Sizing Europe, although the latter is by no means a certain starter.
Interestingly, the 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander is also entered despite not having raced this season.
But if you’re looking for a Gold Cup dark horse, what about the Tom George-trained Mail De Bievre? He was a classy performer in France but has yet to race this side of the Channel. He is currently being aimed at the Denman Chase in February.
Then there is Venetia Williams’ giant seven-year-old Katenko, who won impressively at Sandown last weekend. He is generally a 50/1 shot with most bookmakers.
Another interesting entry is Lucinda Russell’s Bold Sir Brian who has impressed in two victories this season while King George VI Chase fourth Champion Court, who ran such a gallant race at Kempton, is also given an entry although he could also go for the Ryanair.
Click here for the full list of 40 Cheltenham Gold Cup entries.
Who do you fancy? Is there some ante-post value in there? Please leave a comment below.