2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup PreviewPosted by Guest Blogger on Feb 28, 2011 in Betting Tips, Blog | 0 comments
The 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup looks like it will be a worthy sequel to last year’s sensational race, where a falling Kauto Star opened the door for Imperial Commander to take his first Gold Cup.
2011 is likely to be the last time that the brilliant Kauto Star graces this race, and he’ll face the battle of his life to win back his title against last year’s winner, Imperial Commander, and the 2011 King George VI Chase winner, Long Run.
The Cheltenham Festival betting markets are already open, with great value on offer for the meeting’s feature event. Get the best value out of this year’s race with our Cheltenham Festival tips for the Gold Cup.
Looking to the King George
The King George VI Chase run at Kempton Park on Boxing Day has long been recognised as the ultimate trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This season the race was delayed for several weeks by inclement weather, and eventually took place in mid-January.
Kauto Star entered the race as the favourite, and in line to claim his 5th race title, but looked to have lost a yard of pace as he came home a disappointing third. Instead it was the 6-year-old, Long Run, who took top honours, followed home by Riverside Theatre.
While this race provided a useful idea of how Kauto Star is likely to fare at Cheltenham in 2011, it leaves us none the wiser as to how the unpredictable Imperial Commander will shape up against Long Run when he attempts to defend his Gold Cup crown.
In fact determining how Imperial Commander will fare at the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup holds the key to unlocking the Cheltenham Festival betting markets for this race. Imperial Commander has run just once this season, taking a win in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase.
One advantage that Imperial Commander does have over Long Run is that he’s a proven performer over Cheltenham’s fences. In fact he’s won five of his last six races at Cheltenham, and has finished first in his last four races at the track. What’s more, he’s better seasoned against top quality chasers, and will have the experienced Paddy Brennan on board in March.
Of course you can’t ignore the prospects of the greatest national hunt racehorse of the last decade when betting on the Cheltenham Gold Cup. While Kauto Star was off his best form at Kempton Park, he’s still a top quality horse, and is certainly capable of winning the Gold Cup if one or two things go his way.
One of the things that may need to go his way is for Paul Nicholls to put Ruby Walsh back in his saddle. Kauto Star’s not the same horse without Walsh onboard, and teaming him up with Tony McCoy may have been part of the problem at the King George in January.
2011 Cheltenham Festival Tip
With three Gold Cup winners in the field, and more than a few handy staying chasers thrown into make things interesting, the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup is going to be a tough race to call. The Cheltenham fences might well have the final say in this race, which means that backing two horses may be the best move this year.
Smart money is on Imperial Commander and Long Run to win the cup. Both are priced high enough for an each-way to nothing bet in the antepost markets, which means you can back both horses each way and then tidy up if either of them goes on to win the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
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