Silviniaco Conti was a sensational winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the Paul Nicholls-trained raider is one of the many star attractions in the list of 35 entries received for the Betfred Chelteham Gold Cup, which takes place on March 13.
Having sparkled in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, the Ditcheat star then produced a masterful front-running display to land the festive showpiece and he will now take his chance in his third Gold Cup on the spin, as he looks to finally etch his name on the illustrious roll of honour.
Lord Windermere was a shock winner of the Cheltenham Festival blue riband event last season and he will try to retain the coveted title, but a disappointing showing in the Lexus Chase will mean he will need to bounce back, whilst 2013 Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth was another who flopped in that Lexus and will need to improve.
Road To Riches could well spearhead the Irish challenge this season as having won the Galway Plate he has progressed into a top class performer and winning the aforementioned Lexus Chase over the festive period was his finest display and he can't be discounted.
Holywell has a sensational record at the festival having bagged two wins at the Prestbury Park extravaganza and Jonjo O'Neill's star will hope to shine, whilst Hennessy Gold Cup winner Many Clouds built on that Newbury success and was a fine winner of the BetBright Cup Chase on Festival Trials Day and has to be a major player.
Of the others that sparkle in the who's who of chasing, On His Own was a fine runner-up last season and was second in the Lexus, whilst the likes of Sam Winner, Smad Place and The Giant Bolster are just another trio that could line up in what will be a scintillating showpiece.
9/2 Silviniaco Conti
7/1 Many Clouds
10/1 Carlingford Lough
11/1 Road To Riches
16/1 Bobs Worth
16/1 Sam Winner
18/1 Lord Windermere
22/1 Smad Place
25/1 Boston Bob
28/1 The Giant Bolster
33/1 On His Own
40/1 Houblon Des Obeaux
100/1 Home Farm
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The Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup is widely considered as the most prestigious race on the UK National Hunt racing calendar and it is the feature race of the Cheltenham Festival each spring; the race attracts the best 3 mile chasers of the season and it has thrown up some legendary winners down the years.
There is huge prize money on offer for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and it will always have a stellar field with trainers and owners dreaming of having a Gold Cup runner while a winner of the big race is always the highlights of anyone’s career. The race has been run on the New Course at Cheltenham since 1959 and continues to grow in stature with every passing season as part of the climax of the National Hunt calendar.
The Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup is a huge race from a betting point of view with the ante-post prices running right through the season and up until race day.
Punters are attracted to the big names that always turn up to the Gold Cup and through the years we have seen some of the great chasers win the race, perhaps the most famous of those is Arkle who won the race three years in-a-row during the 60’s. Arkle is considered by many to be the greatest chaser of all time and he made his name in the Gold Cup.
Since the turn of the 21st century the Gold Cup has come alive once again with some real star names making their names at Cheltenham. The brilliant Best Mate dominated the Gold Cup winning it three times in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and was a horse that captured the nation’s hearts. Best Mate was responsible for breathing new life into the Gold Cup in the modern era while Kauto Star has continued that revival with his brilliant wins in 2007 and 2009. Kauto Star became the first horse ever to regain the Gold Cup with that win in 2009, and his rivalry with 2008 winner Denman brought the Gold Cup right back into the headlines where it belongs.
The Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup is a true test of the best chasers around with the Cheltenham undulations always a test for the very best, only the top class horses have a chance at winning the Gold Cup while a win will see them catapulted into racing stardom.
Throughout the season the best chasers in the UK & Ireland will be warming up for their date with destiny in March and we will keep abreast of all the latest form guides as well as providing a detailed list of all the runners on raceday.
Hennessy Gold Cup (Newbury)
Paddy Power Gold Cup (Cheltenham)
JNWine.com Champion Chase (Down Royal)
Argento Chase (Cheltenham)
Betfair Chase (Haydock Park)
King George VI Chase (Kempton Park)
Lexus Chase (Leopardstown)
Aon Chase (Newbury)
Irish Hennessy Gold Cup (Leopardstown)