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Native River weak in Gold Cup market as Clan Des Obeaux comes in for support

Cheltenham: Native River drifting ahead of the Gold Cup
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Cheltenham Festival punters have deserted Native River in the Gold Cup market, leading him to drift from 9-2 to a top-price of 13-2.

Native River's last four wins have come on soft ground, including in the Gold Cup a year ago, and punters seem to think conditions have gone against Colin Tizzard's star, despite a shower of rain hitting the course on Friday lunchtime.

The going is good to soft and clerk of the course Simon Claisse thinks it will stay that way for the final day of the festival.

Native River was as short as 3-1 yesterday morning, when the ground conditions looked ideal, but following a dry day on Thursday punters have looked elsewhere.

Clan Des Obeaux, Paul Nicholls' King George winner, has been well supported and is as short as 7-2 from a 5-1 chance on Thursday night.

Nicholls is enjoying a great season and has scored with RSA winner Topofthegame and Frodon in the Ryanair Chase this week. The stable's Triumph Hurdle contender Quel Destin has also been strongly supported and has halved in price from 10-1 to 5-1. Sir Erec remains a well-backed 10-11 favourite.

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "We've seen a lot of money for Quel Destin and Clan Des Obeaux who has been very popular in ante-post markets too. We've also seen a lot of money for Kemboy, if he wins it would be a big loser for us." 

The Gold Cup betting is still headed by Presenting Percy, who is a general 4-1, while the well-fancied Willie Mullins-trained trio of Bellshill, Al Boum Photo and Kemboy remain steady in the market.

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We have seen a lot of money for Kemboy, if he wins it would be a big loser for us
E.W. Terms
Sky bet