Classy improver can break Cheltenham duck in the Gold Cup
Clan Des Obeaux
Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
1pt win at 8-1 NRNBwith Paddy Power, Betfred or bet365
Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
1pt each-way at 50-1 NRNB with Paddy Power (40-1 NRNB with Betfred or bet365)
The King George was a messy race withtwo of the principals comingto grief, another seeminglyhaving totally lost his way and last year's Gold Cup winner Native River unable to go the pace.
In the immediate aftermath of the race, I was of the opinion that the form wouldn't relate to Cheltenham but the more I watchit, the more I'm beginning to think I read it all wrong.
The reason so many horses underperformed was because the early gallop was ferocious and it took nearlyall of them out of their comfort zone. Only the reallyclassy ones were able to operate and it seems to me that the winnerClan Des Obeauxhas been underestimated in a big way.
He proved he could jump and travel at a really strong pace, somethingthat is so vital in a Gold Cup, and he came to the last with his ears pricked and seemingly only doing the bare minimum.
It will be a different track on a different day and he hasn't won infourstarts at Cheltenham but he ran really well off top-weight inthe2017 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and comes into theracewith a very similarprofile to when Long Run won the Gold Cup back in 2011, beating Kauto Star and Denman. Long Run had never won at Cheltenham, had been beaten in a handicap there but had gone on to win the King George. Sounds familiardoesn't it.
In short Clan Des Obeaux has the best form in the race this season, he's a young horse that is improving and it looksto me that the further he goes the better he is.
I think Native River has a chanceofrepeating last year's Gold Cup success back at Cheltenham buthe was taken off his feet by Coneygree at Kempton. Last year, he was able to dominate the GoldCup and the groundwas testing. On better groundwithotherssnapping at his heels, he won't find things anything like so easy.
MightBite looks to have gone at the game for the time being and given thisseason's events it is nosurprise that RSA winner Presenting Percy has become the favouritedespite having not reappeared yet.
There was no doubt he was a brilliant novice and Native River won the race on the back of one prep run in February, but Presenting Percy won the Pertemps on the back of having hadsix runs in the same season and the RSA on the back of five.
That mightmean nothing but I can't believe that connectionswould have chosen to not having had a run so far this season and it's hardto think that his RSA win represents better form that Clan Des Obeaux's King George victory.
Kemboy has a similar sort of profile to Clan Des Obeaux and is an obvious contendertoo, although the Savills Chase was a strange race and he wasgiven an excellent ride.
Road To Respect was back in third that day and was fourth in last year's Gold Cup on groundthat would have been too soft. He should run well again as he loves the track but ifyou like him at around 12-1, then surelyAnibale Flyis way too big at around four times the price.
He was third in the race last year beaten eight and a half lengths and could have finished a lot closer,havingcome into it on the back of a heavy fall in the Irish Gold Cup.
Anibale Flydidn't jump that wellbut finished closer toMightBite at the line thanMightBite did to Native River, which looked impossible jumping the last.
Basically he's a very strongstayer, who could easily improve a lot on last year's form.
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