The Goffer to Give Ireland Back-to-Back Bet365 Gold Cup Victories
First run in 1957 the Bet365 Gold Cup is a Grade 3 Handicap Chase open to five-year-olds and upwards and run at Sandown Park over 3M 4F 166 yards in which 24 fences are jumped. Older readers will know the race as the Whitbread Gold Cup which it was known as from its inception until 2001.
Irish raider Hewick won last year’s renewal for Shark Hanlon who misses this year’s renewal but can be seen this afternoon in the Oaksey Chase at 14:50. Here are my horse racing tips on this year’s Bet365 Gold Cup which is set to take place at 14:15 on Saturday afternoon.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Bryony Frost
Joint oldest in the race at eleven years of age. Started the season by winning the Badger Beer Handicap Chase at Wincanton but has failed to reproduce that effort in four starts since. Good ground and a positive ride suit him and has built up a terrific association with Bryony Frost. Not done any favours however by Hewick defecting to Oaksey Chase as he now has to shoulder 12 stone and top weight.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Sean Bowen
Joint youngest in the race at six years of age. Lightly raced over fences having won a beginners chase at Thurles last November and a valuable Leopardstown Handicap Chase in February. Pulled up last time in Irish Grand National though should stay well. Had previously finished 4th in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham which looks red hot form now with the subsequent wins of Corach Rambler (Grand National) and Fastorslow (Punchestown Gold Cup). Can run well.
Trainer: Evan Williams
Jockey: Adam Wedge
Easy winner over 3M at Kempton and Ludlow from his last three starts but has risen a stone for those wins and has to prove his stamina at today’s trip (ran 6th, beaten 18L in Coral Gold Cup last November over 3M 2F, which is the furthest he’s ever travelled).
Trainer: Tom Lacey
Jockey: Stan Sheppard
Yet to race beyond 3M 1F. Soundly beaten on the last two starts in good company. Was a 33/1 chance when 6th in Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Festival some 18L behind The Goffer. Needs to improve.
Trainer: Lydia Richards
Jockey: Caoilin Quinn (5)
Winner of three handicap chases this season, twice at Wincanton and here at Sandown. Teed up for this with a school round at Ascot over hurdles. 7lb higher than the latest victory and will need to improve to take a hand in the finish.
Trainer: Christian Williams
Jockey: Jack Tudor
Thorough stayer who comes here in excellent form having won the Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle and last week’s Scottish Grand National. Has no penalty for last week’s 3L success and is the one they all have to beat if none the worse for last weekend’s exertions. Ran third in this race last year off of a 5lb higher mark though did have a three-week break then as opposed to this season’s one week. Likely the favourite, who have a poor record in the race with the last outright favourite winning back in 1990 with Mr Frisk.
Trainer: Chris Gordon
Jockey: Mr Freddie Gordon (7)
Spent most of this term running over hurdles (winning twice) though did contest the Kim Muir Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last time when a well-beaten 33/1 chance. Hard to fancy on that effort and best to look elsewhere.
Trainer: Harry Fry
Jockey: Kevin Brogan
Been placed in four valuable handicap chases this season and ran Coolvalla to a length in Devon Stayers Handicap Chase at Exeter last time out. 3lb higher now means he’s on a career-high handicap mark. Stays well and holds each-way claims.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Harry Cobden
Was first past the post in this race two years ago but was demoted to third for causing interference on the run in. 6lb lower now. Pulled up last year when second favourite. Subsequently had his wind tinkered with and was going well when falling in Badger Beer Handicap Chase on re-appearance. Shown little in two starts soon but appears to have been trained for this and has been dropped 5lb since his last run. Not one to dismiss.
Trainer: Seamus Mullins
Jockey: Michael Nolan
A winner of 5 of his 9 starts over fences including when beating Undersupervision at Doncaster last month by a neck. 4lb rise puts him on a career-high handicap mark now. Has won over 3M 6F so will see this trip out well.
Trainer: Richard Philips
Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies
Not seen since October when pulling up at Cheltenham. Previously had won at Warwick but is an inconsistent sort who is hard to fancy and also has a slight stamina doubt over today’s trip.
Trainer: Gary Moore
Jockey: Rex Dingle
Had a terrific first season over fences winning five of his six starts with the only defeat coming in the NH Chase at Cheltenham. Stays well as he showed when taking the Devon Stayers Handicap Chase at Exeter in March by a length from Revels Hill who re-opposes on 3lb better terms. All wins were gained with cut in the ground so if the ground rides slow would have definite claims (was taken out of Scottish National last week due to the good fast ground).
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Tom Buckley (3)
Winner of two military races here over 3M this year under Jody Sole rising 5lb for those two victories. This will be a lot tougher and has yet to race beyond three miles. Will need to improve.
Trainer: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White
Jockey: Aidan Coleman
Runner up to Hewick in this very race last year off of a 3lb lower mark. A winner at Exeter in February but pulled up last time in Kim Muir at Cheltenham Festival. Each way claims on last year’s run but is ten years old now.
Trainer: Ben Pauling
Jockey: Kielan Woods
Lightly-raced 7-year-old who’s only run four times over fences winning twice. A winner here over 3M last month on soft ground and has been raised 4lb since. Yet to race beyond three miles but is an improver and may have more in the locker. 5lb out of handicap here mind.
Trainer: Michael Scudamore
Jockey: Beau Morgan (7)
Not seen for 307 days and re-appears having had a wind operation. A winner of 5 of his 16 chases but hard to fancy even on his best form especially a he’s 7lb wrong at the weights.
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey: Sean Houlihan
His 20th start of the season. Been on the go for far too long and from way out of the handicap is impossible to fancy.
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey: David Noonan
In the same ownership as Django. His 23rd run of the season. Way out of the handicap here and needs a rest.
Bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase Tips
Likely favourite Kittys Light has been placed in the last two renewals of this famous race and comes here having won the Scottish Grand National only a week ago. Unpenalised for that effort he’s 6lb well in and can run well with the only niggling doubt being the fact that last year there were three weeks between the two races where as this time around it’s only a week. If fully over last Saturday’s exertions he should go close though at the prices I’m happy to look elsewhere for the winner although will definitely have a small saver to cover my stakes.
Top weight Frodon has a big task under his weight whilst his trainer Paul Nicholls may have a better chance with Enrilo who’s nicely handicapped and appears to have been trained for this. There shouldn’t be much between Harry Fry’s Revels Hill and Chris Gordon’s Coolvalla on recent Exeter form and I’m surprised that the two aren’t closer together in the betting with the latter at least double Revels Hill’s price.
The one I want to be with is The Goffer who’s over from Gordon Elliott’s stable in Ireland and has an excellent piece of Cheltenham form when 4th in the Ultima with subsequent big race winners in first and second (Tea Clipper behind and held).
THE GOFFER 1 point each way @ 8/1 with Bet365 1/5th 123456
COOLVALLA 1 point each way @ 16/1 with Betfred 1/5th 12345
KITTYS LIGHT 1 point win @ 7/2 with Bet365
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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