Worth the wait for Bobs
The Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup is the race of the week, the most prestigious race in jump racing and 11 runners are set to go to post this year.
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It looks a strong renewal with some really decent chasers in the line up, the likes of Bobs Worth, Silviniaco Conti and Sir Des Champs that have dominated the betting in recent weeks.
Bobs Worth is the favourite and he's the one that has least questions to answer coming into this race.
It's probably one of the most open Gold Cups, but Bobs Worth's form stacks up well.
He's unbeaten in four starts at Cheltenham, he's looking for a Festival hat-trick and the form of his win in the Hennessy Gold Cup earlier in the season looks particularly strong with the runner-up Tidal Bay going on to win the Lexus Chase with Hennessy third First Lieutenant - who ran well in the Jewson - not far behind.
On some lines of form Sir Des Champs is up there with Bobs Worth, but I'm a little bit worried about his jumping, especially if the forecast rain falls heavily on Prestbury Park.
He jumps well off good ground, but off soft or heavy I don't think he's so reliable.
Sir Des Champs could well be a spring horse - he is a winner at this meeting for the last two years - but on balance Bobs Worth looks the more reliable proposition.
Silviniaco Conti, for the Paul Nicholls team, has done very little wrong this season, beating Long Run in the Betfair Chase and that rival of course franked the form in the King George.
He's hard to crab, there's just a slight doubt in my mind that he's a real out-and-out stayer.
If the rains come I think Cape Tribulation is capable of running a very big race. He won in similar conditions in the Argento Chase on the course in January and seems to be at the top of his game this season, with Denis O'Regan in the saddle a big plus.
And past winner Long Run, fresh from winning his second King George, can't be overlooked, but I have the feeling this is a better renewal than last year when he was third.
The Giant Bolster, second last year, has got a bit to do wuth Silviniaco Conti on their recent running at Newbury but Cheltenham invariably brings out the best in him and it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if he made the frame again.
Captain Chris is another contender, but I have my doubts he'll get the trip over three-and-a-quarter miles, particularly as he prefers to go right-handed.
I think the horse with the fewest questions to answer is Bobs Worth who can win the Gold Cup for Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson.
Talking of Henderson, he has a strong contender for the Triumph Hurdle in the shape of Rolling Star who was impressive on Trials Day.
It's possibly not the strongest renewal of the Triumph, but there is a strong word for Irish contender Our Conor who has taken to hurdling well and could be a big danger.
The County Hurdle is as competitive as ever. I like two in the race, firstly Cotton Mill, who was second to My Tent Or Yours in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.
That form isn't really working out, but even so Cotton Mill was a smart novice last season and could potentially still be well handicapped as connections were considering running him in the Champion Hurdle.
My second selection in the race is another progressive runner, David O'Meara's Ifandbutwhynot who is a course winner this season, seems to be on the up and is a strong-travelling horse.
He came up the hill very well here earlier in the season and looks attractively weighted.
The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle could well go to Tony McCoy on At Fishers Cross, who has created a huge impression this season. He's a horse who has got the stamina for three miles and the gears for shorter distances - as he showed when beating Neptune winner The New One.
I'd be surprised if At Fishers Cross was beaten to be honest.
At the end of the day in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, named after Nicky's father, the top Festival trainer looks to have a great chance with top weight Petit Robin.
He's been running superbly over hurdles this season and back over fences with Nico De Boinville taking off 7lb, he has a very attractive look as the class act in the last.