Saturday 27 April 2019
bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
Class 1 | 3m 4f 166y | Good (Good to Firm in Places) | 15 Runners | Turf
Off time: 15:35 | Winning time: 7m 15.8s
Strong staying chaser who side-stepped a tilt at the Scottish Grand National (ground); on a hat-trick following back-to-back Cheltenham wins, including in the Ultima Handicap Chase (3m1f, soft); competes off a 9lb higher mark.
Finished tired when beaten 13L by Step Back in this race 12-months ago (good to soft); also on the premises when sixth to Henllan Harri in 2017; 5lb above his last winning mark; brought down at the 18th in the Grand National.
Front-runner; took the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton (3m1f, good) for the second year in succession in November; 6lb higher in the weights, albeit only 3lb higher than when finishing 27L third to Step Back in this race last year; stamina?
Built upon a Newbury win (2m7½f) when gamely springing a 33/1 shock in the 2018 Scottish Grand National (4m, good); has followed a broadly similar path this season - took in the Aintree version (pulled up); stern test off an elevated mark.
Rated 10lb higher than when winning this race in a canter by 13L in 2018 (Rock The Kasbah second, Present Man third); raced prominently in the Grand National until weakening from Becher's (pulled up); on the way back to form?
First season chaser; odds-on winner of a 3m match race at Doncaster (good) in January; ran a reasonably solid race on handicap debut at Kempton (3m, Gr 3) when finishing a weakening 9+L fifth of ten to Walt; first start beyond 3m.
Stablemate of Rock The Kasbah; hasn't won over fences since his novice days; consistent this season with particularly solid efforts at Cheltenham (3m2f Gr3) and at Taunton (3m4f) - beaten a head by Samuel Jackson; some rain would suit.
Stablemate of Beware The Bear; just failed when beaten a head by Henllan Harri off a 6lb lower mark in this race in 2017; jumped well and ploughed through the mud to score by 22L at Cheltenham (3m2f) on New Year's Day 2018; below-par this season.
Stablemate of Present Man and Adrien Du Pont; lightly-raced, returning to action from 15-months off when finishing 12L fourth to Classic Ben over 3m here (soft) in February; beaten when falling at the last in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
Narrowly missed the cut for the Grand National; short-head winner of this race in 2016 (good) - finished in the ruck in both subsequent years; keeping on 7¼L third to Any Second Now in the Kim Muir (3m2f) at Cheltenham; hardy.
Has raced over hurdles for much of this campaign, seeing the back of Stayers Hurdle hero Paisley Park on three occasions (best effort in the JLT Hurdle at Ascot; 3m in December); chasing mark more lenient; handles good ground.
Steadily getting his act together over fences with experience; solid efforts in the Welsh Grand National Trial (2½L runner-up to Ramses De Teillee), and also when 18L fourth to Potters Corner in the Midlands Grand National (4m2f); needs rain.
Kicked off over fences with back-to-back wins at Uttoxeter (2m6½f) and Exeter (3m); ran well when finishing 3½L second to today's rival Adrien Du Pont at Kempton in December; arrives relatively fresh after a midfield finish in the Kim Muir (3m2f).
3m winner on each of his first three starts at Sandown Park (form figures here since read 2,P,4,10,U,7); back to form with a win in a veterans' race at Ascot (3m, good) late last month; ninth of 23 in the 4m Scottish Grand National since.
Veteran course specialist; close third to Just A Par in this race in 2015 (pulled-up in 2016 and 2017); soft ground winner of the 3m Grand Military Gold Cup here six-weeks ago; impossible to dismiss definitively, albeit others are more appealing.
West Approach (5/1), Talkischeap (7/1), Give Me A Copper (7/1), Just A Sting (7/1), The Young Master (8/1), Beware The Bear (9/1), Step Back (10/1), Rock The Kasbah (12/1), Present Man (14/1), Rolling Dylan (16/1), Le Reve (16/1), Captain Chaos (16/1), Adrien Du Pont (16/1), Joe Farrell (16/1), Prime Venture (20/1), Yala Enki (20/1), Ballydine (20/1), Flying Angel (20/1), Vyta Du Roc (25/1), Rathlin Rose (40/1)
- Rolling Dylan
- Adrien Du Pont
- The Young Master