The Bet365 Gold Cup (Saturday 29 April, 3.35) was first-run as The Whitbread in 1957, and is still run over 3-miles and 5½- furlongs with 24 fences to jump. It takes place at Sandown Racecourse.
Winners have been rated 132 to 154
8 of the last 10 winners carried 10-12 or less
Only 2 winners had won last-time out
SPs have ranged from 6/1 to 20/1
Paul Nicholls has trained 2 of the last 5 winners
Winners have been aged 7 to 11
Stable has been going great guns at Punchestown this week, but he’s 2lb higher than when only eighth in last year’s renewal, and has looked a non-stayer at both attempts at this trip.
Just A Par
Feasibly-weighted at just 2lb higher than when second last year, and also won the 2015 renewal. Carried 10-0 when winning and 10-12 when second, but must shoulder 11-9 this time.
The Young Master
Overall record suggests last year’s winner is better going right-handed, like today, and he’s on the same rating as last year. However, must shoulder 10lb more this year.
Course specialist who has a chance on his third in this off 147 two-years ago. No show since pulled-up in last year’s contest, but no-doubt has been laid-out for the race.
The Druid’s Nephew
Hinted that his turn my not be faraway when seventh at the Cheltenham Festival, and 10lb lower than when a staying-on fifth last year.
Has the potential to improve, but has looked at home in small-fields this year, and has disappointed twice in big-fields like this.
Rock The Kasbah
Won a handicap off a mark of 144 over hurdles, and potentially has a nice race in him over fences off 142. Stamina not assured, but interesting all the same for inform stable.
Vyta Du Roc
Potentially well-handicapped on 137 on his best-form, which includes a defeat of Cheltenham Gold Cup Runner-Up Minella Rocca. His sixth in this year’s Hennessey off 143 and his fifth in last year’s Scottish Grand National off 145, also suggest he’s well-handicapped, and this trip could prove ideal. Also won his only course start, be it over hurdles.
Doesn’t see the racecourse too often, but another back on his last winning-mark, however he was pulled-up on his only previous course start.
2lb lower than when third in last-week’s Scottish National, but will surely be feeling those exertions, and took most of the 4-mile trip there to warm-up.
Well-backed when falling at the first in the Scottish National, but Vicente fell at the first in the Grand National before going on to win the Scottish National last week.
Easy winner at Cheltenham in a poor race last-time, but Noel Fehily changes to stablemate The Druid’s Nephew.
Running creditably and, though he has bottom-weight, he may find this too classy.
2017 Bet365 Gold Cup Summary
A race full of ifs and maybes with lots of horses well-handicapped on their best-form. Just A Par, The Young Master, La Reve and The Druids Nephew are all weighted to go close on their form in the last two renewals, whilst novice Rock The Kasbah would have a major chance if he stays. However, I’m sure Nicky Henderson has had this race in mind for Vyta Du Roc since he didn’t quite stay four-miles in last year’s Scottish National.