Connections of Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude have confirmed that their 66/1 priced charge will be targeted for Cheltenham’s biggest prize. His Gold Cup entry offers an enticing each-way proposition to value-hungry punters.
With high-profile owners, including former England rugby union captain Mike Tindall, there’s been plenty of publicity surrounding the son of classy Flat racer Witness Box. And an avalanche of headlines has been forthcoming since a streak of fine form over fences began with a score in the Grade 3 Henrietta Knight Chase.
That victory at Cheltenham’s Open meeting in November, albeit in a weaker contest, was secured as a 25/1 outsider, having jumped 22 fences on soft ground, the same number of obstacles put up for the Festival’s Gold Cup showpiece.
Perhaps even more crucially, on that occasion the top prize was delivered on a similar going to the one likely to be encountered next week.
Clerk of the course Simon Claisse has already confidently predicted that the entirety of this year’s festival is likely to take place on soft, potentially aiding the chances of the Dude.
A storming last-ditch win in the Welsh National while tackling the cut, followed by a respectable third in February’s Grand National trial at Haydock, enhances his claims of making the Gold Cup frame.
In 2007, Kauto Star was the previous entrant to land the famous trophy when the going was predominantly soft, with Denman the last eight-year-old to triumph a year later. Those two racing legends are who 2013’s potential upsetter is bidding to emulate, alongside fellow Welsh National winner Synchronised, who also went on to land Gold Cup glory.
Although the Michael Scudamore-trained chance may not reach the heights of such exulted company, his penchant for soggier conditions underfoot combined with proven staying proven could deliver one of the biggest shocks in Festival history against the likes of 2011 winner Long Run (6/1) and Hennessy champion Bobs Worth (5/2f).
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.