The Paddy Power Gold Cup is arguably the race that properly kicks off the National Hunt season and this year threatens to be another high-quality renewal, with Grands Crus, Hunt Ball and Al Ferof among the talented entrants taking part.
There are also three other races from Cheltenham on TV that punters can get their teeth into, with the opener capable of throwing up a challenger for the Grand National later this season.
13:55 Cheltenham – Teaforthree @ 8/1
This could be a battle between two former Cheltenham Festival winners of the National Hunt Chase in Teaforthree and Chicago Grey.
Teaforthree has retained the same official rating from his last two victories and is actually better off at the weights here than he was when beating Harry The Viking in the latest four-miler in March.
Chicago Grey has not entered the winners’ enclosure since his Festival victory in 2011, but has slipped to a tempting mark, especially if showing no ill effects from a fall on his latest start in Ireland.
Bradley is weighted to reverse form from last time with Galaxy Rock last time and must make a shortlist, while this slightly longer trip could bring a return to form from Poker De Sivola.
14:35 Cheltenham – Grands Crus @ 2/1
If Grands Crus wants to be seriously considered for either the King George or Cheltenham Gold Cup he should be winning this off a rating of 157.
He did everything asked of him in his novice chasing season until flopping in the RSA Chase, but it is worth believing that he was not at his best on the day, especially over 3m1f.
This return to 2m4f looks primed to suit too.
Of the remainder, Michael Flips and Walkon look the most well-in of those towards the foot of the handicap and have each-way credentials.
15:05 Cheltenham – Goulanes @ 4/1
No horse has carried 11st or more to victory in the last six renewals of this and half of the last ten winners have been aged six.
David Pipe’s Goulanes fits both trends and 126 seems a fair mark for his handicap debut given that the horse he beat on his last start, Seven Woods, has since reappeared and won a handicap hurdle off 125.
Bouggler is one to consider each-way on a return to hurdles after a stint novice chasing and on his best form he is entitled to fight out the finish.
15:40 Cheltenham – Ulys Du Charmil @ 10/1
The last three winners of this race have been four-year-olds and punters wanting to follow this trend-line can instantly narrow the field to two runners.
One of which is Ulys Du Charmil from the desirable partnership of Alan King and Robert Thornton and he looks well weighted for his handicap debut.
Tanerko Emery is another making his handicap debut and won with plenty in hand at Stratford last time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.