Rewind back 12 months and although Synchronised was a former Welsh National winner, he had shown nothing like the level of form required to win a Cheltenham Gold Cup until springing somewhat of a surprise to triumph in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
It is not too unfair to state that before this victory, he was little more than a dour stayer, who looked capable of challenging at handicap level or maybe Grade Three company at best.
After all, the Cheltenham Gold Cup certainly didn’t look like the seasonal aim at the start of the campaign, when Synchronised was running over hurdles.
This level of form and general progression through the season is not drastically different to the path that Cape Tribulation has followed to this point.
Prior to his Argento Chase success on really heavy ground, Cape Tribulation’s form was not much better than ordinary and it was his stamina more than class that arguably earned him his Cheltenham victory.
Cape Tribulation did win the Pertemps Final at the last Cheltenham Festival and he was still competing over hurdles at the start of the current season.
This year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup renewal looks of a higher standard than that which was won by Synchronised, but that has not hindered the market support for Cape Tribulation.
He has been backed into 20/1 from 33/1 for Gold Cup victory and although this looks a big ask, it is not inconceivable that he will be running on at the death to overtake those fading ahead to nick an each-way place.
The fact that the last 13 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners had previously won a Grade One is not ideal news for Cape Tribulation, nor is the trend that the last 12 winners had come from the first three in the betting.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.