Back Weird Al over Long Run and Kauto Star to win Gold Cup
Weird Al is 12/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and this each-way value should be snapped up now, especially if Grands Crus withdraws from the race to run in the RSA Chase instead.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is largely expected to be a two-horse affair, with Long Run locking horns with Kauto Star for the third time this season.
Despite losing on both of these occasions, Long Run is still the 6/4 favourite to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and it is fair to say that he is the best horse taking part in the present day and age.
If Nicky Henderson’s stable jockey Barry Geraghty was riding the horse, it would be hard to back against Long Run repeating his Gold Cup success of 12 months ago.
However, amateur Sam Waley-Cohen is taking the mount on the horse owned by his father and remains largely lacking in regular rides.
Waley-Cohen has ridden just one horse in an actual race in the past fortnight and this favourite ended up pulling up at Warwick, which is a massive negative.
Meanwhile, Kauto Star is now a 12-year-old and it has been 43 years since a horse aged over ten won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
He has enjoyed a renaissance this year, but he has been allowed to dictate from the front in both the Betfair Chase and King George.
With Midnight Chase in the field, Kauto Star will not enjoy the same luxury in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while The Giant Bolster and Carruthers are others sure to want to set the early pace.
The frantic early pace could instead set the race up for Weird Al, who is a bit of a forgotten horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting.
Weird Al finished third in the Betfair Chase when still working his way back to full fitness and will happily sit out the back of the field and pick off his rivals as they begin to tire.
Timmy Murphy can be classified as the master at riding horses in this manner and he could be running on better than anything in the closing stages.
Weird Al certainly looks capable of finishing in the first three and backing him now could prove wise, as his price will undoubtedly shorten if Grands Crus is taken out.