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ITV Racing Tips: Will Simply The Betts be simply the best in the Gold Cup?

| 13.11.2020

The Paddy Power Gold Cup on Day 2 of Cheltenham’s November Meeting is always a race to savour, and 2020’s renewal is no different, with a field of 17 looking to emulate the likes of Imperial Commander and Al Ferof.

Happy Diva won the race last season and is back at Prestbury Park to defend her crown, but with Saint Sonnet, Al Dancer, Simply The Betts and Mister Fisher all sitting ominously at the top of the market, it really is anyone’s race.

It’s one of the hottest handicaps of the season, and it’s the focus of Saturday’s ITV Racing Tips along with the Grade 2 From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices’ Chase and the Listed Golden Rose Stakes on the flat at Lingfield.

14:15 Cheltenham – Paddy Power Gold Cup

Trainer Harry Whittington has been among the winners this week and there’s every chance he could have another on his hands here with the aptly named Simply The Betts in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

The seven-year-old has come into his own since being sent over the larger obstacles, winning four out of his five starts last term and finishing runner-up in his only defeat at Kempton.

Subsequent to that defeat on Boxing Day he went on to win a particularly hot renewal of the Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase ahead of future Cheltenham Festival winner Imperial Aura, with the pair pulling 11l clear at the finish.

Simply The Betts then joined Imperial Aura in the Festival winner’s enclosure by landing the 23-runner Plate ahead of the likes of Happy Diva and Spiritofthegames, both of whom reoppose here.  In short, he has some of if not the best form in the book, and with further improvement expected from the lightly-raced Arcadio gelding, there’s every chance he’ll make it a Prestbury Park hat-trick here.

Of those he’ll take on, Saint Sonnet was thrown in at the deep end in the Marsh Novices’ Chase last season but acquitted himself well and should be capable of another big effort, while Mister Fisher finished fourth in the same race and should be right amongst it now he’s sent handicapping.

Aso and Kauto Riko are two who have shown good form in the past and could be interesting at a bigger price if they can rediscover that same level of performance.

15:40 Lingfield – Golden Rose Stakes

Smart sprinter Judicial won this contest 12 months ago and has hit the ground running this season to finish runner-up in the Palace House before tasting success in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes and the Listed Queensferry Stakes.

He’s had a little rest since finishing fourth in a decent renewal of the Garrowby Stakes, and although he’ll have to give weight away to his rivals here, he had to do the same last season and still ended up a 1¾l winner.

The only problem for Judicial this time around, however, is that there’s a new kid on the all-weather block by the name of Good Effort, who is seeking a cross-season fiver-timer after winning on reappearance at Lingfield.

He’s a winner at 6f, too, and the son of Sharmadal will receive 5lb from his more experienced rival to further tip the balance in his favour. It’s shaping up to be a fascinating contest, and it’s one that really could go either way.

13:40 Cheltenham – From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices’ Chase

Fusil Raffles may be the sexy horse in this race, but you’d be hard pushed to find a better round of jumping so far this season than the one Eldorado Allen put in on a successful chasing debut at Newton Abbott.

Colin Tizzard’s inmate blundered at the last but otherwise looked a natural over fences. He did well to see off some good markers, too, including two-time Grade 3 hurdler winner Stormy Ireland.

He’s the rightful second-favourite going into this with Fusil Raffles atop the market following an eye-catching pair of victories at Uttoxeter and then at Cheltenham over the distance last month.

Nicky Henderson’s inmate may be just that bit classier than Eldorado Allen, but we reckon this is a race which could go all the way to the line.

ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 14th November

13:40 Cheltenham – From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices’ Chase

14:15 Cheltenham – Paddy Power Gold Cup

14:50 Cheltenham – Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle

15:05 Lingfield – Churchill Stakes

15:25 Cheltenham – Paddy Power First Millionaire Qualifier Intermediate Handicap Hurdle

15:40 Lingfield – Golden Rose Stakes

15:55 Cheltenham – Karndean Designflooring Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Author

Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.