Can Mullins Finally Win The Gold Cup?
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious steeplechase in the sport but one of the most successful jumps trainers has never won it. Willie Mullins has had some near misses but not won the Gold Cup but he could get his hands on the trophy today. If Mullins does win the race his horse will have to beat last year’s winner Native River, one of the most improved horses in training Clan Des Obeaux and the impressive winner of last season’s RSA Chase Presenting Percy.
Mullins has four runners in today’s Gold Cup (3.30) but Ruby Walsh has decided to ride BELLSHILL. His mount is proven at the highest level in bumpers and over hurdles and fences. The Irish champion trainer can finally win the Gold Cup with this horse and that outcome is 10/1 with bet365. At a bigger price THISTLECRACK at his best must have place prospects especially with bookmakers who payout on four places which includes Paddy Power who offer 16/1.
Favourite backers can get off to a good start because Sir Erec has rock solid credentials for the Triumph Hurdle (1.30). The horse finished third in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October and that form puts him way ahead on official ratings for the Flat. He seems to love jumping and has the Flat speed to run away from the rest of the field after the final hurdle. So SIR EREC is placed at Group 2 level on the Flat and can jump hurdles at speed so must be backed at 10/11 with bet365.
The football action is ordinary with the TV highlight being a League One all-Yorkshire clash between the home team in Doncaster and Barnsley. The visitors have won three and drawn tree of their last six matches and their hosts have not won in five league fixtures. BARNSLEY have not lost in 17 league matches and can extend that run by beating Doncaster at 7/5 with Ladbrokes.