2019 BetVictor Gold Cup Odds and Betting Preview
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Last weekend’s 2019 Flat racing season came to an abrupt ending at Doncaster racecourse, with the unfortunate cancellation of the November Handicap meeting due to a waterlogged course, after some seriously adverse weather in South Yorkshire.
Thankfully, Cheltenham racecourse has no such issues, with the Gloucestershire venue putting the final touches to their three-day fixture, commencing on Friday, with Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup being the showpiece race – due off of 14:25 GMT.
Raced over a distance of two miles, four and a half furlongs, the BetVictor Gold Cup will be contested by a maximum of twenty runners – with 25 currently standing their ground at the five-day declaration stage.
This race has given us many top-class winners in years gone by, and Saturday’s renewal looks to be no exception, with a plethora of high-quality horses from some of the leading stables from the length and breadth of the British Isles.
Date: November 16, 2019
Firstly, this race should not be associated, or be seen as a prelude to the Cheltenham Gold Cup that is raced over three miles, two furlongs in March. This ‘Gold Cup’ race was inaugurated back in 1960, and it has had various sponsorships to maintain the event’s history as a key race in the early part of the National Hunt season.
The BetVictor Gold Cup is a handicap race, which means it is difficult, but, not impossible to win on more than one occasion. Only five horses have won the race twice in their careers, with Cyfor Malta being the last horse to claim double victory back in 1998 and 2002. Legendary jockey and trainer pairing, AP McCoy and Martin Pipe combined for Cyfor Malta’s two victories, and the pair were successful in claiming seven victories from 1996-2005.
Gary Moore trained Baron Alco to victory in this race last year and the handler has two potential hopes this season with Knocknanuss and Dell Oro. Can Moore repeat his success of last season, or will another trainer claim this top prize? Read on for our advice in the big race.
Following a winless run of eight consecutive starts, Colin Tizzard’s Slate House got back to winning ways at Cheltenham, over a stones’ throw shorter than Saturday’s distance around three weeks ago.
The seven-year old son of Presenting slammed his nearest rival by eleven lengths to catapult Tizzard’s charge to the head of the betting for this event. Slate House has always showed potential, but it has had its problems over the last eighteen months or so.
Previously a Grade 2 winner over hurdles as a novice – also at Cheltenham – and interesting to note that Summerville Boy was behind the winner that day, who went on to claim Supreme Novices’ Hurdle glory at the Festival of 2018. Slate House is a best priced 11/2 chance with Coral and SportPesa, and provided his most recent exertions have taken no toll, it seems likely that he will be involved at the business end of the race.
Vying for Favoritism
Siruh Du Lac has won its last four starts, with his most recent victory at last season’s Cheltenham Festival in taking the Grade 3 Brown Advisory and Merribelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs. With six wins in eight chase starts, it comes as no surprise to see the six-year old, trained by Nick Williams towards the head of this ante post market.
At 11/2 with the likes of William Hill, Siruh Du Lac had its own form boosted recently when Janika won the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, earlier in November. Janika was in second place behind Siruh Du Luc at the 2019 Festival.
Of all the contenders for this race, Siruh Du Lac looks to hold the most solid claims. A winner over course and distance, he has no ground concerns and with some very strong form in the book, he looks destined to run a very big race on Saturday afternoon.
Another under consideration is the Dan Skelton trained, Spiritofthegames, who is available to be backed at the top price of 7/1 with Coral.
Spiritofthegames always tends to produce some his best efforts around the Gloucestershire track, without getting his head in front, but first time out is definitely the best time to catch the seven-year-old son of Darsi.
With victory on his first outing of the season for the last three years, on that basis alone, you can expect a solid run from this horse as Dan Skelton looks to plot another Cheltenham handicap blot.
The only potential runner from over the Irish Sea in the BetVictor Gold Cup is the Joseph O’Brien trained, Us And Them, who can be backed at the best industry odds of 10/1 with William Hill and Unibet.
Us And Them has been highly tried on his two previous visits to Cheltenham, with appearances in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Arkle Novices’ Chase in the last two Festivals. The six-year old ran with credit to claim second place in the Arkle, behind Duc De Genievres, with Slate House trailing in roughly thirty lengths behind the Irish raider that day.
If Us And Them decides to take his chance on the day, it will be a tip in itself in my view. It is best to wait until the final declarations are announced before placing any wager here, but he is another horse who produces his best form at this time of year.
Others of Note
As previously stated in this article, Gary Moore trained Baron Alco to success in this race last year, and his Knocknanuss is probably his best chance of victory again this season. The nine-year old is not without his quirks on the racecourse, but he has bundles of talent.
Knocknanuss has already had a solid pipe-opening run at Cheltenham already this season and can be involved at the finish here. There has been significant interest in Moore’s charge and is a generally available 10/1 chance.
One horse that catches my eye at a bigger price is the Nicky Richards’ trained Guitar Pete, who could spring somewhat of a surprise in this event. Based up in the north of England in Cumbria, Richards only tends to send his horses south, or over the Irish Sea, if they have solid claims to win races.
Guitar Pete has already had plenty of experience around the Cheltenham track, and none more than when taking the Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup over course and distance last December. Guitar Pete had none other than last year’s King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux in his wake, however a 22-pound weight allowance may have had a significant bearing. However, the eight-year-old is likely to return again this season, and at the current odds of 14/1 with Unibet, and SportPesa, he could well be thereabouts once again.
As usual, the BetVictor Gold Cup is a very interesting renewal, with plenty of horses with solid claims in the race. It is conceivable that we have not even mentioned the prospective winner, but we believe that Siruh Du Lac is the one to be on in this race on Saturday afternoon.
As we have already said, Nick Williams’ charge has won its last four outings, has solid form at the track, a Festival win under his belt and finally, Janika franked that success with his recent win. At 11/2, he is still decent value and can be backed for each-way purposes for those punters who wish to do so, but he is a win bet for us.
Guitar Pete looks to be solid each-way value at 14/1 – he is another with strong course form and provided the eight-year old still has a little up his sleeve from the handicapper, he can make his presence felt.
- Siruh Du Lac to win the Gold Cup at 11/2 with William Hill
- Guitar Pete (each-way) at 14/1 with Unibet