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Cheltenham Gold Cup predictions, betting tips, trends and free bets (DAY 4 - March 16, 2018)

  • Written by David Bet
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The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious prize in steeplechasing and the feature race of the Cheltenham Festival. Run over 3 miles and 2½ furlongs on Cheltenham Racecourse’s new course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is open to racehorses aged five and above. Last year saw Robbie Power romp to victory on the back of Sizing John at odds of 7/1. This article contains our 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup betting preview, with picks, predictions, best odds, trends and no deposit free bets.

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Are you looking for all the 2018 Cheltenham predictions? Visit our Cheltenham betting tips section here!

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The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the highlight of the four days of the Festival, with the best chasers in the UK and Ireland taking on each other in the most anticipated race of the year. It's a Grade 1 chase covering three miles and about two and half furlongs, for horses aged five years and upwards. The Gold Cup runners have twenty-two jumps to face before a gruelling climb up the Cheltenham hill.

A strong pace usually means this becomes a war of attrition up the hill, and stamina rather than speed is the essential requirement. Defending Champion Sizing John is sure to be back to defend his title and will be tough to beat.

And now we'll take a closer look at this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.

MIGHT BITE looks to follow-up his RSA Chase win from 12 months ago. He is an unbeaten (bar the fall when he was well clear), triple Grade 1 chase winner, including the Mildmay Novices’ at Aintree. He reappeared this season with an easy victory over the now 164-rated Frodon over a trip too short and followed up with a decent enough win in the King George on Boxing Day. The big question that remains is that of his stamina.

NATIVE RIVER, 3rd placed in 2017, will arrive fresher this year. Last year he ran in the Hennessy and the Welsh National and maybe that just cost him the Gold Cup. He has had just the one start since then, with an emphatic win in the Denman Chase at Newbury.

Irish National winner OUR DUKE disappointed on his seasonal return, but there was an excuse as he was found to have a back issue after the race. He had an operation earlier in the season and looked back to his best over two and a half miles in the Red Mills Chase last time out.

KILLULTAGH VIC was travelling best in the Irish Gold Cup - and looked to be the winner - before taking a crashing fall at the final fence. Even so, that effort showed he has put injury problems behind him. Three years ago, he won the Martin Pipe race at Cheltenham before going on to beat Thistlecrack at Punchestown.

Last year’s runner up MINELLA ROCCO absolutely flew up the hill to get himself in the frame. He hasn't run up to that level of form since finishing 4th in the Lexus and was last seen falling in the Irish Gold Cup. Anyway, he clearly loves the unique undulations of Prestbury Park and that stamina-sapping uphill finish

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ROAD TO RESPECT was last seen taking the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown. Last year he overcame some jumping problems to score at the Cheltenham Festival and then edged out Yorkhill for a Grade 1 novice success at Fairyhouse. He has improved with every run.

After a distant third on his seasonal reappearance, DEFINITLY RED stamped himself on the Gold Cup picture in no uncertain terms when making all to beat Cloudy Dream by seven lengths at Aintree in December and then slamming American and Bristol De Mai in the Cotswold Chase in January

EDWULF is another interesting contender after his Irish Gold Cup at 33/1 and everything suggests the longer trip at Cheltenham will play to his strengths. He nearly lost his life at Cheltenham 12 months ago in the National Hunt Chase when he would have been surely placed.

TOTAL RECALL has been taking advantage of his handicap marks recently but he looks more suited to the Grand National. However, there was plenty to like about his attitude when outbattling Whisper in the Hennessy Gold Cup and in a previous Munster National success at Limerick.

ANIBALE FLY was  highly regarded during his younger days but then fell just short of elite level when switched to chasing. Anyway, he scored in a valuable handicap under a big weight at Leopardstown over Christmas and was still in touch when taking a tumble two out in the Irish Gold Cup.

Willie Mullins' 9yo DJAKADAM will be trying again here after finishing runner-up in the 2016 renewal and not beaten far when 4th last year. He doesn't shaped at his best in 3 starts so far this season and he is very hard to support.


The section below contains the most backed entries at the moment:

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All the bookmakers we recommend are offering No Runner No Bet on every Cheltenham Festival race.

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  • 12 of the last 17 winners had previously finished first or second at the Cheltenham Festival
  • 13 of the past 15 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
  • 15 of the last 17 finished 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 9 of the last 14 winners had not run in that calendar year before the Festival, although the last four all did
  • 13 of the last 15 winners were rated 166 or higher
  • 15 of the last 21 winners were bred in Ireland
  • The last 15 winners of the Gold Cup have been nine years old or younger
  • Only one horse – Kauto Star – has ever regained the Gold Cup

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