Paddy Power Gold Cup Betting Tips

Paddy Power Gold Cup Betting Tips

Another brilliant renewal of this special £160,000, 2½-mile premier handicap chase in which we have a near maximum field of 16 runners.

Conceivably, any of the impressive field could win this race so whittling them down to a shortlist of six was not an easy task. Cheltenham favourites Coole Cody and Simply The Betts only just miss out, with this half-dozen being the ones we take against the rest: 

Main Contenders

French Dynamite 

8/1 into 9/2 during the week suggests there’s more than public money riding on French Dynamite, which is essentially the reason he makes the list. In terms of our ratings, he wouldn’t have made it in all honesty but there must be something big expected of him.

If he is good enough, then all of the prep has been done at home. Neither his chase form up to last spring, nor his hurdle form even in winning last time entitles him to be this price but clearly he could prove dangerous to ignore.

Il Ridoto 

It’s been 224 days since we last saw Il Ridoto in public and he’s had a wind operation since then.

With that, he can be expected to be at his best for in-form trainer Paul Nicholls and at this stage of his career, his best is likely better than what we’ve seen before which makes him hard to evaluate and handicap.

A starting point would be his win at Newbury this time last year, an easy success over two miles for which he earned a mark of 143. Despite a graded third, he wasn’t at that scintillating level again but, conservatively, he should be a 150 horse now and gets in this off 140 which makes him very well handicapped in our book.

Midnight River

With modern training techniques we don’t mind seeing horses come back after a long break. When a horse is race fit and in form however, we have that confirmation that everything is OK and that’s the case with Midnight River.

Dan Skelton’s seven-year-old is showing signs of hitting a big career high about now. In his four novice chases last season he barely matched up to his hurdle rating of 137, but shattered that when returning for this term at Stratford two weeks ago.

There, on dry ground which could prove crucial, he was sent off 3/1 second-favourite for a handicap chase and despite being held up at the back and being hampered at one point, galloped all over his field to win by a huge 25 lengths and easily at that.

Somehow, he was only put up to a mark of 145 for that which is some way short of his real level, so with more improvement to come the number of pounds he has in hand is basically anyone’s guess.

Mister Fisher 

Topweight Mister Fisher has earned his place in the handicap and he would be a popular winner for sure.

Nicky Henderson’s horse has reached a similar level in a number of chases; the Marsh Novices’, the Peterborough, the Silviniaco Conti and the Oaksey Chase.

Those efforts in graded races give him a big shout here, though he’ll need to suddenly find improvement to win off top weight in this handicap given that some are clearly well treated below him.

Stolen Silver 

Stolen Silver has been placed in seven of his 9 chases to date and crucially he’s still improving for Sam Thomas.

Over on the New Course in April, he whacked a good field over 2½ miles including Simply The Betts and Coole Cody but he’s up 7lbs now, is running after a break and is on a slightly different track, all of which just tempers enthusiasm ever so slightly.

Umbrigado 

David Pipe’s runner was seen four weeks ago winning a handicap hurdle. That sort of prep is old fashioned but still useful; proving the horse is fit and well while potentially protecting his chase rating.

In fact, that win put him up 3lbs over hurdles yet he runs here off a mark 2lbs lower than when last seen over fences and on the very same mark as when last winning a chase which was the Greatwood Gold Cup last March.

Summary

Purely based on handicapping, Umbrigado has a big chance and it is likely that in a normal year we’d be calling Il Ridoto the best treated horse in the race at the weights.

This time however, that honour goes to MIDNIGHT RIVER who looks overpriced and underrated so should be backed.


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