Friday, March 2

Guest article: Tips for This Year’s Festival

The 2018 edition of the Cheltenham Festival promises to be another blockbuster racing event. Of all the races this year, one race in particular, aims to draw huge crowds and that is the Timico Gold Cup. Over the years, the Gold Cup has been known to provide the best horses the world has to offer and the same can be said for 2018 as there are some great names in the hat that will be competing. With such stiff competition, it’s always a difficult and daunting task for punters to predict which horse will come out tops, but with the help of the best tipsters at Cheltenham, selecting probable winners is now much easier. 

Let's take a look at some of the top picks for this year’s Gold Cup. 

Might Bite

At 3-1 odds, Might Bite is one of the clear favourites for this year’s Gold Cup. However, this is not to say that he does not come with his own challenges. His form coming into the Cheltenham Festival is nothing to write home about. He won his last major race King George, but showed some worrying signs with a just in time win with Tea for Two and Double shuffle in close pursuit. Not disrespecting Double Shuffle and Tea for Two, Might Bite will face tougher rivals in the Gold Cup and if he pulls the same performance as he did in the King George, then he may just disappoint his backers. In 2017, Might Bite competed in the RSA Chase where he was a favourite, but had his supporters worrying for most of the race only to win by a nose. 

Native River 

Native River returns for the second time for the Gold Cup after finishing in a respectable third position last year. However, tragedy struck for Native River soon after the 2017 Cheltenham Festival as he suffered a long-term injury that kept him on the sidelines for the remainder of the season. Native River only made his return in the Denman Chase at Newbury where he defied the odds to win comfortably in a race that many bookies and punters expected him to struggle with due to rustiness. At 6-`1 odds, Native River is definitely in the top-three category for the Gold Cup, according to the bookies. A repeat of the performance he showed in the Denman Chase will surely see him high up among the top performers. 

Sizing John

Sizing John, like Native River, enters the Gold Cup race with 6-1 odds. The two horses had a similar first half of 2017 in which they were at the top of their game with the former finishing third in the 2017 Gold Cup while the latter finished in pole position. They both also suffered injuries soon after the festival, though Sizing John’s injury was not as serious and it only kept him out for a couple of months. However, after returning from injury, Sizing John seemed to have lost his mojo as he struggled to compete finishing outside the top three places in most of his races during the second half of 2017. That run also includes the dismal display in the Christmas Chase where Sizing John was well beaten by Road to Respect, a horse that was given no chance by bookies before the race. Despite Sizing John’s recent poor displays, we all know he has it what it takes to perform as noted in the last Gold Cup. If he can bring his ‘A’ game, then the Gold Cup is his for the taking. Another advantage that Sizing John has going into the festival is that he brings Jessica Harrington, the same trainer who was instrumental in his win at last year’s Festival. 

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