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GOLD CUP 2017 FANCY

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Post by EX7EY on Thu 16 Feb 2017, 1:58 pm

NATIVE RIVER - I have followed this horse closely since the start of the season. After what could be considered a dissapointing opening run at Wetherby in October, NATIVE RIVER has posted a 3 wins from 3 outings since that day and looks like a very good Gold Cup hopeful in my opinion. He probably wanted the run on his opening outing at Wetherby and with the good ground not being his ideal surface I'm putting a line through that race as I don't think it represents his true form.

In the the three races since Wetherby, he has won in fine style, beating some good horses in the process. His last outing at Newbury last week was only in a three runner field so we can't take so much from that but even then, he looked impressive to my eye.

He appears to be a dour stayer, and a genuinely sound jumper who rarely puts a foot wrong. He's one of those horses that just seems to keep giving that bit extra from the front. I'm not usually a fan of front runners, but some of them just keep on giving and I feel NATIVE RIVER is in that bracket.

I have the same feeling that I did when Coneygree won it in 2015, I backed at 10/1 that day after following him closely that season. I think the Gold Cup is absolutely made for thourough staying horses that know how to win from the front, which is exactly what Coneygree is (was?) and I feel Native River is a very very similar horse.

He has mixed form at Prestbury Park, but on his last run here at the festival last year he posted a good 2nd to a smart horse in Minella Rocco, who is also set to line up in this years Gold Cup renewal. I feel NATIVE RIVER has really come on leaps and bounds since last years festival and I don't think the testing Cheltenham course is a concern for him, in fact I think it plays into his hands if he is still in with a shout coming into the home straight.

My only real concern is his price. I'm not sure he represents great value at his current 4/1. Personally I'd have expected his price to be somewhere north of 8's at least. But it's a hard betting event in my opinion because THISTLECRACK is hugely popular and currently heads the market at 6/4.

I don't think I can post an article about the Gold Cup without expanding on THISTLECRACK. Amazing staying hurdler he may be, but I have not been convinced over fences. Although he looked like he'd really come into his own at Kempton in the King George impressively beating Cue Card and doing it on the bridle, I had not been entirely convinced prior to that. I don't think he's a particularly sound jumper, and while he may get away with mistakes in lesser events, he'll be afforded no such luxury in the Gold Cup. I backed Cue Card to beat him in the King George and he well and truly left me looking like plonker, but I took a chance again, this time on MANY CLOUDS (RIP), on 28th January when they met in January. 8/1 just seemed like a price to good to refuse on the day. MANY CLOUDS (RIP) was another dour stayer and excellent jumper of fences, another horse that just keeps giving right until the line and I think that's the type to beat THISTLECRACK and the type to win the GC.

There are some excellent horses in this years GC renewal, CUE CARD may be a cracking bet at 7/1, he was cruising last year before he took a fall (I backed him last year), but he's a horse that doesn't always run to his mark so I am stearing clear this time around. Two other horses I'll briefly touch on are a couple of Irish Raiders, SIZING JOHN 10/1 and EMPIRE OF DIRT 16/1 both represent good each way value at the moment in my opinion. EMPIRE OF DIRT may well end up cracking value at his current 16's, already a festival winner last year, he is 1 win from 1 run over the Cheltenham course and may yet have more to offer. He comes in good form and could be the value each way bet in the race.

In summary, I think NATIVE RIVER is going to be there abouts come the business end of the race. And although I'm not sure his current 4/1 represents great value, I think he has all the ingredients to run a very big race in the GC. Bookies have loosened the reigns on THISTLECRACK since he tasted defeat at the course in January, but 6/4 could end up looking like a nice price if he comes up with the goods on the day. EMPIRE OF DIRT advised as value each way option.

Good luck if you have a bet!

EX7EY

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Post by EX7EY on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 1:40 pm

Thistlecrack now out, tendon injury.

Hard to look beyond Native River for me now, now priced in as 5/2 favourite. But without Thistlecrack it's a very very open renewal. Cue Card looked good on Saturday, could end up being a very good race this.

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Post by Eyetoldyouso on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 3:09 pm

EX7EY

There is much in your original post with which I agree. I would have added that prior to Thistlecrack's withdrawal, betting on the Gold Cup was the same as betting on the going on Gold Cup Day.
For me on good or just good to soft Thistlecrack was most definitely the one to beat. In my opinion it was the going that saw him beaten by Many Clouds (RIP) and also Colin Tizzard leaving a little for Cheltenham.

Roll on Cheltenham.


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Post by EX7EY on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 2:15 pm

Eyetoldyouso wrote:EX7EY

There is much in your original post with which I agree. I would have added that prior to Thistlecrack's withdrawal, betting on the Gold Cup was the same as betting on the going on Gold Cup Day.
For me on good or just good to soft Thistlecrack was most definitely the one to beat. In my opinion it was the going that saw him beaten by Many Clouds (RIP) and also Colin Tizzard leaving a little for Cheltenham.

Roll on Cheltenham.


Very good point, I didn't touch on the ground enough in my original post. We will never know now anyway. Couple of the marquee races are falling apart now. Champion Hurdle has completely melted, losing Annie Power and Faugheen. Jezki looks like he's lost the turn of foot required over the 2 mile distance. And obviously the GC is now missing Thistlecrack so there will be question marks over the winner now anyway. Would have liked to see something genuinely beat him in the GC, or him to prove he is what everybody has thought all along, but now we will never know.

I feel this years festival is missing the type of superstar horses we usually get to see at the festival. Still can't wait though!

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Post by Eyetoldyouso on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 12:56 pm

Let's just hope that the monster called DOUVAN turns up, and there is also Altior.

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Post by rIck_dAgless on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:50 am

Is sportform still on the site? His Cheltenham posts were excellent.

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Post by SetupDeterminesTheMotion on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 8:34 pm

Douvan may as well have stayed at home...
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