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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Native River for Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018

It's time to think big with the illustrious Cheltenham Festival 2018.

From the 13th - 16th March, National Hunt racing goes full speed ahead at Prestbury Park, Gloucestershire.

Lots of top-class racing with an abundance of Grade 1 races. Race fans are being spoiled this year with a card with unrivalled excitement. No other meeting comes close to this high octane betting bonanza.

Cheltenham is synonymous with betting and boy do people bet big. Money talks and there are plenty of opinions when it comes to this National Hunt meeting that gets the pulse racing. Any horse racing fan would literally kill for a ticket and be part of the Cheltenham roar.

What's your favourite race? For many, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is the highlight of the National Hunt racing calendar. Run over a distance of 3 miles 2 1/2f this Grade 1 race is open to horses aged five years and older. Twenty-two fences stand between winning and losing.

There have been a number of exceptional talents who have won this race over the decades. 

Golden Miller, who won the race on five consecutive years from 1932 – 1936. It would seem near impossible in this modern era. Not to say that some of these modern-day stars haven't put their name in lights.

Three time winner - Best Mate victorious from 2002 - 2004. 

I bet these names spring to mind:

Exceptions to the rule. Kauto Star, Denman & Long Run.

Sizing John who won last year for trainer Jessica Harrington, ridden by Robbie Power. Owners, Ann and Allan Potts attaining a victory and applause of a jubilant crowd beating Minella Rocco and Native River. 

Get ready for the latest Cheltenham betting offers from all the leading bookmakers. Including:

  • Paddy Power: Claim £20
  • 888 Sport: Bet £10 get a £30 free bet
  • Sporting Bet – Claim £50
  • William Hill: Bet £10 Get £30 free bet
  • Betfair: Claim £100

The Cheltenham betting tips are warming up. Are you ready to bet big on 16th March - 3:30 Cheltenham. With bookmaker incentives like never before you really can't miss these offers.

Nicky Henderson could well have a Cheltenham to savour. His leading challenger for the Gold Cup is Might Bite. This nine-year-old bay gelding is owned by The Knot Again Partnership. This Irish-bred son of Scorpion is very much the new kid on the block compared with a number of old faces. He's unbeaten in his last five races, favourite on these starts as short as 1/7f. With an official official rating of 169, this newcomer has a profile of a class contender. Might Bite is presently price 4/1 with leading bookmakers. Henderson won the Gold Cup with Bob's Worth back in 2013? Bob's Worth started 11/4f that day and ran out a tidy seven-length victor.

This is a tough, rough, battling race that isn't for the weak or mild. Sizing John, last year's winner will see to that, coming back for more. It would be a brave punter to take on this hefty charge. He is a 6/1 shot to be a supreme consecutive winner.

One horse with true credentials is Native River, trained by Colin Tizzard. This son of Indian River finished third last year fancied to go well. A winning return, when odds-on at Newbury, beating the field with a touch of class, speaks well for this proven horse. I fancy this gelding to hit the frame at 6/1.

Other leading fancies and prices: Might Bite 4/1, Native River 6/1, Sizing John 6/1, Our Duke 8/1, Killultagh Vic 10/1, Road To Respect 10/1, Definitely Red 16/1, Minella Rocco 25/1, Total Recall 20/1, Edwulf 25/1, Blaklion 40/1, Coney Island 33/1, Cue Card 33/1, Djakadam 33/1, Outlander 33/1, Anibale Fly 40/1, Double Shift 40/1, 50/1 Bar.

The Gold Cup is a race won by many a fancied horse. Lord Windermere, who scrambled home by a short head in 2014 when 20/1. He was the biggest priced winner in the last twenty years. I wouldn't look beyond the favourites and favour Native River to put that second place to good experience come the big day.

Be lucky.