The Big Race of the day is the Big Race of the meeting – the Gold Cup, run over 3.25 miles (and a bit) and with lots of fences to jump too.
The Gold Cup is a great race and has been won by many of the greats of National Hunt racing – Arkle (three times), Desert Orchid (even though the left-handed course didn’t suit him as much as right-handed Ascot, Kempton and Sandown) and more recently Best Mate and Kauto Star.
This has been a very successful race for me. When Kicking King won, the mortgage was paid off, and I backed Cool Ground at 50/1 in his year. As well as a good few winners including Imperial Call, Imperial Commander and Desert Orchid I have had a clutch of long-priced placed horses such as Dubacilla (a great mare who was second to Master Oats in 1995 at 20/1), Barton Bank (second to Mr Mulligan at 33/1 (I got 50/1) in 1997) and Strong Promise (second to Cool Dawn in 1998 at 14/1 and third to Looks Like Trouble in 2000 at 20/1).
Good staying handicappers, like Cool Ground, have a pretty good record in this race over the years.
And so, to cut to the chase (boom boom!), I have already backed Monbeg Dude, a Cheltenham winner, and winner of the Welsh National in December, at 66/1. I am not exactly expecting him to win – but it’ll be perfectly OK with me if he does! And coming second or third will be just fine too.
And as for yesterday – it may have been a day to make money for somebody, but not for me. It was a lot warmer than the previous two days though.
Oscar Whisky ran appallingly in the World Hurdle – there must be something amiss with him. It wasn’t that he didn’t stay the three miles – he wasn’t going well in the second mile. I guess he will have been checked over by a vet – someone suggested to me that a DNA test of OW after this race might show he had been adulterated with bovine.
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