The most prestigious race of the national hunt chase year.

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The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 Steeplechase.

The Gold Cup is the is the most prestigious steeplechase in the whole calendar and is run for the best steeplechasers over three miles and two and a half furlongs and is the main event of the last day of the Cheltenham festival.

First Run in 1924 as a steeplechase this is the race that all top class chasers are aimed at all season.

The race is open to all horses of the age 5 years and over.

The first race was held on March 12th 1924 and was run over what is now the old course . In 1959 the race changed to the new course over which the race is still run today.

The great steeplechaser Arkle won the race three times in succession in 1964,1965 and 1966. The great Golden miller won the race won the race five times 1932,1933,1934,1935 and 1936. He also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and The Grand National in the same year in1934.

In 2009 Kauto Star became the first horse to regain The Cheltenham Gold Cup after winning in 2007 loosing in 2008 and winning again in 2009

In 1986 Dawn Run became the only horse to have won The Gold Cup and also The Champion Hurdle which she won in 1984.

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This years gold cup would seem to be one of the best contested for quite some time with a lot of really interesting top-class chasers taking part.
The likely favourite of the race is Don Cossack. He is not one of six horses sent here from the very strong Willie Mullins yard in Ireland. Not surprising perhaps as Willie Mullins seems to be dominating most of the big races here but this is a race he is yet to win.
Don Cossack is a class act and is a multiple grade 1 winner.
He has become very consistent in his runs and has won nine of his last 11 starts. He was very unlucky in the King George VI at Kempton at Christmas time where he fell when going well and looked the likely winner by many pundits that day. But that was uncharacteristic of him as generally speaking he travels really well in his races and his jumping is fine.
Last year he ran in the Ryanair Chase where he was third, but that was over 2 miles and 5 furlongs and he looks a better horse over a trip. In 2014 he was also at the Festival where he run in the RSA chase and he fell in the race. So as you can see Cheltenham form are not good at but he is expected by connections to overcome that.
His last run was over 2 1/2 miles in a grade 2 chase where he won by 9 1/2 lengths showing that he travels well and has a lot of speed however like many horses trying this race for the first time he is not proven over this trip.

The Kempton King George winner Cue Card was a really good novice chaser and looked to be making at into an extremely good horse, being a past winner of the Ryanair chase in 2013 and the year before second to the wonder horse Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle, but just when it seemed that he was at the pinnacle things just didn't seem to go his way. He sustained an injury a month before the 2014 Festival and that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
He returned to racing last season but the sparkle just wasn’t there.
However when he started this season his trainer announced that he had solved the problem of a trapped epiglottis which it looked like the horse had suffered last season. Thankfully the horse has returned to his previous form and was an extremely good winner on his first outing in the Charlie Hall chase. He then followed that up in the Betfair chase beating a well strung out field by over seven lengths. His latest run was a brilliant run in the King George, he only won by a head from one of his rivals today, Voutour (non-runner) and had Smad Place back in fourth.
He has been a complete revelation and a complete return back to his old form. There would not be a more popular winner of this race and Cue Card has a good chance of taking this today.

From the same stable and ownership of Voutour (NON-RUNNER) comes Willie Mullins other horse Djakadam who is many people's idea of a gold cup horse. A young seven-year-old who has improved with almost every race.
He ran an absolutely cracking gold cup last year and was only beaten a short distance by the smart Coneygree who basically seemed to outstay him on the run in. He is bigger and better this year and comes to the race with a real live chance. There is plenty to like about this horse however a blot on his copy book was at the Punchestown Festival last season where one of his rivals today Don Cossack beat him by seven lengths. That was however at the end of a hard season and perhaps a line can be put through that
In his last race this season at Cheltenham back in January he fell and sustained a cut to his chest. He has had to have some treatment on that and that is a worry going into this race.

Don Poli is another seven-year-old from the Willie Mullins yard and is in the same ownership as the favourite Don Cossack, and three other possible runners in the race.
Don Poli is a very smart horse and has really good Cheltenham form. He has run in two Festivals is and won both on both occasions. He was a good winner of a handicap hurdle in 2014 and last season was a really fine winner of the RSA chase.
He is not perhaps quite at the top ratings like some of his rivals here today but h is sparkling course form may give him a couple of pounds in hand over his rating. This 2 recent runs both in December were a win at Aintree over 3 miles and 1 furlong and then a fine win in the Lexus Chase at Punchestown. There is no doubt this horse is a really strong contender in a very strong race and would by no means be a surprise winner.

Alan King is a good trainer who often does well at the Festival, and often with young juveniles. Today he takes on the big guns with his smart nine-year-old chaser Smad Place.
Smad Place is a really good horse consistent, if not a prolific winner. What he has in his armory is that he is definitely one who will stay this trip. He has run well at the Festival and in the past was third in the world hurdle when Big Bucks was the all-time champion. He also ran with credit in the race the following year and was second in the RSA chase the following year. Perhaps last year's gold cup found him out and it looked as if he wasn't quite up to that class. However this season they have changed the riding tactics on the horse and have gone away from holding the horse up but to letting him bowl along and this has made him look much better horse, and he is finishing his races really well.
He has quite a bit to make up on two of his rivals sure today as in the King George he was fourth, where Cue Card and Voutour were both ahead of him. That said I believe that the extra 2 furlongs and the undulating course will prove more to Smad Place's advantage than his rivals. Of course he will have to improve to beat them but to my mind that is not out of the question and in a race where there is so many horses that may have doubts over this extended 3 mile 2 furlong race he is one that certainly looks sure to get the trip.

Road to Riches was third in this race last year and looked as if he didn't quite appreciate the extended distance of the race. That is not to see that he didn't get the trip but looked as if he would have been better of a few furlongs shorter. That said he will have grown up some and looks to have good chances sure today. He is another of the Irish raiders and is sure to give a good account of himself today.

Last year's ninth in the gold cup, Calingofrd Lough does not look good enough to win here today. He was never really going in the race last year and was something of a disappointment and has not been in top form this season until his run in the Irish gold cup last month. This saw a return to his earlier form where he really did look a top class long distance chaser. He beat his field that day by 12 lengths and they were all strung out. That was on very testing heavy ground and he ran extremely well throughout the race and stayed on very strongly in the closing stages.
So it looks like he has come back to form at the right time of year however he is a 10-year-old and in recent years this has been a race won by up and coming younger horses rather than established older chases, with the last 10-year-old winning in 1998 which was Cool Dawn. Although good horse is difficult to recommend him for this race, but it would not be a great surprise to see him running into a place.

Rebecca Curtis has entered a very interesting horse, the nine-year-old O'Faolains Boy.
He has very in and out form but when he gets it right seems to run extremely well. He was the winner of last seasons RSA chase where he had one of his rivals today, Smad Place back in second. He does seem to like Cheltenham but doesn't seem to really have the class to win this race. It would be good to see him run well but he would be a surprise winner.

Irish Cavalier is another young seven-year-old horse always trying his luck in this race. Last year's festival saw him win a handicap chase over 2 miles 4 1/2 furlongs and that perhaps is his problem insofar as he has not won at a distance greater than that. The gold cup these days is certainly for a stayer who can keep up with the pace. Although he will have improvement to come he doesn't look to be up to this class.

The oldest horse in the race is the 12-year-old On His Own. He is a really good horse who in 2014 was a short head second to Lord Windermere in this race. However he must now be on the wane looks very unlikely winner.

Race Conditions: For 5yo+ which are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including March 11th. Horses which are not qualified a rating in Great Britain, Ireland or France may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including March 11th would merit a minimum rating of 130. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final Weights 5yo 11st 9lb; 6yo+ 11st 10lb Allowances mares 7lb



1 19-461 Carlingford Lough 10 11-10 John E Kiely Barry Geraghty 164
9 wins and 5 places from 27 starts (52.92%), wins coming on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles and half furlongs.

2 2-4111 Cue Card 10 11-10 Colin Tizzard Tom Scudamore 176
13 wins and 8 places from 28 starts (75%), wins on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 3 miles.

3 12-21F Djakadam 7 11-10 W P Mullins Ruby Walsh 170
6 wins and 4 places from 15 starts (66.7%), wins have come on ground ranging from soft through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles and 1 furlong.

4 111F1 Don Cossack 9 11-10 Gordon Elliott B.J.Cooper 171
15 wins and 6 places from 26 starts (80.77%), wins have come on ground ranging from good to firm through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles and 1 furlong.

5 11-511 Don Poli 7 11-10 W P Mullins Davy Russell 166
8 wins and 3 places from 12 starts (91.67%) , wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles and 1 furlong.

6 42155P Irish Cavalier 7 11-10 Rebecca Curtis Paul Townend 154
6 wins and 4 places from 18 starts (55.56%), wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles 4 1/2 furlongs.

7 5/P1P8 O´Faolains Boy 9 11-10 Rebecca Curtis Noel Hehiliy 156
6 wins and 2 places from 14 starts (57.14%), wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles and half a furlong.

8 97U482 On His Own 12 11-10 W P Mullins Mr. P. Mullins 157
9 wins and 3 places from 34 starts (35.29%), wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles and 1 furlong.

9 13-312 Road To Riches 9 11-10 Noel Meade DOUBTFUL 165
9 wins and 6 places from 19 starts (78.95%), wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles.

10 4-1141 Smad Place 9 11-10 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson 168
8 wins and 10 places from 28 starts (64.29%), wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 3 miles and 2 furlongs.


1 Don Cossack (GER) 9/4F 9 11-10 t Gordon Elliott B J Cooper 175
2 Djakadam (FR) 9/2 7 11-10 W P Mullins R Walsh 170
3 10 Don Poli (IRE) 9/2 7 11-10 W P Mullins Davy Russell 166
4 7 Carlingford Lough (IRE) 25/1 10 11-10 John E Kiely Barry Geraghty 164
5 nse Irish Cavalier (IRE) 66/1 7 11-10 p Rebecca Curtis Paul Townend 153
6 16 Smad Place (FR) 10/1 9 11-10 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson 169
7 15 O'Faolains Boy (IRE) 40/1 9 11-10 p Rebecca Curtis Noel Fehily 156
8 On His Own (IRE) 50/1 12 11-10 p W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins 157
F Cue Card 5/2 10 11-10 t Colin Tizzard Paddy Brennan 176


To be updated.

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