Cheltenham Betting Thursday
Thursday Betting Preview
Ladies’ Day features the Gold Cup. Last year Frankie Dettori partnered Colour Vision to victory in what was his last major triumph in the Godolphin royal blue and the horse will be back to defend his crown this time around.
Rite Of Passage won this race in 2010 and returned to Ascot to win the QIPCO Long Distance Cup last autumn and is well fancied for Dermot Weld.
John Oxx’s Saddler’s Rock finished third behind Colour Vision last season and ran in Dubai during the spring. He has been popular in the ante-post markets.
Hopes are high there may be a Royal winner too with Estimate carrying the colours of the Queen. Sir Michael Stoute’s charge landed the Queen’s Vase at the meeting last season and won the Sagaro Stakes, her prep race for this contest, here last month. She is one of Ryan Moore’s main hopes for the week.
The Investec Oaks form faces its first test in the Ribblesdale Stakes while the Norfolk is a speed test over five furlongs for the fastest two-year-olds around.
The card is completed by two handicaps. The Britannia, over a mile for three-year-olds, attracts a maximum field with Wentworth and Cape Peron high on most people’s short-lists and the closing King George V Stakes is for three-year-olds over a mile-and-a-half and has been won by the likes of Dandino and Brown Panther in recent years.
World Hurdle Betting Preview
The absence of Big Buck’s means we’re looking for a new star in the World Hurdle.
This pair met on Trials Day and it was Reve who came out on top, although the runner-up offered hope that he may better last season’s disappointing run in this race.
Behind them in the market are fascinating contenders who help to make this one of the puzzles of the meeting.
Paul Nicholls’ youngster Wonderful Charm could yet fill the void left by his stablemate, but surely none deserve glory more than habitual Cheltenham bridesmaid Get Me Out Of Here. Bog Warrior could live up to his name should the ground come up very soft, but on better ground will Willie Mullins be tempted to run Quevega after her bid for a fifth Mares Hurdle on Tuesday?
Filling the void left by Big Buck’s will be next to impossible, brambut if his absence gives us anything it’s a fiercely competitive renewal with rich rewards awaiting those who unearth the winner.