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The 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years. Al Boum Photo has history against him as he tries to retain his crown, the last horse to do so being Best Mate in 2004. He faces the first three home from the Irish Gold Cup and the top three staying chasers in Great Britain. Here is our assessment of the leading contenders.
Al Boum Photo 4-1
The reigning champion has only raced twice in the past 12 months, being defeated by Kemboy at Punchestown and winning a minor race at Tramore. Willie Mullins is confident that he has him in at least as good shape as he was last year and a bold run is expected.
Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old laboured to victory at Sandown in November and underwent wind surgery five days later. He returned to beat Bristol De Mai in workmanlike fashion in the Cotswold Chase. His trainer was delighted but he needs to improve further to win this and others make more appeal at the odds.
Delta Work 6-1
The Irish Gold Cup winner and representing the powerful Gordon Elliott stable. His inexperience told last year when third in the RSA Chase but he looks much improved this season. He always looked like holding Kemboy at Leopardstown and rates a big threat to Al Boum Photo.
He was promoted to Gold Cup favourite after winning the Betfair Chase in November but flopped in the King George next time. He reportedly suffered from a breathing problem that day and the Cheltenham hill is a concern if the going comes up soft.
Clan Des Obeaux 8-1
It is unusual for a dual King George VI Chase winner to be priced up at 8-1, especially given the confidence that the trainer has in Clan Des Obeaux. The problem is that three miles at Kempton is a much easier test than the longer trip at Cheltenham and he appeared not to stay last year. He is another one that does not want the ground too testing.
Presenting Percy 11-1
A year is a long time in racing and last year’s favourite can be backed at nearly four times the price. He likes to be held up in his races and it was surprising to see him in front in the Irish Gold Cup with two to jump. He looks to have an excellent each-way chance. You can check the latest Cheltenham Gold Cup odds on OLBG.com’s Cheltenham tips page.
The second-string of Willie Mullins but a high class performer in his own right. He has victories over several of his rivals in the form book but has finished behind Delta Work in his last two races. His jumping style is unorthodox and he unseated his rider at the first fence a year ago. He cannot afford to give away too much ground in a race like this.
Bristol De Mai 25-1
Finished third last year and has finished runner-up in two of the key trials this season. Nigel Twiston-Davies still believes in the horse but the grey is vulnerable to a fast finisher.
Monalee has been beaten at the last three Cheltenham Festivals but has been given a light campaign this season. He was only a head behind Delta Work at Leopardstown in December but is not guaranteed to stay this distance.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Predictions
The Irish runners look set to come out on top with a potential clash between the mighty Mullins and Elliott stables. AL BOUM PHOTO is narrowly preferred to DELTA WORK with PRESENTING PERCY tipped as the best each-way value.