The 2012 Cheltenham Festival is now on the horizon as pundits and racing enthusiasts give you their Cheltenham tips on the action from Prestbury Park this year.
Long Run’s bid to become the first horse to win back-to-back Gold Cup’s since Best Mate is becoming more realistic if the odds markets are to be believed.
After months of inconsistency Long Run has finally seemingly been accepted by many punters as a genuine good thing in the Gold Cup; his price is now best priced 2/1 after being much longer a month ago.
It seems as his prep race when he beat stablemate Burton Port by just half a length has restored the confidence in the horse following some half-hearted performances behind Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase and King George earlier this season.
Much will depend on the health of Prestbury Park legend Kauto Star, who suffered a fall under the guidance of Ruby Walsh last week, but trainer Paul Nicholls is confident that the horse will be fit for Friday’s showpiece.
The re-emergence of the two-time Gold Cup winner has been one of the most encapsulating sport stories of the year. His win in both the Betfair and King George when many had wrote him off was spectacular and if he can sensationally win the Gold Cup, he would become the first horse to regain the race twice.
His participation in the race, where he is likely to go off a well-backed 7/2 shot, has all been assured now following a fall on the gallops at home where at one stage trainer Paul Nicholls rated him just 50-50 to make the race.
But now it’s all system go. If he could win, then he arguably become the greatest steeplechaser of all-time.
Even though the race should be matchup between the two at the head of the market, many shrewd punters are predicting that a horse lurking down the market could spring a surprise.
Weird Al for Donald McCain has shortened up in the market after considerable support and is just a 12/1 shot now after a big market move and course specialist Midnight Chase, who was fifth last season, also is popular around the 12/1 mark with each-way backers.
Synchronised could also prove popular as punters jostle for position in the market.