Racing Post Gold Cup: Lalor heads antepost betting as 21 hold Cheltenham entries

Lalor's a short-price favourite for Saturday's big race at Cheltenham.

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*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

Lalor heads Paddy Power’s antepost betting market for the Racing Post Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

A field of 21 possibles stood their ground at Monday’s five-day confirmation stage, and Paul Nicholls’ new recruit is a short price to triumph in the second of Cheltenham’s big pre-Christmas handicaps after an encouraging third on stable debut in last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup.

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Midnight Shadow was first past the post on that day and could attempt to emulate Exotic Dancer, who was the last runner to double up way back in 2006. Described by trainer Sue Smith as a “once in a lifetime horse” after victory in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, an audacious King George VI Chase bid was floated by connections but Saturday’s Grade 3 on the New Course at Prestbury Park could be the more realistic target.

Fergal O’Brien’s lightly-raced Silver Hallmark – a novice Grade 2 winner over fences – is prominent in our antepost betting after an encouraging seasonal reappearance in a Listed chase when giving plenty of weight to his rivals.

The market indicates Alnadam is the leading contender for Dan Skelton but the British trainer has indicated there’ll need to be plenty of juice in the ground for his charge to be declared among the final field. Amoola Gold, Beakstown and Knight In Dubai also hold entries for the yard.

Dostal Phil is set to go again after placing fourth in last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, for which the handicapper only increased his rating by 1lb.

Noble Yeats beat a number of classy runners in a Beginners Chase at Galway in October but failed to justify his price of 13/8 on a disappointing handicap debut at Cork last month.

Among the other horses near the top end of our antepost betting include last season’s Paddy Power Gold Cup hero Coole Cody and course-and-distance winner Fusil Raffles, who was last seen claiming the Charlie Hall Chase in October.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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