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With the Dublin Racing Festival out of the way, we’re officially on the road to the Cheltenham Festival here at Paddy Power, with our antepost tipping podcast series in full swing.
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The From The Horse’s Mouth team took a close look at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the latest episode and our new tipster Rory Delargy believes Henry de Bromhead could saddle the winner for a second year in a row.
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“It’s a very murky picture at the moment. It comes back to a large degree to last year’s race which is the most solid piece of form. Since then, we’ve seen a messy King George and a messy Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup. Although A Plus Tard was turned over by Galvin at Christmas he’s still the one they’ve got to aim at. He’s got the most solid balance of form going into this. He’s less likely to blow out than one or two.
“Minella Indo’s been up and down this season but he jumped better in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup. I had my concerns about the way he jumped for Rachael Blackmore in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup and King George last year. She could always see a stride on him but he didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength. I thought he was much better with Robbie Power last weekend. It’s no criticism of Rachael, it’s just that the communication between rider and horse is important and while Rachael’s got on really well with him in the past he seemed to not be listening to her at Leopardstown and Kempton last year.
“The form isn’t good enough to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup but it was a step in the right direction and he’ll appreciate a stiffer test of stamina. Minella Indo becomes a player again but you’re being asked to take a shorter price for him than you were in a weak enough Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup. He’s short enough at this stage and I’d probably end up siding with A Plus Tard.
“If Chantry House is the best of the British challenge then you’re struggling a little bit. Royal Pagaille deserves a mention, however. He was beaten by nearly 50l last year but he won the same prep race this time around at Haydock and he’s shown slightly better form winning that. He’ll need to be better to win the Gold Cup, however.”
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