By Simon Jackson.
The last two winners of the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, Lord Windermere and Bobs Worth, are amongst 35 entries for the 2015 renewal that were revealed today.
The Jim Culloty-trained Lord Windermere had Bobs Worth fourth lengths back in fifth place when narrowly prevailing in the 2014 Gold Cup from On His Own, with The Giant Bolster third and Silviniaco Conti fourth.
The first five in last year’s race are set to reoppose in the £550,000 Grade 1 event and the sponsors Betfred have expressed their delight with the high-quality of the 35 entries.
“The Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup is the pinnacle of the National Hunt season and we’re thrilled with the quality of this year’s entry,” the firm’s spokesman Andrew Griffiths said on behalf of Betfred who offer 3-1 about market leader Silviniaco Conti.
“Silviniaco Conti has been firing on all cylinders this season and he justifiably sets the pace in the betting,” Griffiths continued.
Silviniaco Conti is clear favourite for the feature race of the festival after impressive victories in the Betfair Chase and William Hill King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Trainer Paul Nicholls was delighted with the manner of the King George victory and hopes to improve on last year’s fourth in Cheltenham’s showpiece race of the year on March 13.
“He really looked the part as he made every yard of the running, jumping faultlessly, before pulling clear of Dynaste on the flat,” said Nicholls of the King George win. “You have to say this was an improved performance on his [King George] victory a year ago.
“He is a real stayer and gallops all day so the big hope now is that he can show his true colours in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March. My gut feeling is that he will not run before then.”
Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup – sponsors bet: 3 Silviniaco Conti, 8 Road To Riches, 12 Holywell, Lord Windermere, 16 Bobs Worth, Many Clouds, 20 Boston Bob, Dynaste, Kings Palace, On His Own, Shutthefrontdoor, 33 Al Ferof, Carlingford Lough, Champagne Fever, Don Cossack, First Lieutenant, Houblon des Obeaux, Ma Filleule, Morning Assembly, Sam Winner, Smad Place, The Giant Bolster, Unioniste, 40 Coneygree, Djakadam, Taquin du Seuil, 50 Ballycasey, Fingal Bay, Harry Topper, Home Farm, Spring Heeled, 66 Black Thunder, Double Ross, Theatre Guide, 200 River Choice.
¼ 1-2-3. Non-runner no bet.
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