The BetVictor Gold Cup is the feature race on Saturday afternoon on a card that includes seven top quality races and is one of the most popular days at Cheltenham outside of The Festival.

The Gold Cup, still affectionately remembered as the Mackeson Gold Cup with some of the older N.H racing aficionados, is a Grade Three handicap chase run over two miles, four furlongs and 78 yards of the Old Course at National Hunt racing’s headquarters.

 

Trends & Statistics:

  • Course form has been very important to the outcome of this race over the years. Fifteen of the last twenty winners of the race had lined up in a chase at the Cheltenham Festival the year before.
  • Age – 8 of the last 10 winners were aged between 7 and 9.
  • Price – 1 of the last 10 favourites have won, 5/10 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.
  • Last Run – 4 of the last 10 winners won on their last run before the BetVictor Gold Cup, 7/10 winners ran within the last 35 days.
  • Rating – 9/10 winners were rated 139 or higher.
  • Graded Wins – 6/10 winners had at least 1 previous win in a grade 1-3 race.

Here is your runner-by-runner guide, with horse racing betting tips on Saturday's big race:

Saint Calvados

The six-year-old made a pleasing start to the season when defying top weight in a two-mile handicap chase at this very venue last month.

He shoulders top-weight again here on his first attempt at 2m 4f, but has the class to carry it off.

Us And Them

Finished second in the Arkle and the Maghull Novices’ Chase last season, and made a fair return when third at Gowran Park last time.

Soft ground doesn’t appear to faze him but the Irish have a shocking record in this race.

Siruh Du Lac

He completed a spectacular four-timer last season in the Festival Plate, just getting the better of Janika who franked that form recently when winning the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

His form looks very solid and he is a major player.

Spiritofthegames

The seven-year-old has won on reappearance in each of the last three seasons and also has form that ties in with Janika and Siruh Du Lac.

Often the bridesmaid at Cheltenham but will be hoping to remedy that on Saturday.

Magic Saint

The Paul Nicholls-trained five-year-old was never a factor in the Grand Annual at The Festival after a promising start to last season, but a wind-op over the summer could quite easily revitalise the fortunes of this young chaser.

Slate House

He was a wide margin winner of a novice event at the Showcase meeting last time which gave him a new revised rating of 147.

He certainly has the potential to build upon that performance and can defy his 12lb rise.

Belami Des Pictons

Hails from a stable that traditionally has a decent run of form in November and the going should be ideal for him.

He is clearly a fragile type but Venetia Williams will only reintroduce them when she feels they are ready to acquit themselves on the track.

Count Meribel

The seven-year-old struggled to live with the best graded chasers last year but he did not disgrace himself when finishing second to Lostintranslation at Carlisle.

Nigel Twiston-Davies has a good record in this race which is also worth bearing in mind.

Mercian Prince

A winner at Plumpton and Kempton last term but this looks like being more than he can chew on his seasonal return.

Highway One O One

Ideally he likes to dominate a race from the front which won’t exactly be easy here but he is sure to give it a go.

Two placed efforts at this venue last season paint him in as an interesting outsider.

Happy Diva

She was brought down in this race last year when going well and ran a cracker of a race behind Guitar Pete at Wetherby in soft going last time.

If you fancy Guitar Pete to run well then you also have to consider this mare too.

Demi Sang

Finished in third spot behind Guitar Pete and Happy Diva at Wetherby when running on in the closing stages.

Ben Haslam’s River Frost ran a similar race at Wetherby that weekend, and then came out to win next time at Ayr.

There are certainly a lot worse 50/1 shots you can back this weekend.

Royal Village

Second in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen back in the summer and has been holding his form well over the last few months.

This may come as a bridge too far however.

Guitar Pete

The demure nine-year-old came third to Baron Alco and Frodon in this last year and arrives here on the back of a recent win at Wetherby.

The suspicion is however that his revised weight may well just anchor him here.

Eamon An Cnoic

He was well beaten a couple of times back in the spring but before that had finished on the coattails of Siruh Du Lac and Spiritofthegames.

He gets into this off a favourable weight and David Pipe was very bullish about his chances when asked earlier in the week.

Brelan D'As

Finished third in the Grand Annual last season and was travelling pretty well in the race won by Saint Calvados at The Showcase before he unseated.

It will be a surprise to see his odds of 20/1 lasting long.

Springtown Lake

Looked a little bit ring-rusty behind Vinndication at Ascot earlier this month and will need to take a massive leap forward from that to figure here.

Dell Oro

Comes from a talented stable put has either finished last or has pulled up in too many of his races to be an attractive betting proposition.

Warthog

Winner of a Limited Novices’ Chase at Sandown last December but has failed to back that run up since.

Splash Of Ginge

He won this race in 2017 on one of the wettest days in recent Cheltenham history. Write this veteran performer off at your peril given the battering Prestbury Park has taken this week.

Conclusion:

I’ve been keen on Siruh Du Lac’s chances for some time now and I shall stick with the Nick Williams-trained six-year-old continuing his upward curve despite the testing ground conditions at Cheltenham.

At larger odds I’m going to chance a small each-way bet on Ben Haslam’s Demi Sang. He’s quite some price for a J.P McManus runner!

888sport suggests: Siruh Du Lac and Demi Sang (e/w).

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horse racing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 30 renewals of the Grand National.