With 2016 abruptly coming to an end, we can start the countdown to the 2017 horseracing calendar. It’s just four months until Cheltenham and it always pays to be prepared, so we thought we’d get some tips in early.
The Horse Racing tipsters favourite to take the Gold Cup is of course Thistlecrack. The Bay Gelding is an incredible raw talent and has the ability to go to the very top over fences. With an impressive win percentage of 71.59%, it’s no surprise the eight-year-old is as low as 7/2 to win the Gold Cup.
However, don’t be be too tempted to fall for those odds. Thistlecrack is different from his fellow discipline-switching hurdlers as previously, he has been too easily induced to take off too soon and that suggests he may struggle against the strong calibre of horses he’ll meet on the Gold Cup trail.
Admittedly, he does have the chance to progress with experience but March will fast be around the corner, though there is no denying that trainer Colin Tizzard will give him the best chance of living up to his favourite title. If you’re willing to take a punt on Thistlecrack, make sure it’s a sensible stake as that 7/2 may not be as convincing as it may seem.
Coneygree is next in line as favourite. After a year on the side lines, trainer Mark Bradstock will look to have the nine-year-old come back with a bang. He made his return to action at Haydock and lost out only to Cue Card, delivering a very promising race.
Even more impressive that the run was without usual rider Nico de Boinville who missed out with a fractured arm. Coneygree triumphed at Cheltenham last year as he became the first novice chaser to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for more than forty years. It wouldn’t be a bad bet to see a similar result in 2017.
Cue Card is another horse being tipped to perform at Cheltenham. The 10-year-old pipped Coneygree to number one at Haydock, and for a large part of Whetherby, he looked very much surefooted. If you’re to take a punt on Cue Card, bear in mind he is now in eighth season and it may be that he will fall short of last season’s finesse. But with a decent run at Haydock and his yard is in outstanding form, he be worth keeping an eye on.
At 12/1, Djakadam may prove to be dark horse (pardon the pun) at the Gold Cup. With the exception of last year’s Cheltenham hoodoo, the seven-year-old has finished no lower than third since 2014 and has a win percentage of 38.89%. As something of an outsider, be sure to keep a watch on his form and with odds of 12/1, it you may find that he’s worth a punt.
Another horse worth looking out for is Solow, also looking to make a return from injury. The six-year-old boasts an incredible record with ten wins in his last ten races, half of which have been at the highest level. Though, after sustaining an injury, his winning record has faltered somewhat and Freddy Head wants him back in action for the Dubai World Cup. If he can overcome his injury, it would be no surprise to see Solow victorious overseas.