The temptation is there to go nuts on Friday and send out a legion of bets. But, when the chips are down and I think about it, there’s only one horse I really fancy on the closing day of a crazy, emotional and memorable 2019 Cheltenham Festival...
I can’t be having Native River having the pace to defend his crown on what will be good to soft ground come 3.30pm on Friday. Presenting Percy has had a most unusual build up to this race, he could be a Superstar waiting to emerge, but for me he is yet to do enough on the clock to fully prove his absolute worth in this division. I have had nibbles at Thistlecrack E/w here and think he'll go well, but in recent days I have come to really like the chances of the Paul Nicholls trained Clan Des Obeaux and I think, a clean round of jumping provided, he is the one they all have to beat.
Clan Des Obeaux is a different horse this year, his progression from Haydock to Kempton was absolutely fantastic, a surprise, but yet so typical of a Nicholls trained chaser approaching the age of seven. He ran to a Racing Post Rating of 177 when having too many guns for Thistlecrack in the King George. It was backed up by an outstanding speed figure and last time out at Ascot, he matched that performance from a form perspective when he absolutely pulverised Terrefort with a ruthless level of disdain under Harry Cobden.
In our recent GG podcast, Cobden told us that Clan Des Obeaux is a relentless galloper and he holds no qualms whatsoever about his ability to get home up the hill. The ground at Cheltenham will be absolutely perfect for the horse. He can jump out to the right a little, hopefully that won’t be too pronounced a trait in this quality of race, especially going left-handed -- there's little margin for error. There will be a breakneck pace on here though, which will suit the only selection of the day down to the ground. Granted a bit of luck in running and few if any mistakes on the jumping front, I am struggling to see this horse not going very close to winning indeed.
It’s been 10 years since Kauto Star landed Paul Nicholls his fourth Cheltenham Gold Cup back in 2009 and for the first time since then, he has a horse with a perfect profile for the race. Clan Des Obeaux has all the ingredients to land a fifth win and take the Take Gold Cup back to Ditcheat.
All prices correct at the time of writing in the GG Tips Den, per the top/joint top prices available on the GG.CO.UK Racecards.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing
Clan Des Obeaux is our NAP of the Day for Friday.
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