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Friday 24 April 2015

Bet365 Gold Cup Tips

The Bet365 Gold Cup, run over 3 miles 5 furlongs and 110 yards at Sandown, has produced winners at 25/1, 20/1, 16/1, 14/1, 11/1 and 10/1 twice in the last 10 years. No favourite has won in that period, so there must be a chance that the traditional National Hunt season finale can provide this column with one last ‘hurrah’.

A.P. McCoy is conspicuous by his absence from the big race, but Jonjo O’Neill could still be victorious with Lost Legend, who has the services of Richie McLernon and can be given a chance on his best form this season. The son of Winged Love could make no impression on the leaders from two out in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase, over 3 miles 1 furlong, at the Cheltenham Festival, but the way he stayed on in the closing stages suggested an extra 4½ furlongs is within his compass. If it is, he’s only 2lb higher in the weights than his last winning mark and could make the 25/1 on offer with Coral look silly by teatime on Saturday at 15:50.

Tony Martin’s runners on the mainland are always worth a second look and, here, the shrewd Co. Meath handler has Guess Again lurking off joint bottom weight. Formerly trained by David Pipe, the 10-year-old unshipped Declan Lavery at the fifth last in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, but was still travelling well within himself at the time. He, too, has his stamina to prove, but looks one to keep on the right side at 20/1in the ante post lists.

Last, but hopefully not least, let’s row in with Royale Knight, who should lack nothing in stamina and ran well when sixth, beaten 15 lengths, behind Many Clouds in the Grand National two weeks ago. He remains 15lb higher in the weights than when hacking up in the Durham National, over 3 miles 6 furlongs, at Sedgefield in October, but seems equally effective on top of the ground as he is on softer going and may be capable of providing Dr. Richard Newland with another high-profile winner.

So, there we are dear readers; our final National Hunt selections for a while are, in no particular order, Lost Legend (25/1 with Coral), Guess Again (20/1 with Sky Bet) and Royale Knight (20/1 generally available). Good luck!