December Gold Cup 2021 Odds: Lalor and Dostal Phil among 21 entries for Cheltenham feature

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup 2016 Cheltenham

A sparkling renewal of the Racing Post Gold Cup is set to light up Cheltenham this Saturday, and there are 21 horses entered for the 2m 4f 127y contest, which is sure to be an enthralling betting heat for punters to get stuck into...

Paul Nicholls tasted big-race success at the weekend with Greaneteen in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park, and the Ditcheat handler will attempt to claim another big prize on Saturday and will saddle the current 11/2 favourite Lalor, who was last seen finishing an excellent third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November. With that form being given a huge boost with second place that day Protektorat coming out and winning the Many Clouds Chase then the nine-year-old has to be a leading player.

The winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup was Midnight Shadow, and the Sue Smith-trained raider will look to do the big Cheltenham handicap chase double at Saturday's International meeting, and is a 10/1 chance to do so, but will have to deal with a significant rise in the weights, and looks to have a tough task on his hands.

Dostal Phil was another of the placed horses from the November event that is set to try and go a few places better, and the Philip Hobbs-trained contender has been installed around the 7/1 mark for this event, and he was certainly one that caught the eye when staying on up the Cheltenham hill, and he could be a key contender here for Philip Hobbs.

Heading the weights is the Jeremy Scott-trained multiple Graded winner Dashel Drasher, who is looking to get his career back on track, but he's relatively unfancied at 20/1 with some firms, while one entry who knows how to win a competitive Cheltenham handicap is Coole Cody, who is aiming to land this prize to follow up his win in the 2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup. Available at a best-priced 10/1, at the time of writing, Coole Cody was a faller in last month's Paddy Power Gold Cup, so he will hope to put in a clear round here.

Fergal O'Brien's Silver Hallmark and Dan Skelton's Alnadam are both set to carry less than 11st, and they are both relatively prominent figures in the betting here, with the latter available at 8/1 and the former on offer at 10s. Nicky Henderson's Fusil Raffles was last seen claiming a fortuitous victory in the Charlie Hall Chase, as he capitalised on Shan Blue's fall, and the Seven Barrows raider could take his chance here, and is an eye-catching contender at 12/1.

Others worthy of a mention at the entry stage include Cepage (16/1) for Venetia Williams, who won a similar race on Festival Trials Day in January 2020, and has to be respected, if he can bring his A game, while the likes of Zanza (12/1) and Noble Yeats (10/1) add more depth to a mouth-watering race, which should serve up a real head-scratcher for punters heading to Prestbury Park at the weekend.

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