Racing Post Gold Cup Tips: Back Dostal Phil to claim Cheltenham Feature

Racing Post Gold Cup Tips: Philip Hobbs can train the winner of the big race this weekend.
Racing Post Gold Cup Tips: Philip Hobbs can train the winner of the big race this weekend.

A stellar field will assemble at the 2m 4f 127y start for the 2021 Racing Post Gold Cup, and it's set to be a hugely competitive betting heat for punters to get stuck into, and we preview the race here...

Paul Nicholls has trained the winner of this race on five separate occasions, with Poquelin and King George VI Chase hero Frodon both claiming glory twice, and the Ditcheat handler will aim to make it a super sixth victory on Saturday afternoon, and his hopes lie with Lalor, who heads the betting, at the time of writing.

Last seen finishing a staying-on third behind Midnight Shadow and Protektorat in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month, Lalor will be hoping that he can turn the form around with Midnight Shadow, who will have a significant hike in the weights to deal with for Sue Smith. With a 5lb weight pull over Midnight Shadow from their last clash, Lalor has a terrific chance to reverse the form, but Midnight Shadow was hugely impressive last time out, and it would be no surprise to see him go close here, and he can frank the form with Lalor.

The aforementioned Protektorat has since catapulted into the Cheltenham Gold Cup picture following a fine win in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree, so the Paddy Power Gold Cup form is rock-solid, and another placed horse that caught the eye was the Philip Hobbs-trained Dostal Phil, who could be worth backing here.

Storming up the Cheltenham hill in the closing stages of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, DOSTAL PHIL shaped like he could be close to a winnable mark, and having only been upped 1lb by the handicapper for that fine fourth-placed finish last month then he can strike here. He has winning form in heavy going, so the recent rain to hit the track won't pose him any problems, and should he be able to stay closer to the leaders as they come down the hill at the business end of the race, then he can duly propel clear in the closing stages and bag the prize for Hobbs and owner JP McManus, who last won this race back in 2011 with Quantitativeeasing.

A former winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, Coole Cody was last seen falling in the 2021 renewal last month, but was still in without a shout, so could play a notable role here. However, he's 6lb higher than his Paddy Power win from 2020, so needs a career best to get his head in front.

Fergal O'Brien's Silver Hallmark is very lightly-raced over fences - having only run four times over the larger obstacles - but he was last seen finishing a creditable fourth in the Colin Parker Memorial at Carlisle, and he has the capabilities of figuring here, while the Venetia Williams-trained duo of the top-weighted Cepage and Farinet are both notable contenders. 

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Of the others, Nicky Henderson's Fusil Raffles was a lucky winner of the Charlie Hall Chase last time out, as he made the most of Shan Blue's fall, and he will drop back into handicap company here, so is of interest. Former Cheltenham Festival winner Siruh Du Lac will return to the venue of his biggest win, and he's now only 2lbs higher than the mark he claimed festival glory off of, so is worthy of a second look at double-figured odds.

One final contender that could play their part is Hobbs's other runner Zanza, who was sixth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and has only been upped 1lb for that decent run, so could be another to emerge from November's showpiece event that can challenge for glory here.

However, it's Dostal Phil that left a lasting impression in the aftermath of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, and Aidan Coleman can duly pilot him to victory in fine style.

13:50 Cheltenham (Saturday) - Racing Post Gold Cup
Dostal Phil silk

Dostal Phil

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