Cheltenham Gold Cup Form Guide

The Cheltenham Gold Cup form boils down to a few races with the top chasers going down a tried and tested route ahead of a tilt at the Gold Cup. We are likely to see Long Run start off back at the Betfair Chase, the Nicky Henderson horse was the 2011 Gold Cup winner and all eyes will be on him if he runs at Haydock. Other races to keep an eye on include the King George Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and the Lexus Chase over in Ireland which are both excellent trial races.

Gold Cup Form Guide and Race Card 2014

Race OverviewSilviniaco Conti has every chance on his soft-ground form but the lion-hearted BOBS WORTH has shown he can do it on any going and, although he has hardly put up a flashy performance in his life over fences, he keeps doing what is necessary to win. On the down side, he could yet show that last year's desperate win here did leave its mark but his Leopardstown win went some way to reassuring his admirers. Silviniaco Conti was still going well when coming down three out here last year and although it was too far out to draw any conclusions, he is progressive and there was much to like about his King George win at Kempton. He is a big danger, along with the selection's stablemate Triolo d'Alene, who looked good when winning the Hennessy and is said to be thriving, but Last Instalment, so impressive at Leopardstown, has a big question mark about him on this surface. The Giant Bolster, second and fourth in this race in the last two years, has sprinkled his good days rather thinly this winter but he sparkled in headgear here last time and has a decent run in him if the aids work again. [Emily Weber]

Odds provided by Paddypower

1Bobs WorthBobs Worth (IRE)
B J Geraghty
N Henderson
9 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentBobs Worth

Unbeaten in 5 runs here, inc Gold Cup in 2013; big chance. Understated style but it hides a will of iron and yet to be beaten in five starts here, including the Albert Bartlett (3m, good), the RSA Chase (3m, good) and this race 12 months ago, when soft ground called for everything he had; fears that race had left its mark when having the only off day of his life on Haydock reappearance but usual determined finish again in evidence when beating First Lieutenant at Leopardstown in December (3m, yielding to soft); this race will suit him better and again the one to beat.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
28/12/13LEO 24Y/Sft G1Ch,76K164 lbsBarry Geraghty1/9 1 1/2l+, First Lieutenant[11/4J]11-10
23/11/13HAY 25Sft Cl1 G1Ch,113K161 lbsBarry Geraghty6/8 39 3/4l, Cue Card[15/8F]11-7
15/03/13CHL 26Sft Cl1 G1Ch,313K164 lbsBarry Geraghty1/9 7l, Sir Des Champs[11/4F]11-10
01/12/12NBY 26GS Cl1 G3ChHc,85K160 lbsBarry Geraghty1/19 3 1/4l, Tidal Bay[4/1F]11-12
14/03/12CHL 24Gd Cl1 G1Ch,74K158 lbsBarry Geraghty1/9 2 1/2l, First Lieutenant[9/2]11-4
2Cloudy TooCloudy Too (IRE)
J England
Mrs S Smith
8 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentCloudy Too

Improved but well beaten in Hennessy; big outsider. Has come on a bundle over fences but well beaten in the 3m handicap here last March and down the field behind Triolo d'Alene in the Hennessy in November; doubt can be cast over the form of latest win at Wetherby (3m1f, soft; rider claimed) and big outsider.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
15/02/14ASC 21Sft Cl1 G1Ch,85K161 lbsJonathan England2/8 19l, Captain Chris[7/1]11-7
26/12/13WET 25Sft Cl1 G3ChHc,23K154 lbsJonathan England1/8 10l, Tullamore Dew[11/4]10-0
30/11/13NBY 26Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,100K158 lbsRichard Johnson12/21 28 1/4l, Triolo D'Alene[20/1]11-1
03/11/13CRL 20Hy Cl1 LisCh,15K160 lbsJonathan England1/5 8l, Tap Night[4/1]11-2
30/03/13HAY 20GS Cl2 ChHc,32K166 lbsWayne Hutchinson3/12 Nk, Cedre Bleu[12/1]11-2
4Houblon Des ObeauxHoublon Des Obeaux (FR)
L Treadwell
Miss V Williams
7 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentHoublon Des Obeaux

Beaten about 10l in the RSA in 2013; big task here. Acts well enough here and kept plugging away when beaten about 10l in the RSA Chase 12 months ago; stout stayer but soundly beaten in the Hennessy in between his two Ascot wins before Christmas and gave away too much ground at his fences when third at Ascot latest to make much appeal here.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
15/02/14ASC 24Sft Cl1 LisChHc,23K164 lbsLiam Treadwell3/7 3 1/2l, Restless Harry[9/2]10-7
25/01/14CHL 25Hy Cl1 G2Ch,57K160 lbsAidan Coleman4/7 11 3/4l, The Giant Bolster[7/2]11-0
21/12/13ASC 24Sft Cl1 LisChHc,25K160 lbsAidan Coleman1/7 Nk, Cedre Bleu[6/4F]10-5
30/11/13NBY 26Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,100K162 lbsLiam Treadwell6/21 18 1/4l, Triolo D'Alene[25/1]11-1
02/11/13ASC 24GS Cl1 G3ChHc,56K157 lbsAidan Coleman1/16 6l, Merry King[12/1]10-10
5KatenkoKatenko (FR)
A Coleman
Miss V Williams
8 yrs / 164 lbs


Fell on reappearance and not up to scratch in 2 of 3 starts since. Progressive chaser early in 2013 but fell on reappearance in the Hennessy and hasn't come up to scratch in two of three starts since; best form on soft or heavy and up against it even on best efforts.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
08/02/14NBY 24Hy Cl1 G2Ch,29K160 lbsAidan Coleman3/5 49l, Harry Topper[9/4]11-10
18/01/14HAY 25Hy Cl1 G2ChHc,28K162 lbsAidan Coleman4/10 2 1/2l, Wychwoods Brook[3/1F]9-11
07/12/13Ain 25GS Cl1 LisCh,17K160 lbsAidan Coleman4/6 41l, Unioniste[11/4]11-6
30/11/13NBY 26Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,100K165 lbsAidan ColemanF/21 Triolo D'Alene[20/1]11-1
26/01/13CHL 21Hy Cl1 G3ChHc,28K153 lbsAidan Coleman1/16 12l, Fruity O'Rooney[4/1F]10-5
6Knockara BeauKnockara Beau (IRE)
J Faltejsek
G Charlton
11 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentKnockara Beau

6th in this in 2012; shock win in Grade 2 hurdle in January. Has run well at the festival over the years and generally gone well here on other occasions, though his defeat of some high-profile rivals in Grade 2 hurdle in January was hard to see coming (3m, heavy; 66-1); will do well to improve on his sixth in this race two years ago.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
13/02/14KEL 26GS Cl2 Ch,13K152 lbsJan Faltejsek2/4 6l, Long Run[9/4]10-12
25/01/14CHL 24Hy Cl1 G2Hd,34K154 lbsJan Faltejsek1/6 Sht-hd, At Fishers Cross[66/1]11-4
13/12/13CHL 25Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,26K164 lbsJan Faltejsek5/9 20 1/4l, Monbeg Dude[9/1]11-0
16/11/13CHL 27Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,28K153 lbsJan Faltejsek2/13 2l, Alvarado[25/1]10-0
19/10/13KEL 26GS Cl3 ChHc,10K166 lbsJan Faltejsek1/8 2 3/4l, Bescot Springs[7/1]9-12
7Last InstalmentLast Instalment (IRE)
B T O'Connell
P Fenton
9 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentLast Instalment

Top-class Irish form on testing ground; question about this going. Yet to race in Britain but very smart novice chaser in Ireland in 2011-12 and, though off for two years subsequently, he went great guns at Leopardstown on his second run back (3m, soft to heavy), some great jumping soon taking him to the front and ultimately much too good for Tidal Bay and First Lieutenant; major worry as to whether he can repeat it on this different ground.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
09/02/14LEO 24Sft/Hy G1Ch,77K164 lbsBrian O'Connell1/7 8 1/2l+, Tidal Bay[8/1]11-10
16/01/14THU 20Sft G2Ch,20K164 lbsBryan Cooper3/7 1 1/4l+, Texas Jack[9/4F]11-8
12/02/12LEO 21GS NvG1Ch,41K164 lbsDavy Russell1/4 1 1/2l, Call The Police[8/11F]11-10
28/12/11LEO 24Gd NvG1Ch,42K164 lbsBrian O'Connell1/8 6l, First Lieutenant[11/4]11-10
20/11/11PUN 22Sft NvG2Ch,22K157 lbsDavy Russell1/4 6 1/2l, Four Commanders[8/11F]11-2
8Lord WindermereLord Windermere (IRE)
D N Russell
J Culloty
8 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentLord Windermere

Won RSA here last March; yet to flourish this season. Did very well when winning the RSA Chase from Lyreen Legend here last March but yet to flourish this season and work to do with several of these runners on form in Ireland and Britain; even his best form unlikely to be good enough.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
09/02/14LEO 24Sft/Hy G1Ch,77K164 lbsDavy Russell6/7 25 1/2l+, Last Instalment[6/1]11-10
28/12/13LEO 24Y/Sft G1Ch,76K164 lbsDougie Costello7/9 11l+, Bobs Worth[7/1]11-10
30/11/13NBY 26Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,100K162 lbsDougie Costello8/21 22 1/2l, Triolo D'Alene[7/1]11-1
13/03/13CHL 24GS Cl1 G1Ch,85K158 lbsDavy Russell1/11 1 3/4l, Lyreen Legend[8/1]11-4
09/02/13LEO 21Sft/Hy NvG1Ch,40K164 lbsMr Robbie McNamara3/6 1/2l+, Boston Bob[4/1]11-10
9Lyreen LegendLyreen Legend (IRE)
P Carberry
D Hughes
7 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentLyreen Legend

2nd in the RSA 12 months ago; plenty to find on form this winter. Just under 2l behind Lord Windermere when second in the RSA Chase here 12 months ago but in the wake of Bobs Worth at Leopardstown and Last Instalment there latest; no real reason to expect improvement for the different ground, so lots to find.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
09/02/14LEO 24Sft/Hy G1Ch,77K164 lbsBarry Geraghty5/7 13 1/2l+, Last Instalment[13/2]11-10
28/12/13LEO 24Y/Sft G1Ch,76K164 lbsBryan Cooper5/9 8 1/4l+, Bobs Worth[14/1]11-10
23/04/13PUN 25Sft NvG1Ch,40K164 lbsBryan Cooper3/8 22 1/4l+, Mount Benbulben[8/1]11-10
13/03/13CHL 24GS Cl1 G1Ch,85K158 lbsBryan Cooper2/11 1 3/4l, Lord Windermere[10/1]11-4
09/02/13LEO 21Sft/Hy NvG1Ch,40K164 lbsBryan Cooper4/6 1l+, Boston Bob[3/1]11-10
10On His OwnOn His Own (IRE)
R Walsh
W Mullins
10 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentOn His Own

Failed to shine on this ground at 2 festivals; supplemented. In good form last two starts but failed to shine on this ground at two festivals and hasn't been back here since pulled up in the NH Chase in 2011; running here wasn't the original plan but supplemented after yard's intended contenders dropped out.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
22/02/14FAI 25Sft/Hy G2Ch,22K157 lbsR Walsh1/7 12l+, Mount Benbulben[11/8F]11-10
23/01/14GOW 25Sft ChHc,50K160 lbsPaul Townend1/18 6l+, Los Amigos[12/1]10-4
07/12/13Ain 26Sft Cl1 G3ChHc,84K155 lbsPaul Townend6/22 18 1/4l, Chance Du Roy[7/1F]10-6
28/10/13NAA 20Y/Sft Hd,11K164 lbsR Walsh6/6 6l+, Rule The World[9/1]11-10
09/06/13Aut 25VSft G1Hd,135K150 lbsD J Casey7/14 21 3/4l+, Gemix[33/1]10-6
11Silviniaco ContiSilviniaco Conti (FR)
N Fehily
P Nicholls
8 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentSilviniaco Conti

Won King George on soft; not quite as good on this ground so far. Impressed in soft-ground staying chases last winter; usually springs over his fences but fell three out here last year when going well, though Ruby Walsh open-minded as to how much he would have found; subsequently rather one-paced third to First Lieutenant on rare run on sound surface at Aintree (3m1f) and improved back on soft when winning King George at Kempton (3m; slightly flattered with the second finding nothing and those behind below best); big chance if he's as good on this ground.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
26/12/13KEM 24Sft Cl1 G1Ch,114K164 lbsNoel Fehily1/9 3 1/2l, Cue Card[7/2]11-10
23/11/13HAY 25Sft Cl1 G1Ch,113K161 lbsNoel Fehily3/8 5 3/4l, Cue Card[7/2]11-7
04/04/13Ain 25Gd Cl1 G1Ch,84K161 lbsR Walsh3/8 1 3/4l, First Lieutenant[EvensF]11-7
15/03/13CHL 26Sft Cl1 G1Ch,313K164 lbsR WalshF/9 Bobs Worth[4/1]11-10
09/02/13NBY 24Sft Cl1 G2Ch,26K164 lbsR Walsh1/8 7l, The Giant Bolster[8/11F]11-6
12TeaforthreeTeaforthree (IRE)
N Scholfield
Miss R Curtis
10 yrs / 164 lbs


Jumps well and stays all day; first priority is the National. Sound jumper who came home strongly when winning the 4m NH Chase here in 2012 (good); two fine runs in defeat in big staying races last winter, close second in the Welsh National (3m5f, heavy) and third in the big one at Aintree; current season geared towards another go in the Grand National and that is likely to be his big day.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
15/02/14ASC 24Sft Cl1 LisChHc,23K155 lbsNoel Fehily2/7 Nk, Restless Harry[5/1]10-7
28/12/13CHP 29Hy Cl1 G3ChHc,57K151 lbsPatrick Corbett9/20 27 1/2l, Mountainous[14/1]10-0
06/04/13Ain 35GS Cl1 G3ChHc,547K157 lbsNick Scholfield3/40 9 1/2l, Auroras Encore[10/1]10-3
16/02/13HAY 28Hy Cl1 G3ChHc,43K165 lbsNick Scholfield10/14 43 1/2l, Well Refreshed[5/1]10-0
05/01/13CHP 29Hy Cl1 G3ChHc,51K157 lbsA P McCoy2/17 1/2l, Monbeg Dude[11/4F]10-1
13The Giant BolsterThe Giant Bolster
T Scudamore
D Bridgwater
9 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentThe Giant Bolster

2nd in 2012; 4th last year; quiet winter; won in headgear latest. Has risen to the occasion a few times at the festival and ran his socks off to be second in this race in 2012; unable to threaten in the same way when fourth last year and had some down days since but revitalised by hood/visor when winning here latest (3m1f, heavy); if anything he's better on this surface and could be involved, though win is unlikely.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
25/01/14CHL 25Hy Cl1 G2Ch,57K154 lbsTom Scudamore1/7 7l, Rocky Creek[6/1]11-5 h,v(1)
01/01/14CHL 24Sft Cl2 HdHc,13K157 lbsJake Hodson5/9 49 1/4l, Return Spring[7/1]10-13
07/12/13Ain 25GS Cl1 LisCh,17K154 lbsTom ScudamoreUR/6 Unioniste[5/2J]11-6
23/11/13HAY 25Sft Cl1 G1Ch,113K161 lbsDenis O'Regan7/8 43 3/4l, Cue Card[28/1]11-7 cp
04/04/13Ain 25Gd Cl1 G1Ch,84K161 lbsTom Scudamore7/8 19 3/4l, First Lieutenant[9/1]11-7
14Triolo D'AleneTriolo D'Alene (FR)
A P McCoy
N Henderson
7 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentTriolo D'Alene

Improving; good winner of Hennessy; working well; thereabouts. Well beaten and pulled up on his two starts here; gave the festival a miss last year but his Topham win over the big fences at Aintree last April (2m5f, good to soft) was a step up the ladder and quite a cosy winner of the Hennessy in November (3m2f, good); heading for the Grand National but has impressed at home and connections expecting a good run.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
30/11/13NBY 26Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,100K155 lbsBarry Geraghty1/21 2 3/4l, Rocky Creek[20/1]11-5
02/11/13ASC 24GS Cl1 G3ChHc,56K160 lbsBarry Geraghty3/16 9l, Houblon Des Obeaux[7/1]11-3
28/04/13HUN 24Gd Cl2 ChHc,14K149 lbsBarry Geraghty1/9 4 1/2l, Junior[2/1F]11-12
05/04/13Ain 21GS Cl1 G3ChHc,68K147 lbsBarry Geraghty1/29 3/4l, Walkon[14/1]11-7
05/01/13SAN 24Sft Cl2 ChHc,31K145 lbsBarry Geraghty8/11 64l, Katenko[15/2]10-6

1 Non Runners: First Lieutenant

February 2014

The Super Saturday card at Newbury each February is always a cracker with the Denman Chase of interest for Gold Cup punters. The ground was almost bottomless in Berkshire which played a major part in the result as Harry Topper stayed on brilliantly to hack up for Kim Bailey. The seven year-old jumped well and loved the conditions to pull well clear of Al Ferof, who had started as the favourite. Al Ferof didn't stay the trip in this ground and he no looks likely to head to the Ryanair while Harry topper will only run in the Gold Cup if there is some juice in the ground.

Over in Ireland we saw a stunning performance from Last Instalment with the nine-year-old winning the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup in great style. Brian O'Connell was happy for Last Instalment to set the pace up front and he duly galloped his rivals into the ground to win going away in the end. It was a brilliant performance from the horse as he jumped with enthusiasm to enter the Gold Cup picture as a serious contender. Tidal Bay was a long way back in second place while First Lieutenant was disappointing back in third. Last Instalment will need to improve again to win a Gold Cup but he looks open to that, especially if there is some cut at Prestbury Park in March.

The Ascot Chase was run in very testing ground this season but we saw a super impressive performance from the excellent Captain Chris. The Philip Hobbs trained ten-year-old simply blew the field away as he pulled well clear of Cloudy Too at the Berkshire track to claim the Grade 1. Captain Chris has struggled on left-handed tracks in recent years as he showed last year when jumping out to his right on every fence during the Gold Cup. That would be a major worry once again if he heads to the Festival but on class there is no doubt that Captain Chris is good enough to feature in a Gold Cup, if he can jump straight.

January 2014

The Argento Chase is always a decent Gold Cup trial race and we saw another top performance from The Giant Bolster who always seems to save his best for Prestbury Park. In first time head gear he bounded clear of Rocky Creek to win with something in hand with his Cheltenham price slashed as a result. The quality of this form is perhaps a little below top class but he is a former runner up in the Gold Cup and  is sure to attract plenty of each-way money at a big price ahead of the big race.

December 2013

The King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day is a massive race in its own right as well as being one of the most important Gold Cup trials of the season. In testing conditions it was Silviniaco Conti who showed the most stamina to pull clear of the field and claim the win. It was another famous win for Paul Nicholls with Silviniaco Conti slashed in the Gold cup betting as a result. Cue Card was the leader for much of the race as he tried to make all but he ran out of gas before the last to leave his Gold Cup hopes in the balance. Silviniaco Conti looks a live player though with stamina to burn and he is sure to be well backed for the Festival.

The other major Gold Cup trial race over Christmas took place in Ireland as the Lexus Chase took centre stage during the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. Nicky Henderson sent over defending Gold Cup champ, Bobs Worth, to the race after he flopped in the Betfair and he duly secured an excellent win with a strong performance. Under Barry Geraghty, Bobs Worth stayed on brilliantly to wear down First Lieutenant and win with something in hand in the end. Sir Des Champs was a slight disappointment back in fourth place but should improve, while Bobs Worth is likely to go straight to the Festival now well backed to defend his title.

November 2013

The Betfair Chase has quickly become a key early season trial for the Gold Cup and the race this season certainly fell into that category.It was a stacked race in terms of quality but in the end there was a clear winner with Cue Card claiming the memorable win. The Colin Tizzard horse jumped and travelled with great style and gusto despite stamina doubts lingering about the Ryanair Chase winner. He pulled clear of the talented Dynaste to win a tocuh coisily in the end and enter the Gold Cup picture..

Silviniaco Conti won the Betfair in 2012 before falling in the Gold Cup last season and he ran another solid race at Haydock to finish in third place. He should improve for the run, as should Bobs Worth who flopped on his first start since his famous Gold Cup success. The Nicky Henderson horse was outpaced against Cue Card and Dynaste and while he shouldn't be ruled out at this stage, he will need to improve plenty when he runs next time.

The Hennessy Gold Cup is always a top class renewal each November and there was an interesting result in the race this season. It was the Nicky Henderson trained Triolo D'Alene who romped clear of the field to claim the win. The Grand National had been the main aim for the horse but his mark will rocket after this performance which could well mean that he takes in the Gold Cup instead. The Paul Nicholls trained Rocky Creek ran a stormer back in second place and he remains a progressive chaser who could be an each-way Gold Cup contender if he continues to improve.

Gold Cup Trial Races 2013/14

Past Gold Cup Form Guides

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Bobs Worthunchanged2/1
Silviniaco Contiunchanged7/2
Last Instalmentunchanged8/1
First Lieutenantunchanged12/1
Triolo D'Aleneunchanged16/1

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