Belfast Telegraph

The Punter: The Trick is to avoid big two in Gold Cup

Anyone fancy 5-2 about Kauto Star for the Gold Cup?

Of course you do but don’t all be barging down the doors of William Hill unless you are thinking of the 2011 version and not today’s event.

If Kauto trots up for a third time on the final day of the Festival that 5-2 may look generous although in the current climate, ante-post betting is best avoided as so much can happen inside a year.

Amnesty was backed at 79-1 ante-post on Betfair for the RSA race.

Back to today, which sees the highlight of the four days with round three of the clash of the titans between the two best horses in chasing, Kauto and his stable companion Denman who between them have struck gold in the last three runnings of racing’s number one event.

After his fourth triumph in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day and Denman not having his sorrows to seek after his debacle at Newbury, it’s only right that Kauto is favourite and is the preferred choice of Ruby Walsh.

But having Tony McCoy on board Denman is no bad substitute and after his success with Binocular on Tuesday in the Champion Hurdle, it would be no great shock to see him do the double he last achieved in 1997 with Make A Stand and Mr Mulligan who, coincidentally, was the last horse to win the Gold Cup having fallen in his previous race. Maybe a happy omen for Denman supporters.

If Denman is back to anything like the form of his 2008 win, he will take all the beating and he is worth a bet each way at current odds of 4-1.

But the advice is to swerve both and let them run. Instead, take the 7-2 ‘without Kauto and Denman’ with William Hill on Paul Nicholls’ Grand National-bound Tricky Trickster who won that Newbury race when Denman fell.

Nicholls could well fill the first three places and he expects the stamina-laden Trickster to run a decent race.

If he gets into the fame his Grand National odds of 10-1 will shrink considerably.

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