The 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup looks set to have a field of 14 runners. Those Gold Cup runners include the best national hunt chasers from the past few years as well as some new faces who will be looking to make the Cheltenham Gold Cup their own for the next few years.
The current betting odds favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2011 is last year’s winner, Imperial Commander. Those against Imperial Commander will point towards the record of 10 year olds in the race (no winner since 1998) but a 10 year old came second last year and with just 12 starts over fences he is still very lightly raced relative to most horses his age. Six of those runs have come at Cheltenham and he has won five of them, Imperial Commander is a genuine course specialist and seems the most likely to run his race.
Long Run is likely to start the race as second favourite according to the latest Gold Cup odds. Long Run won the most recognised trial for the Gold Cup on Boxing Day, the King George VI Chase, and in doing so marked himself down as a serious contender for this race. Had this race been anywhere else he would appeal as an outstanding bet. He is unbeaten away from Cheltenham, but he has failed to win in two runs at this course and he will need to improve on those runs to win this.
Kauto Star and Denman are also amongst the favourites and it is easy to see why with three Gold Cups and three runners-up spots in the race between them. At 11 years of age both are most likely to be past their peak and with no winners of that age category since the sixties, it is likely these two old boys are running for the places at best.
Of the remainder Kempes and Pandorama both have their supporters. Kempes wants the ground to be good whilst Pandorama wants the ground as soft as possible. There is rain forecast for Friday morning so connections of Pandorama might get their way. There are also high expectations for Midnight Chase who has been dominating handicaps at Cheltenham from the front all season, this may be a step too far for him though. By far the best way to have a bet on the gold cup is with a free bet. The bookmakers are all fighting for your bets so take advantage of their special Cheltenham offers before they expire. Check out OLBG’s exclusive free bet list here.