Horse Racing

Paddy Power Gold Cup – Cheltenham – Saturday 13th November

Saturday 13th November 14:15

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides his early thoughts for Cheltenham's Open meeting this weekend, and two each-way picks for the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Al Dancer 9/19/1 Ante Post
each-way
Cheltenham 14.15 - Sat 13th Nov
Place BetPlace Bet
Midnight Shadow 12/112/1 Ante Post
each-way
Cheltenham 14.15 - Sat 13th Nov
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 08/11/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (15:14 08/11/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.



Will Smith Betting Tips - Paddy Power Gold Cup - Cheltenham - Saturday 13th November

Will Smith Betting Tips – Paddy Power Gold Cup – Cheltenham – Saturday 13th November


This weekend’s three-day Open meeting at Cheltenham looms large as the signature jumps festival this side of Christmas, and as such there are plenty of ante-post markets beginning to emerge.

There is one price about a horse that stands out to me in amongst the Friday action, and that would be the 6/1 each-way quotes for Gary Moore’s Editeur Du Gite with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook.

The bold-jumping, front-running speedster could be hard to peg back around the bare 2m of the Old course at Prestbury Park, and he would’ve been no worse than third on his Ascot reappearance two weeks ago, if not unshipping his jockey at the last.

It’s worth noting the winner of the 2m handicap chase at the October meeting made all, and the only thing that is stopping me putting him up as an out and out selection, is the knowledge that not everyone will be able to snaffle that 6/1 – 5/1 is scarce, and at a general 4/1 he would be edging towards the skinny side right now. If you can take that 6/1, do so!

For the main event though, the Paddy Power Gold Cup at 2.15 on Saturday at Cheltenham, I have two each-way bets at this stage.

Conditions are set fair and dry for the most part, and so good ground can be almost certainly be the main factor in early calculations.

Early skirmishes have seen the Dan Skelton-trained Protektorat and the first-time-out Paul Nicholls-trained Lalor popular, and while I can see the case for both, there would be reasons to be cautious about both too.

Protektorat might be better on soft ground and in small fields, while Lalor will be fit enough to ‘run for his life’ as his handler likes to put it, but he’s had his problems in the past, and the acid test will come in the cut-and-thrust of this cavalry charge.

Instead, two horses who have been around the block a little, but are both very nicely handicapped on their best form, are the main picks at 9/1 and 12/1 each-way.

Firstly, Al Dancer at 9/1 each-way with Ladbrokes and Coral is surely prepped and ready to go on his first start for Sam Thomas, having finished a very creditable third in last year’s edition behind Coole Cody.

Sam Thomas has saddled a number of high-profile stable debutants to win high profile races so far this season, and winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup with Al Dancer would be the cherry on the cake.

Al Dancer has run seven times at Cheltenham, with two wins, a second and a third – while five of those runs have come on the Old course, and he seems versatile enough with regards to ground and nature of the Old/New course differential.

He’s only run in 4 handicaps in his career, which features two wins over hurdles, (including the Betfair Hurdle off a rating only 8lbs less than he runs off on Saturday,) and a close third in last year’s Paddy Power Gold Cup.

A below par 2021 spring means that Al Dancer now runs off a 5lb lower mark than he competed from in last year’s renewal. All the signs are there for a massive run from Al Dancer, and at 9/1 each-way with Ladbrokes and Coral, he is a good bet.

The other one to back is the Old Roan Chase third Midnight Shadow for the Sue Smith and Ryan Mania combination. At 12/1 generally, he is an overpriced each-way pick also.

Backed from huge prices into 12/1 on his seasonal reappearance at Aintree, he ran a hugely promising race, and justified the each-way market support. Given the usual modus operandi of the stable, it was a whopping run first time out, and he could be at fever pitch for Saturday’s big race.

Midnight Shadow has only ever encountered the New course at Cheltenham, but that is purely circumstantial, and it could be that the Old course chase track suits him even more, as he has an amount of natural pace, as you’d expect for a former Scottish Champion Hurdle winner.

Midnight Shadow has a stand-out record at Cheltenham, given he is a Relkeel Hurdle winner, a Dipper Novices’ Chase winner, and was a very creditable second to handicap snip Chatham Street Lad in last season’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup in December.

There is no way he should be 12/1 on his general ability, and on his recent Old Roan Chase run, and so is a must bet each-way now too.

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