The BetVictor Gold Cup is the highlight of Cheltenham’s three-day November meeting.
It is officially the November meeting this year. The Open Meeting was its former name. However, that was dropped because someone decided it sounded like a golf tournament. How strange. You’d have to be a bit dim to turn up at Cheltenham expecting to play a few holes of golf, wouldn’t you? The town holds both a Literature Festival and a Jazz Festival. However, ‘The Festival’ remains the March meeting’s name. Why the need for change?
The BetVictor Gold Cup is the most valuable jump race of the season so far. It has had various names in the past. The course’s marketing team do their best to promote the race’s sponsors but it is hard for the average racing person to remember what it is called. It was first run in 1960 as the Mackeson Gold Cup, and for many it will always be that name. Then it became the Murphys, then the Thomas Pink, then the Paddy Power Gold Cup until 2015. Oh for some stability.
This year’s BetVictor Gold Cup
Kylemore Lough may well start favourite. He is making his first start for Harry Fry, having joined his yard from that of Kerry Lee. Meanwhile, the former Irish chaser Bentelima makes his debut for Charlie Longsdon.
Double Treasure won a six-runner novice chase at Cheltenham last time. However, he’ll find this much harder.
The last two winners of the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Festival, Ballyalton and Tully East, both take part. Ballyalton should prove the better of them.
Only a neck separated Foxtail Hill and Le Prezien at Cheltenham on October 28. However, that was over two miles. The latter is now 1lb better off, but there is little between them on form.
Theinval could be the each-way value at 20/1. He was a close third in the Grand Annual in March. Again, that was only two miles. However, at 20/1 he might be worth an interest in this year’s BetVictor Gold Cup.