The maximum permitted field of just 20 for Saturday’s bet365 Gold Cup (the Whitbread to most of us of a certain age) is going to prove disappointing for the connections of several fancied contenders. As was the case with this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National where the likes of previous Aintree specialists Pineau De Re and Alvarado failed to make the cut for the world’s most famous steeplechase, the situation could be repeated with those having an interest in Paint The Clouds, Pleasant Company and Pacha Due Polder to name but a few who need several above them to drop out in order to get a run in the historic 3m 6f handicap on the final day of the National Hunt season.
One horse who is guaranteed a place is the Lucy Wadham-trained Le Reve who simply reserves his best for the Esha course and is tipped to run a big race at the 20-1 generally available in the ante-post market. The eight-year-old’s chase form at Sandown reads 2-1-1-3-1 including third place in this race 12 months ago where his cause was not helped by racing keenly in the early stages of the marathon contest. On 7lb better terms Le Reve should turn the tables on last year’s victor Just A Par especially if likely partner Harry Skelton can settle his mount in the early part of the race.
An easy winner on the course in February was followed by a creditable effort in Kempton’s Betbright Cup prior to a crack at the Aintree Grand National. Travelling well for most of the race until stamina became an issue on the soft ground the son of Milan will appreciate dropping back in trip and off a winnable mark of 147 rates a fair each-way bet.
bet365 Gold Cup tip
1 Point each-way Le Reve 20-1 bet365