By Josh Powell | Cheltenham Gold Cup
Paddy Power is getting giddy in the countdown to the Cheltenham Festival and has got the racing traders shaking with fear once again. We’re eight sleeps away from the roar and Paddy’s more excited than the time he woke up next to Michelle Keegan while Jennifer Lawrence rustled up a bacon butty in his kitchen. (He may have exaggerated some points of that story).
The biggest race of the Festival is the Gold Cup on Friday and this year’s renewal is one of the most competitive in recent times. Paddy might have to cancel his summer holidays this year as he goes top price on the first four in the market.
Bobs Worth – 3/1
Sir Des Champs – 4/1
Silviniaco Conti – 5/1
Long Run – 7/1
Bobs Worth is the favourite and Cheltenham is a course that brings out the best in the Nicky Henderson-trained gee-gee. The eight-year-old won the Hennessy Gold Cup in Newbury by more than three lengths to Tidal Bay. According to people who know far more than me, that form is ‘bomb-proof’ so you can expect Bobs Worth to be well in the mix come the line.
Sir Des Champs has six wins from eight chase races. Silviniaco Conti was convincing in the Denman Chase and has won his last four races by a combined total of 34 lengths. Long Run is a two-time King George winner and won the 2011 Gold Cup ahead of Denman and Kauto Star.
It is no surprise that the shareholders are running scared after seeing Paddy’s prices and punters are lapping it up.
Paddy is top price on 15 of the 27 runners at the Festival this year including My Tent or Yours, Quevega, Dynaste, Sprinter Sacre, Cue Card, Captain Conan and Oscar Whiskey.
A £10 treble on My Tent or Yours, Quevega and Dynaste returns more than £136 if they all oblige. That is £45 or a ticket to Alton Towers with enough change for lunch and a couple of beers.
Boylesports are trying to hang on to Paddy’s coattails but you would still be almost £20 worse off if you bet with them rather than Paddy. Ladbrokes pay out less than £100 as Paddy leads the way in the industry.
It’s the kind of graph that has the shareholders scrambling for cover as Paddy goes Cheltenham crazy.