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Charlie Austin Exclusive: My Cheltenham Gold Cup tip, and why the QPR fans have a crucial part to play in our Premier League survival

QPR striker and racing nut Charlie Austin talks about his fancy for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and QPR's massive clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime

by Charlie Austin | March 11, 2015

I’d really like Silviniaco Conti to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and if he can reproduce his King George winning run then he’ll take all the beating. There are some concerns though. Will he handle the course and the hill? Kempton is a very flat track in comparison. Can he put in a faultless jumping performance? The proof will be in the pudding on Friday but I’m hopeful.

After Djakadam won the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January I tweeted that, although it was a good performance, he’d never get anywhere near Silviniaco Conti.

The dynamic of the Gold Cup has changed slightly since then, and Rich Ricci was very sweet on the chances of Djakadam at Paddy Power’s Cheltenham Preview Night in London.

There are plenty of other challengers for the crown as well. Nicky Henderson is desperate for the ground to stay dry for 2013 champ Bobs Worth, and he was my pick last year but finished fifth. On His Own ran a huge race 12 months ago to finish second, and who says Lord Windermere can’t reproduce last year’s effort.

It’s got the makings of a great race but I’m edging towards Conti still.

  • Get an enhanced 14/1 on Silviniaco Conti to win the Gold Cup and Charlie Austin to score anytime v Crystal Palace right here: Desktop | Mobile


QPR have just come off two defeats that have been really hard to take. As a team we’ve put in some big performances in the last week, and if we take those performances up to Crystal Palace on Saturday we have a great chance. It’s certainly going to be tough – Alan Pardew has come in at Palace and won enough points to drag them out of the relegation scrap for the time being. We need to go there now, take three points and pull more teams closer to the bottom.

The morale in the camp is good, the performances have been good, we’ve deserved results, but recently we’re coming away with nothing. We know we need the points in these next 10 games.

Everyone at the club knows that. It all starts with Crystal Palace away.

The fans have been great in getting behind us, but our problem is conceding the first goal. We always seem to be going behind, and that isn’t helping our situation. We scored with 12 minutes left against Tottenham and there was a huge lift. The home fans were right behind us and we pushed to the death. They have a level of expectation though. They want Premier League football next year, and rightly so, they deserve it. All year they’ve been brilliant, they create a hostile atmosphere, they’re right up close to the pitch and that makes it hard for the opposition. The fans will be a key part in keeping us up this season.

  • Get an enhanced 14/1 on Silviniaco Conti to win the Gold Cup and Charlie Austin to score anytime v Crystal Palace right here: Desktop | Mobile

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