Rather Be has look of a Gold Cup Vic­tor

The Racing Paper - - Front Page - by John An­thony

RATHER BE looks hard to beat in the BetVic­tor Gold Cup at Chel­tenham to­day (2.25).

Nicky Hen­der­son’s im­prov­ing seven-year-old has the ideal pro­file for a win­ner of this race and could be a few pounds ahead of the hand­i­cap­per.

His best ef­fort last sea­son came when he was nailed on the line by Mis­ter Whi­taker in the Close Broth­ers Novices’ Chase at the Chel­tenham Fes­ti­val.

Mick Chan­non’s run­ner looks the main chal­lenger again to­day but the se­lec­tion is bet­ter off at the weights and is ca­pa­ble of im­prov­ing fur­ther.

De­spite that fi­nal stride de­feat in March, this trip looks ideal and Hen­der­son brought him along qui­etly last sea­son, with races in small fields be­fore head­ing to Prest­bury Park.

He should be bat­tle-hard­ened thanks to that run at the Fes­ti­val and that could make all the dif­fer­ence.

Much of the above also ap­plies to Mis­ter Whi­taker, who many pun­dits think could de­velop into a Gold Cup horse.

He has al­ready shown his well­be­ing this sea­son thanks to a gutsy win in a Listed race at Carlisle last time out.

We know from the Close Broth­ers win that he likes it here and has the stay­ing power to get up the hill. He was given 6lb by Rather Be that day and that’s turned around here and could be de­ci­sive in a tight con­test.

Kalon­dra fell when run­ning well at Gal­way last time which should prove to be no more than a blip af­ter he ran well here ear­lier.

He is off a sim­i­lar mark to­day and has a lot more to of­fer over fences as he gains more ex­pe­ri­ence.

Baron Alco fin­ished a game sec­ond in the Sta­ble Plate at the Chel­tenham Fes­ti­val back in 2017.

Af­ter miss­ing the whole of last sea­son, he went close on his come­back at Chep­stow last time when he made one costly mis­take at the fi­nal fence.

That should have blown the cob­webs away and he’s open to im­prove­ment for ex­cel­lent trainer Gary Moore.

Caught on line: Rather Be

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