Rather Be has look of a Gold Cup Victor
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