Champion Court is my idea of the winner of tomorrow's Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham but the trouble is a lot of other people have exactly the same idea - any value in the price disappeared a long time ago. Martin Keighley's gelding is a course and distance winner and has had this race as a target for some time.
Still, he has his share of weight (only one horse has carried more than 11-6 to victory in the past decade - last year's winner Al Ferof) while seven of the past ten winners were burdened with less than 11-0. The suspicion is something near the bottom of the handicap could prevail, although what the name of the beast might be is well beyond me - at the prices on offer, I won't play.
The novice chase at 1.15 is interesting. African Gold, second in the Albert Bartlett in March, is priced up favourite on his first try over fences but he faces opposition who will have no trouble taking advantage should the obstacles get in the way. White Star Line won the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel in September while both Shutthefrontdoor and Le Bec won impressively last time out. Sam Winner isn't totally discounted either although he fell on his two chase starts last season.
Shutthefrontdoor (3/1 with Ladbrokes this evening) jumped well at Aintree the last day and is the suggestion.
On Sunday Sire De Grugy goes in the Schloer. The manner in which he won a Class 2 chase at Chepstow three weeks ago would suggest connections will be disappointed if he can't follow up, although he's likely to be no price at all.