14.25 Cheltenham – Betvictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
The Nicky Henderson team look to have plotted this race out for antepost gamble Rather Be and the market support is understandable when you consider the form line with main danger Mister Whitaker. The Mick Channon trained horse conquered the selection in the Close Brothers Handicap at Cheltenham in March before winning on reappearance at Carlisle, but those successes mean the pair now meet on revised terms with the Henderson horse now 9lb better off. The Seven Barrows team representative is further boosted by his excellent record when fresh and he may take a lot of stopping in this one, but instinct says to stick with the improving horse and all the signs point to Mister Whitaker becoming a serious graded horse this term so he is the selection to prevail once again in this one.
Gary Moore sends two decent types in opposition with Benatar and Baron Alco and both arrive in decent form, but the latter would be the main danger to the principals after going close on his reappearance at Chepstow if coming on for that run here.
Another one who could go well at a big price is Neil Mulholland’s Shantou Village. The horse ran a cracker in the Kerry National having won at Worcester the time before and he could progress to running a big race in this type of field at some point and looks an each way value play. Paul Nicholls’ Frodon has to carry top weight and it would have to be a huge performance to concede weight all round in this field.
MISTER WHITAKER (WIN) – NAP
13.50 Singlefarmpayment (E/W) – ITV Racing
14.25 Mister Whitaker (WIN)* – ITV Racing
15.00 Weebill (WIN) – ITV Racing
15.30 Serosevsky (E/W) – ITV Racing
14.45 Big Country (E/W) – ITV Racing
15.15 Intisaab (E/W) – ITV Racing