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Cheltenham Gold Cup Perdiction: Might Bite The One To Beat

Might Bite – 4-1 Paddy Power and Boylesports. 3.30pm Cheltenham Friday 16th March

A field of 18 are set to go to post for the 2018 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, the biggest field since War Of Attrition beat 21 rivals in 2006. The Nicky Henderson-trained Might Bite has been ante-post favourite for the extended 3m 2f championship contest for some time and while still heading the Cheltenham betting with most bookmakers, several firms can not split this season’s King George V1 Chase winner and Native River with both Paddy Power and Boylesports quoting the pair at 4-1.

The mount of Nico De Boinville would have won his last seven starts over fences but for a final fence exit when clear in the 2016 Feltham Chase at Kempton. Despite winning last year’s RSA Chase at the festival by only a nose from stablemate Whisper the nine-year-old would have won comfortably but for hanging badly on the run-in and unless the son of Scorpion shows the same tendency on Friday the exciting gelding should claim the chasing crown.

It is easy to see why the Colin Tizzard-trained Native River is challenging Might Bite for favouritism as last year’s third should relish the testing ground and looked as good as ever on his seasonal reappearance at Newbury when easily seeing off Cloudy Dream and Saphir Du Rheu. Why the mount of Richard Johnson should improve upon last year’s position however is open to question and offers little value at his current odds.

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The Irish have plenty of runners with decent chances, the best of which look to be Irish Grand National winner Our Duke, Killultagh Vic who looked like winning the Irish Gold Cup last month before falling at the last, the Noel Meade-trained Road To Respect and Ladbroke Trophy hero Total Recall. The last named has done nothing but improve since joining Willie Mullins and can prove best of those from the Emerald Isle at the 16-1 with Ladbrokes but may struggle to cope with the form horse of the race Might Bite.