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Tuesday 27 March 2018

7.45 Wolverhampton, Thursday, March 29

In the Betway Handicap (7.45) at Wolverhampton on Thursday, King Kevin has been kept busy during the winter, but is holding his form remarkably well. Although flattered by his proximity to easy winner Nonios at Chelmsford last week, Ed Dunlop’s 4-year-old recorded a career-best performance and, back over the course and distance where he’s already won three times, off a 3lb lower mark, should make a bold bid to resume winning ways.

The son of Holy Roman Emperor has yet to win in this grade, but has already improved 30lb since September, according to official figures, and may not have finished yet, despite his taxing schedule. He has already run a dozen times since October, so must be due a break soon, but he stuck to his task as well as ever at Chelmsford as is clearly thriving with racing. He’s reunited with Rab Havlin, who’s ridden him to all five victories, including three over course and distance, and he can improve his (already impressive) strike rate on synthetic surfaces.

Selection: Wolverhampton 7.45 King Kevin to win

Monday 5 March 2018

Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018: Who are the contenders for this year's race?

The Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner. The festival is one of the most anticipated horse racing events of the British calendar. The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 race will be the marquee event at the festival. This year marks the 90th running of the Gold Cup, and the race will be run on Friday 16th of March at Prestbury Park. 

Although the horses and jockeys are not completely confirmed, there are a few already known that will participate in the event. 

The 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Sizing John, is expected to be back to defend his crown. Last year's winner tasted defeat at the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown. Trainer Jessica Harrington opted out of the Irish Gold Cup to prevent Sizing John from taking another loss. The horse won't run again until the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018, which means a layoff of around three months. Leopardstown was a major disappointment as it saw Sizing John finish a distant seventh. The horse won at Leopardstown a year ago and it led to Sizing John's big win at the Cheltenham Festival. Harrington now has to get the reigning champion back into form.  

Meanwhile, last season's runners up, Minella Rocco and Native River, are also penciled in to start the race. Of course, in the build-up to the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018, some of the expected participants could drop out due to injury or fatigue. It is hoped the top three horses from last year's edition of the Gold Cup will be involved; and that all three will perform well.

Might Bite is another horse being strongly favoured ahead of the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 race. Might Bite won December's King George Stakes race and many feel the horse could go on to have a stellar Cheltenham Festival performance. Might Bite is being held out of an upcoming race at Newbury. The horse's co-owner David Minton wants Might Bite to be fresh for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018, as the horse is being tipped by many experts as the one to beat. 

Irish Gold Cup 2018 winner Edwulf goes into Cheltenham as a slight dark horse. Edwulf was a 33-1 shot at the Irish Gold Cup but came through to win the race. The horse collapsed at Cheltenham in 2017 and nearly died. Now, nearly a year on, Edwulf is a Cinderella story in the making. The horse isn't confirmed yet for the gold cup, but it is believed by tipsters that Edwulf will line up for the event. 

Excitement is high for Samcro, who won a seventh consecutive race on February 4th in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle race. Samcro's trainer, Michael O'Leary, wants the horse to run the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 event. However, it isn't confirmed which event Samcro will be participate in. O'Leary does know he wants the hype surrounding his horse to die down. Due to Samcro's current winning streak, horse racing insiders and tipsters are building up the six-year-old to unachievable heights.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 will mark the final day of racing at the famed festival. Last year's festival saw over £4.59 million in prize money awarded. The Gold Cup winner alone saw £625,000 go into their pockets. This year should see even more money at stake as the race for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 commences on March 16th.