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2019 bet365 Gold Cup tips – Two overlooked contenders to side with at Sandown

Jonathan Vine 26 Apr 2019
A view of the runners in last year's bet365 Gold Cup.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Grade Three Handicap Chase and highlights two horses for punters to back at Sandown on Saturday 29th April.

The curtain will close on the 2018/19 National Hunt season at Sandown on Saturday, with the final major televised race being the bet365 Gold Cup. This Grade Three Handicap Chase has provided a thrilling finale for jumps racing fans since it’s inception in 1956, with the names of Mill House, Mr Frisk and Desert Orchid adorning the honours boards. Even the great Arkle came to Sandown to plunder the bet365 Gold Cup prize pot in 1965, powering home with a staggering burden of 12-7 on his shoulders.

The entries for the 2019 bet365 Gold Cup were released earlier this week and our expert has taken a look through the betting to pick out his best bets.

2019 bet365 Gold Cup Tip One 


Grand National entrants and Cheltenham Festival heroes sit prominently at the head of the ante-post market for Saturday’s race, with Scottish National champions, Talkischeap leading the way. This race, however, has favoured unexposed types in recent years – with three of the last four winners carrying 10-00 to post, so it could pay to look towards the bottom of the weights for both selection and the first name that stands out is JUST A STING (BACKED IN FROM 20s TO 11/1).

Harry Fry’s charge has enjoyed an extremely successful novice campaign so far, winning two of his four starts, as well as making his Cheltenham Festival debut in the Kim Muir. Just A Sting held off Station Master to win on his chasing debut in novice company and managed to follow up at Exeter on his second start back in November, battling bravely for a narrow victory after a six-pound hike in the ratings.

Just A Sting’s hat-trick bid came up just short at Kempton over Christmas, but Fry’s charge dealt with a career-high mark nicely when finishing a fine second behind Adrien Du Pont. Classy horses who sneak in at the top of the weights often come to the fore in the Kim Muir and that’s exactly what happened again back in March. Just A Sting though, ran nicely enough for much of the race, only fading out of contention on the uphill sprint to the finishing line.

Returning to a flat, galloping track should suit this talented seven-year-old and he’s proven himself to be a very dependable jumper, so those fearsome railway fences shouldn’t give Fry sleepless nights. Following Noel Fehily’s retirement, Sean Bowen has been riding many of Fry’s best horses. Bowen has been one of the jockeys of the season this term and guided outsiders to victory in this race in 2015 and ‘17, so it would be a huge boost to Just A Sting’s chance if Sean Bowen was to get the leg-up on Saturday afternoon.

2019 bet365 Gold Cup Tip Two


BALLYDINE (BACKED IN FROM 33s TO 16/1) clearly hated the hard, slog on heavy ground in the Midlands Grand National on his latest start. Before that failure to finish, Charlie Longsdon’s charge has been running nicely in high-profile handicaps and he will relish a return to Sandown, so - while Yala Enki is a classy horse not to be discounted - I’m going to go in on Ballydine once again at a lengthy price of 33/1.

Longsdon’s nine-year-old claimed his first very over fences here at Sandown in February of last year, beating Holly Bush Henry by half-a-length. A 300-day injury lay-off followed, after which Ballydine returned with a decent effort behind Lake View Lad in the Rehearsal Chase up at Newcastle.

Ballydine then came agonisingly close of winning the Mandarin Chase at Newbury, losing out by just a neck to course specialist Carole’s Destrier. Ballydine was then my selection in the Peter Marsh Chase and I had already started spending my winnings until a terrible blunder at the third-last scuppered any chance of victory. 

James Bowen’s mount managed to recover his composure well enough to secure a decent third-place finish and Ballydine will return to Sandown one pound lower in the weights than what he carried that day. There are unexposed and classier horses than he in the field, but I think there’s improvement still to come from Ballydine and, at 33s, he offers plenty of each-way value.

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2019 bet365 Gold Cup tips – Two overlooked contenders to side with at Sandown

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Grade Three Handicap Chase and highlights two horses for punters to back at Sandown on Saturday 29th April.

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