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2019 Bet365 Gold Cup tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Sandown feature race

Brian Healy 23 Apr 2019
Saturday sees Step Back bid to defend his Bet365 Gold Cup crown.

Brian Healy picks out two against the field in Saturday's Bet365 Gold Cup, the feature race of Saturday's jumps racing meeting at Sandown.

The feature race of Saturday’s high-class fixture at Sandown in the Bet365 Gold Cup, which goes to post at 3.35pm as the fourth race of the afternoon at the Esher venue. A traditionally strong and competitive Grade Three handicap chase, this year’s renewal is sure to prove no different with a first prize of almost £85,000 up for grabs.

Sandown’s Saturday card brings down the curtain on another exhilarating jumps season, and the day’s feature race will see a maximum field of 20 runners go to post with each eyeing up the season’s last big prize.

Unfolding live on ITV Racing’s Saturday schedule, Brian Healy takes a look through the field of entries for this classy contest, and he picks out his two against the field for Saturday’s marathon finale to the current jumps campaign.

There has been no double winner of this race since Topsham Bay won back-to-back renewals of this race back in 1992/93 when it was known as the Whitbred Gold Cup, and Step Back (11/1, Bet365) will return to try and defend the crown he won twelve months ago. 

Mark Bradstock’s front-runner has been lightly-raced this season, and he set a bold sight at the head of affairs in the Grand National where he helped to set the pace before feeling the pinch and weakening out of the race after jumping Bechers’ Brook for a second time and eventually pulled up before the Canal Turn.

The Indian River gelding will have to find more in order to defy a 10lbs higher mark; but he will be sharper for that Aintree run which was his first in almost three months, and he is dangerous to fully discount given he won this race with authority last term from Rock The Kasbah (14/1, Bet365) who chased him home and is set to reoppose again.

Philip Hobbs saddled Monkerhostin to win this race back in 2008, and ROLLING DYLAN (16/1, Bet365) could be one to be interested in for the Somerset trainer, and the Indian River gelding has shaped on more than one occasion as if a stiffer test would suit.

The eight-year old gelding scored his last win in a three-runner race at Chepstow, last February where he beat Flintham by almost twenty lengths, and he has been relatively lightly raced since with just five outings this campaign.

Fourth on his reappearance, he got to within a half-length of Cogry at Cheltenham in a Grade Three contest prior to posting a very solid fourth of nine runners behind Beware The Bear back at Cheltenham on New Years’ Day.

He has form at this venue with a good fifth of 16 back in February behind Classic Ben, finding only one pace; but the extra yardage of his last outing at Taunton in March saw him denied only by a head behind the improving Samuel Jackson, although he perhaps should have won that contest and he idled badly in front to let the eventual winner get back up late having perhaps got to the front too soon.

He doesn’t appear the most straightforward in that respect, and there is a question mark over his attitude in a tight finish; but this trip will hold no fears and he remains with potential for better from this mark so every chance he can make his presence felt and he can post a big effort here.

The veteran LE REVE (20/1, Bet365) usually goes well at this venue, and Lucy Wadham’s charge has enjoyed a late revival of fortunes since being equipped with blinkers in recent runs.

The Milan gelding won starts at Lingfield in February and the eleven-year old followed up in style in March when running out a wide-margin winner in the Grand Military Gold Cup where he beat Spanish Arch by 13 lengths.

Third in this race back in 2015 behind Just A Par, he has failed to complete the course in the corresponding race on each of the two following years, while his overall form has been patchy and he had given the impression that his best days were behind him prior to those wins.

There wasn’t much wrong with his latest fourth at Kelso in the Liz Adam Memorial Chase, perhaps not suited by being in front for so long having taken up the running mid-race; he could benefit from more patient tactics this time, while he could prove very well handicapped from a basement mark.

Rain would surely aid his cause, and he could go well at a big price.


ROLLING DYLAN (16/1, Bet365), LE REVE (20/1, Bet365)

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2019 Bet365 Gold Cup tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Sandown feature race

Brian Healy picks out two against the field in Saturday's Bet365 Gold Cup, the feature race of Saturday's jumps racing meeting at Sandown.

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