Sky Sports tipster Jones Knows is off to the races on Gold Cup day and has three tips to try and take down the bookmakers with.
Respecting previous Cheltenham Festival form usually is the key to unlocking winners this week but sometimes that factor plays too heavily on a market. That is the case in the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (3.30) where BRAVEMANSGAME (2pts WIN at 13/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!) place in the market is being too heavily influenced by his sole run at the track where he finished third in the 2021 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
Many have deemed that one run enough evidence to declare Cheltenham unsuitable for the horse but I’d be inclined to put that defeat down to the form of the Paul Nicholls yard that week. Nicholls failed to have a winner from his 20 runners at the Festival in 2021 with only three hitting the frame.
If you take away the ‘Cheltenham factor’, you are looking at everything you want from a Gold Cup winner in that Bravesmangame is a second season chaser that has won two of the leading trials when running away with the Betfair Chase and King George VI Chase at Kempton. Galopin Des Champs rightly heads the betting for the Willie Mullins yard but to my eyes and analysis Bravesmangame has put up similar levels of performances over fences this season and the discrepancy between the two in the market is too vast. Get on.
I am an absolute sucker for backing horses returning in the same race they ran well in at the previous Cheltenham Festival and that’s my angle for the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle (2.10).
Past results suggest this usually goes to an unexposed novice or second season hurdler from Ireland but at the prices, and with Sky Bet paying eight places, FIRST STREET (1pt EW at 18/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!) and MILKWOOD (1pt EW at 25/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!) are worth an investment. First Street chased home the insanely well-handicapped winner State Man last season, finding plenty for pressure off the bridle in the closing stages. That form is hot with State Man going onto winning Grade Ones and chasing home Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday. Nicky Henderson’s charge is up 10lbs from last season but remains in great form. I’m not sure the rise will stop him running well at a track he loves.
Milkwood ran third in the 2021 County Hurdle and looked the likely winner at the final flight before being collared by Belfast Banter, who was simply given the more efficient ride. The selection returns two years later just 1lb higher and on the back of a better than it looked run at Wetherby, where he travelled with his usual zest before getting tired close home. That will have put him spot on and the application of a first-time hood only further increases the chances of improvement.
P+L after day three: -17
2.10 – FIRST STREET (1pt EW at 18/1 with Sky Bet) & MILKWOOD (1pt EW at 25/1 with Sky Bet)
3.30 – BRAVESMANGAME (2pts WIN at 13/2 with Sky Bet)