AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Cheltenham Open Day Two

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]remendously competitive Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham this afternoon with all 20 declared runners set to do battle over two and a half miles at 2.25pm.

Despite the open nature of the race – it more often than not is won by a horse prominent in the market. Only one of the last eight winners has started at greater than 10/1.

Martin Pipe enjoyed a virtual monopoly on this race from 1996 with an incredible 7 winners from 10 renewals and David Pipe gave the stable another winner in 2011 with Great Endeavour.

Pipe’s main hope this year would appear to lie with Kings Palace who has Tom Scudamore onboard. The seven-year-old has won three of his four chase races (in small fields) and hasn’t been seen since disappointing here at the Festival when a well beaten sixth to Don Poli in th RSA Chase. He’s capable of running well fresh, but the stable current form is something of a concern.

An each way option in the race for me is Cocktails At Dawn for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville. He made all to win at Chepstow last time out and comes here on a hat-trick having previously excelled at Sandown when jumping well and winning by 26 lengths. This will be much tougher but his sound jumping will count for plenty and at around 16/1 simply looks too big.

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