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Cheltenham Gold Cup betting: Leading contenders for 2019

The 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup betting market is very open but we've narrowed the field down to the top eight fancies for glory on the final day of the Festival.

National Hunt racing's most prestigious prize has had some famous victors, including multiple scorers Arkle, Golden Miller, Best Mate and Kauto Star.

Here are our major contenders to join the roll of honour and a look at their Gold Cup odds:

Presenting Percy

Trainer: Patrick Kelly

Further enhanced his impressive Cheltenham Festival record when powering to victory in last year's RSA Chase after jumping and travelling well throughout that leading novice event.

Was also a winner over hurdles here in the 2017 Pertemps Network Final so clearly relishes coming up the hill. Should have no problems coping with another big occasion and deserves to be favourite in the Gold Cup betting.

Chances: The lack of warm-up run over fences will worry some, but Davy Russell is the perfect partner for this classy eight-year-old and has every chance of coming with another well-timed run to snatch the spoils.

Cheltenham Festival 2019

If you're interested in more Cheltenham betting tips, check out our daily preview:

Native River

Trainer: Colin Tizzard

The defending champion followed up a fine third in 2017 by outstaying Might Bite in the Gold Cup 12 months ago and was also runner-up in the four-mile National Hunt Chase here as a novice.

Was made to look one-paced when third in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day but this longer trip and stiffer course plays to his strengths much more.

Chances: Another proven performer at Prestbury Park who always gives 100 per cent and can be relied upon to be battling on gamely as others cry enough.

Clan Des Obeaux

Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Wasn't among the leading market fancies for the King George but made everyone sit up and take notice by claiming a deserved success at Kempton.

Now has to prove that wasn't just a flash in the pan, but trainer Nicholls knows what it takes to prevail again here, having struck with Kauto Star twice, Denman and See More Business.

Chances: A course record of four previous visits to Cheltenham without being victorious is a worry, even if he was second on three occasions, but punters have been piling on this young gun.

Bellshill

Trainer: Willie Mullins

Three times a Grade One scorer at the Punchestown Festival on the flat, over hurdles and fences, so has been a real stalwart for owner Graham Wylie.

Coming out on top in a ding-dong battle with Road To Respect in the Irish Gold Cup took his career earnings to over half-a-million pounds so can't be written off in terms of Cheltenham Gold Cup tips.

Chances: The only negative is a moderate record at Cheltenham, with a 10-length third to Might Bite in the RSA Chase by far his best effort from three visits.

Kemboy

Trainer: Willie Mullins

Was just below elite level as a novice over hurdles and fences, finishing fifth in the Neptune and fourth in the JLT Chase at past Cheltenham Festivals, but has really blossomed this season.

Stayed on strongly to land the Clonmel Oil Chase and was then a very smooth scorer in Grade One company at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Chances: Still to prove himself in a championship event but clearly still improving rapidly and his Cheltenham Gold Cup odds keep tumbling.

Might Bite

Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Looked to have a huge future after following up wins in the 2017 RSA Chase and King George by finishing second in last year's Gold Cup but things have not gone to plan this term.

Has been beaten by 29 lengths and 37 lengths on his two outings, fading badly in each contest without any apparent excuses.

Chances: We'd love to see this stunning looker back to his best but this war of attrition usually exposes any chinks in the armour and Might Bite looks unlikely to feature in many Cheltenham Festival betting tips.

Al Boum Photo

Trainer: Willie Mullins

Legendary Irish handler Mullins has never managed to lift this trophy but this is another potential hoodoo breaker in this season's strong-looking hand.

Kept on well to beat stablemates Total Recall and Invitation Only in a good race at Tramore and has scope for more improvement.

Chances: Will need to step up on last season's Festival effort though, when held in third before falling behind Presenting Percy at the penultimate fence.

Thistlecrack

Trainer: Colin Tizzard

Has a World Hurdle win and a King George triumph on his CV, even if both of those impressive displays were back in 2016.

Injury problems have stopped him from running at the last two Festivals but placed efforts at Haydock and Kempton this winter showed he has fully recovered from those issues.

Chances: At the age of 11, this would be the oldest winner since What A Myth in 1969 but plenty believe he has one more big run in him.

Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Horse Racing