Racing: Cheltenham Gold Cup preview plus all the tips

Road to Riches is tipped to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Road to Riches is tipped to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Road To Riches can cap his massive progression this season by winning the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Trainer Noel Meade has had something of a love-hate relationship with the big meeting but recently stated he would rather win one Gold Cup than 10 Grand Nationals, such is his desire to land the most prestigious of the season.

Amazingly, Road To Riches was still running in handicaps in the summer, landing the Galway Plate with a thrilling all-the-way ride from Shane Shortall. Since then he should really be unbeaten.

Meade blames himself for leaving him short of work when caught close home by the veteran Sizing Europe at Gowran, but he has resumed winning ways lately.

He landed the feature race at Down Royal beating Rocky Creek decisively and then took his form to another level in winning the Lexus.

Meade decided to skip the Irish Hennessy so he could have him absolutely cherry-ripe this week and any drying of the ground is a plus.

His biggest threat may come from another Galway Plate winner in Carlingford Lough, but surely it is asking the fates too much to provide Tony McCoy with a Gold Cup win at his final Festival.

McCoy himself has let it be known he thinks Holywell, the horse he would have ridden had JP McManus not owned Carlingford Lough, is a massive player, and that is not to mention Paul Nicholls’ impressive King George winner Silviniaco Conti.

Throw in the last two winners of the race, Bobs Worth and Lord Windermere, Hennessy winner Many Clouds, talking horse Djakadam, race regular The Giant Bolster and strong stayer Sam Winner, and you have a wide-open renewal.

Beltor looked the real deal when winning the Adonis at Kempton, a race which has proved a good stepping stone to the JCB Triumph Hurdle. A win at Ludlow suggested he was above average but when he destroyed a good field at Kempton, the Triumph dream was alive.

* Selections -

Cheltenham: 1.30 Beltor, 2.05 Rich Coast, 2.40 Martello Tower, 3.20 ROAD TO RICHES (NAP), 4.00 Current Event, 4.40 Max Dynamite, 5.15 Next Sensation.

Dundalk: 6.05 Viaduct Joey, 6.35 Almaada, 7.05 Period Piece, 7.35 Tsar Paul, 8.05 Reckless Lad, 8.35 Moonmeister, 9.05 Headlong.

Fakenham: 2.20 Barenger, 2.55 Ainsi Fideles, 3.35 New Street, 4.15 Taaresh, 4.55 Heathfield, 5.25 Bob Will.

Lingfield: 1.55 Special Code, 2.30 Lady Marl, 3.05 Loraine, 3.45 Kelinni, 4.25 Dark Avenger, 5.05 Wink Oliver.

Wolverhampton: 5.45 Rosie Hall, 6.15 Yourholidayisover, 6.45 Smugglers Lane, 7.15 La Estrella, 7.45 Starlight Genie, 8.15 Roxy Hart, 8.45 Ferryview Place.

Double: Road To Riches and Beltor.