BetVictor Gold Cup betting tips: Kalondra taken to collect in Cheltenham feature

Horsebetting.com experts give their BetVictor Gold Cup betting tips for the 2m 4f feature Grade 3 handicap chase on a cracking card at Cheltenham on Saturday, 17 November. Kalondra boasts some solid form, so looks worth a wager to land the spoils under Noel Fehily. Rather Be has a progressive profile and hails from the in-form yard of Nicky Henderson, so is therefore feared most. Movewiththetimes, meanwhile, looks the each-way value in what is an ultra-competitive 20-runner affair. Read our in-depth 2018 BetVictor Gold Cup betting tips preview for more details on these horses’ chances one day two of the November Meeting at Prestbury Park.

Betfair logo
Odds
15/2
Selection
Kalondra
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Sky Bet logo
Odds
5/1
Danger
Rather Be
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William Hill logo
Odds
16/1
E/W
Movewiththetimes
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Kalondra the value BetVictor Gold Cup bet

The feature race at Cheltenham on Saturday is the BetVictor Gold Cup (14:25) and Kalondra looks value to land the prestigious and valuable 2m 4f Grade 3 handicap chase for trainer Neil Mulholland. This seven-year-old showed progressive form when sent chasing last season and winning two of his five starts.

In the second of those at this venue, Kalondra came from off the pace to draw readily clear after the last and beat Coo Star Sivola by 3 3/4 lengths. The runner-up, who was receiving 5lb, went on to score twice – including when landing the Grade 3 Ultima Handicap Chase at the Festival here in March off a rating of 142.

That gives the form a solid and Kalondra went on to round off the campaign with a cracking 2 3/4 lengths third of 16 to Traffic Fluide here over 2m 5f off a mark of 145. The son of Spadoun held every chance on the run-in until dropping away close home. Given that he was attempting to give 5lb to the winner, who landed the Grade 3 Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot earlier in the month off a rating of 149, it was a fine run in defeat.

Kalondra has had just one run this season. That was in a sales race at Galway won by the classy Sub Lieutenant, where he was travelling well in third and yet to be asked a serious question when coming to grief two from home. Had he stood on his feet, then he may well have given the winner plenty to think about.

If none the worse for that spill, Kalondra’s current mark of 148 looks exploitable judged on his aforementioned efforts, especially his run behind Traffic Fluide. Underfoot conditions are also ideal, as is the 2m 4f trip over which he has a 27 per cent strike rate. Kalondra’s proven course form is another big plus so there is simply nothing not to like about his profile for this. Hence he had to be the main selection in our 2018 BetVictor Gold Cup betting tips.

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Progressive Rather Be feared most

Rather Be heads the betting and holds obvious claims, so is feared most. Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old showed progressive form as a hurdler when winning three times, landing an ultra-competitive Grade 2 handicap hurdle at Aintree by half-a-length in the last of those off a mark of 136.

He could not have been more impressive on chasing debut at Towcester back in December when making all to easily beat War Sound by 19 lengths off an official rating of 143. After then unseating his rider at the third next time up at Plumpton, Rather Be enjoyed a confidence boosting success when again going from the front and winning at a canter by 17 lengths at Fakenham.

Next, he ran a stormer in defeat when a head second of 18 to Mistaker Whittaker here at the Festival off an opening chase mark of 143. The son of Oscar looked all over the winner after taking the last in front but, after a ding dong tussle up the run-in, got chinned close home in that Listed contest.

He now meets the winner on 9lb better terms, so that should be more than enough to see Rather Be gain his revenge for his Close Brothers defeat. He also has a 50 per cent strike rate on the ground and over the trip – and goes well for jockey Jeremiah McGrath, who is three from six on him.

Rather Be also has a superb record fresh with his form figures after a break reading 12111, and a revised rating of 149 could still seriously underestimate his ability. So with the yard in red-hot form and operating at a strike rate of 35 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing, everything looks in place for a massive run and Rather Be looks a worthy favourite who is going to be a tough nut to crack.

Movewiththetimes ticks plenty of boxes each-way

Of those at bigger odds, Movewiththetimes looks a lively outsider and each-way value. This Paul Nicholls trained seven-year-old was a smart 146-rated hurdler who was well fancied for the Supreme at the 2017 Festival here before being ruled out through injury. Prior to that he has run a blinder to finish runner-up to Ballyandy in the ultra-competitive Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.

Although the JP McManus owned son of Oscar failed to get his head in front in four starts over fences last season, he did shape with plenty of promise in some decent events which were all at this venue. They include when a 2 1/4 lengths second to Finian’s Oscar off an official rating of 146, when he looked the likely winner after hitting the front on the run-in before getting outgunned close home.

Movewiththetimes went on to finish third to Kalondra when staying on to be beaten 5 3/4 lengths off an official rating of 145, and now meets that rival on 3lb better terms. That means there’s not much to choose between them at the weights, while a current mark of 140 gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.

His experience at the track is also a big plus and, with Barry Geraghty in the saddle, he ticks plenty of boxes in a typically wide-open and fierce renewal in which many bookies, including the sponsors are paying extra places. That’s why Movewiththetimes features as the each-way punt and completes our 2018 BetVictor Gold Cup betting tips.

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