Sodexo Gold Cup betting tips: Go Conquer can triumph again in Ascot showpiece

Betting Tips · - experts give their Sodexo Gold Cup betting tips for the 3m Grade 3 feature contest at Ascot on Saturday, 3 November. Last year’s winner Go Conquer returns to action off a handy mark, so looks worth a bet to retain his crown. The form of Kings Lad’s win last time out has been franked, so he rates the main danger. Geordie Des Champs, meanwhile, shaped nicely last time out and makes plenty of each-way appeal. Read our in-depth 2018 Sodexo Gold Cup betting tips preview for more details on these horses’ chances.Go Conquer has plenty going for him in Sodexo Gold CupThe feature race on a cracking card at Ascot on Saturday is the 3m Grade 3 Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase (15:35), and last year’s winner Go Conquer looks to hold leading claims at the weights of successfully retaining his crown on debut for new handler Nigel Twiston-Davies.

This nine-year-old won three of his 14 starts over fences when in the care of Jonjo O’Neill, and could not have been more impressive when landing the spoils in this 12 months ago where he beat Rock Gone by 4 1/2 lengths off a mark of 142. After racing at the head of affairs throughout, the son of Arcadio drew clear after jumping the second last.

From that point on, nothing ever looked like landing a blow and Go Conquer kept on strongly to win easing down at the line. The way in which he totally took apart the 16-runner field was very impressive and suggested there were more big pots to be won with him.

Go Conquer got put up to 152 for that taking success, but failed to trouble the judge in three subsequent outings. However, he was far from disgraced when fifth of 15 to Master Dee in another Grade 3 contest at Kempton or when eighth of 16 to Traffic Fluide in a Grade 2 affair at Cheltenham.

The assessor has dropped him a further 3lb since, so Go Conquer now returns to the fray off a rating of 147. It makes him look nicely treated from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form, especially as he has a good record fresh. Go Conquer also has his ideal underfoot conditions, so everything looks in place for a huge run. That’s why he had to be the main selection in our 2018 Sodexo Gold Cup betting tips.Kings Lad feared mostKings Lad scored in good style last time out and looks sure to make a bold bid to follow up. This Colin Tizzard trained 11-year-old is a course winner, who has landed three of his last four starts. In the last of those at Chepstow 20 days ago, he took up the running after the fifth last and only had to be driven out to beat Exitas a shade cosily by half-a-length off a mark of 131, with the pair pulling nine lengths clear of some decent rivals.

Exitas, to who Kings Lad was giving 4lb, has since come out and bolted up by 11 lengths in a competitive veterans’ chase off 137. That gives the form a solid look and suggests a 7lb rise in in the weights to 138 for the selection is more than fair.

Indeed, his win here came off the same and he has been rated as high as 145 in the past. This is a much deeper race than at Chepstow, but Kings Lad is clearly at the top of his game and the booking of champion jockey Richard Johnson to do the steering for the first time is an eye-catching one.

Johnson has a superb strike rate of 35 per cent when teaming up with the yard in the past 12 months, so connections clearly mean business. Kings Lad is also one from one over the trip and has proven from on the ground. So, taking everything into account, he looks capable of giving Go Conquer plenty to think about.Geordie Des Champs appeals each-way Geordie Des Champs looks potentially well-treated on the pick of his form and makes plenty of appeal in a wide-open renewal. Rebecca Curtis’ seven-year-old was a useful hurdler who has taken well to chasing, winning two of his five starts.

After scoring easily by 3 1/2 lengths at Taunton, he was given a break before following-up in good style over 3m 1f at Hereford back in March. Geordie De Champs found plenty to beat Rolling Dylan with more in hand than the 1 1/2 lengths winning margin suggests.

He was the far from disgraced when third of 11 to Silverhow at Sandown when unsuited by the drop back to 2m 4f. Next, Geordie Des Champs travelled well for a long way in the valuable Summer Cup at Uttoxeter over 3m 1f back in July before finishing a 13 1/2 lengths fifth of 13 to Virgilio off a mark of 139.

Now able to race off 1lb lower, a revised rating of 138 looks workable given Geordie Des Champs’ unexposed profile over the larger obstacles. He ran a cracker off 135 when third of 22 to Rather Be in a hot handicap hurdle at the Aintree Grand National meeting in 2017.

The son of Robin Des Champs also has a good record fresh and a strike rate of 33 per cent on the forecast good ground. So, at the odds on offer at the time of writing, Geordie Des Champs gets the each-way vote in our 2018 Sodexo Gold Cup betting tips.Your Next Bet

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