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2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup Tips - 7/1 shot can dance his way to Cheltenham victory

  • We take a look through the betting for the 2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup
  • This Grade Three handicap will be run at Cheltenham on Saturday
  • Paul Nicholls' Saint Sonnet tops the current betting, ahead of Simply The Betts
  • We take a look at the latest odds and some key trends, before picking out our best bet
al dancer cheltenham
Sam Twiston-Davies riding Al Dancer clear to win The squareintheair.com Novices' Chase at Cheltenham last season. (Getty)
 
We take a look through the Paddy Power Gold Cup odds and some key trends, before picking our top tip for Cheltenham on Saturday.

Day two of Cheltenham's November Meeting is highlighted by the Paddy Power Gold Cup. This Grade Three Handicap Chase has been won by some fantastic horses down the years, and a high-quality field has been entered to run on Saturday afternoon.

Let's take a look at the latest betting and some important recurring trends, before coming up with our Paddy Power Gold Cup betting tips.

2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup Odds


Name
Odds
Saint Sonnet4/1
Simply The Betts9/2
Mister Fisher6/1
Al Dancer7/1
Slate House8/1
Happy Diva10/1
Siruh Du Lac10/1
Bar12/1

*Odds taken from Paddy Power on 11/11/20*

2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup Trends


  • 15 of the last 15 winners had previously run at Cheltenham
  • 14 of the last 15 winners had won over at least 2m4f
  • 12 of the last 15 winners were aged between 6 and 8
  • 12 of the last 15 winners went off at 12/1 or shorter
  • 12 of the last 15 winners were rated between 139 and 149
  • 11 of the last 15 winners had won at least twice over fences
  • 10 of the last 15 winners were weights between 10-05 and 11-02
  • 10 of the last 15 winners had previously won at Cheltenham

2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup Tips

Happy Diva was my selection when she won this race 12 months ago. Kerry Lee's mare finished second to Simple The Betts in the Brown Advisory Plate, and should be sharp after her run at Wetherby last month.

Siruh Du Lac cannot be discounted. Spiritofthegames is capable of running a big race. As are Brelan D'As and Kauto Rico.

That being said, horses towards the upper-end of the betting usually perform best in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. There just so happens to be a handful of horses who have experience at the highest level in this year's race too, so I'd be surprised if the winner didn't come from one of those sitting at shorter prices.

Simply The Betts enjoyed an excellent novice campaign last year, and could yet improve further. However, when you consider Harry Whittington's seven-year-old has only run at handicap level over fences, and many of the horses around him in the market boast Grade One and Two experience, he doesn't look particularly well handicapped.

Mister Fisher placed fourth in a strong Marsh Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He's proven over course-and-distance and, at just six, has plenty of scope to progress beyond his current mark of 155. 

While I remain a huge fan of this horse, there are two reasons why he won't feature in my betting tips this time. Firstly, his reappearance record is poor. Mister Fisher has been beaten on his first start after any significant break. Secondly, Nicky Henderson's charge enjoys better ground, and the weather forecast at the end of the week doesn't look good.

Saint Sonnet will appreciate the softening ground, and he remains unexposed off his mark of 147. Slate House is a Grade One winner, loves soft ground, has won around the course and was going really well in this race 12 months ago before falling at the final flight. 


While both make strong cases for selection, I'm going to come down in the side of AL DANCER, and he can hand Nigel Twiston-Davies a fifth victory in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Al Dancer won over hurdles here at Cheltenham, and made a winning start to life over fences at the 2019 Open Meeting. Sam Twiston-Davies' mount then finished second to Put The Kettle On in the Arkle Trial at this meeting last season, and lost out by just a length to Mister Fisher in the Lightening Novices' Chase at Doncaster before going on to the Cheltenham Festival.

Nothing went right for Al Dancer in the Arkle. Twiston-Davies' mount didn't jump particularly well, and was hampered badly twice when Maire Banright and Espirit Du Large exited the party. In the end, Al Dancer did well to finish the race, and was only a couple of lengths behind Rouge Vif and Global Citizen when he eventually crossed the line.

On his reappearance, Al Dancer was forced to give six pounds to Master Tommytucker, on what was his first start over two-and-a-half miles. Paul Nicholls' charge had won all his completed chases until that point, but Master Tommytucker had no answer to Al Dancer, who kept on well after the last to seal a comfortable win.

There were times last season where Al Dancer looked to be crying out for a trip, so I wasn't surprised to see him see out 21-furlong so well. Master Tommytucker has come out and beaten a rival rated 145 by 12 lengths since, boosting Al Dancer's reappearance victory considerably.

Al Dancer is two-from-two in handicaps, albeit over hurdles. Sam Twiston-Davies' mount has run up to RPRs in-excess of his new 154 rating on four of his six starts over fences.  He loves Cheltenham and won't mind a little extra cut in the ground.
US

Verdict

Al Dancer proved his stamina when beating Master Tommytucker on his reappearance. Nigel Twiston-Davies has won this race four times, and this talented grey ticks every box needed to triumph at Cheltenham. 7/1 looks a solid each-way price.

2020 Paddy Power Gold Cup Tips: Al Dancer 7/1 @700.00 at BetMGM - 15 Units

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