December Gold Cup betting: Il Ridoto favourite as Midnight River drops out
Dan Skelton had previously issued a warning about the ground being on the quick side and Midnight River’s handler is not willing to take any chances this time around, preferring to wait for the £100,000 Paddy Power New Year’s Day Handicap Chase at the track.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “With the red-hot Skelton team not represented by the ante-post favourite Midnight River in Saturday’s big race, Il Ridoto for the equally in-form champion trainer, Paul Nicholls, now heads the betting for the AIS December Gold Cup.”
Paddy Power Gold Cup fourth Il Ridoto is disputing matters with Stolen Silver (6/1) at the top of the December Gold Cup betting as he looks to enhance Paul Nicholls’ fine record in the race, while Deyrann De Carjac (fifth), Simply The Betts (seventh) and Storm Control (eighth) are others looking to better their most recent efforts.
Stolen Silver will be looking for Cheltenham redemption. Sam Thomas’ charge was sent off the 4/1 favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Prestbury Park last month and was not without a chance in a race won by Jamie Snowden’s Ga Law when unseating Sam Twiston-Davies three out.
Twiston-Davies will be on board once again as Stolen Silver competes off the same mark of 150, but he must shoulder top weight on this occasion.
Stolen Silver aptly lands the Matt Hampson Foundation Silver Trophy Handicap Chase!
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) April 13, 2022
However, both Storm Control and Kauto Riko also hold an engagement at Doncaster which is their stated first preference.
War Lord steps up in trip for Joe Tizzard having finished a staying on third in the Haldon Gold Cup on his reappearance with Market Rasen scorer Fantastic Lady and Venetia Williams’ Frero Banbou others with leading claims.
Reflecting on the decision not to run Midnight River, Skelton said: “We want it to be a good bit softer than it was in November and even though it probably will be a bit softer, I want to see it properly good to soft. So he’s going to go (to Cheltenham) on New Year’s Day.”
In the Unibet International Hurdle Nicky Henderson holds a strong hand by saddling both 2020 Champion Hurdle winner Epatante and impressive Gerry Feilden scorer First Street.
Five go to post for the Grade Two contest with Greatwood Hurdle winner I Like To Move It, Elite Hurdle victor Knappers Hill and Irish raider Zoffanien completing the line-up.
However, with an inspection called for 1pm ahead of Friday’s fixture at the track due to frost, it remains to be seen if the meeting can go ahead.
December Gold Cup betting odds
9/2 Il Ridoto
6/1 Stolen Silver
13/2 War Lord
7/1 Fantastic Lady
8/1 Frero Banbou
11/1 Coconut Splash
12/1 Deyrann De Carjac, Simply The Betts, Sole Pretender
16/1 Fern Hill, Fugitif
25/1 Storm Control
28/1 Kauto Riko
All odds and market correct at date of publication