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Paddy Power Gold Cup betting: Stage Star favourite for more Cheltenham success

| 16.11.2023

Stage Star heads Coral’s 2023 Paddy Power Gold Cup betting odds at 9/2 following the final declarations for Saturday’s contest at Cheltenham. 

Stage Star won twice at Cheltenham last term, including the Turners Novices’ Chase at the Festival, and he is well fancied to provide champion trainer Paul Nicholls with a third victory in this weekend’s feature handicap following the previous triumphs of Al Ferof (2012) and Caid Du Berlais (2014).

The Real Whacker is also a Festival hero, having edged out Gerri Colombe in a thrilling Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase in March, taking his course record to three from three over fences for Patrick Neville.

The seven-year-old is joint-second favourite at 7/1 in the Paddy Power Gold Cup odds but will have to concede upwards of 7lb to each of his rivals on Saturday under the welter burden of 12 stone.

Dan Skelton will have high hopes for Unexpected Party, who unlike many of his major rivals does have the benefit of a recent run, having made an impressive return at Chepstow last month.

Unexpected Party is also 7/1 in the Paddy Power Gold Cup betting just ahead of 8/1 shot Fugitif, whose trainer Richard Hobson is confident he has his stable star “spot-on”.

The eight-year-old may have only managed a solitary victory in testing conditions at Chepstow last season, but he did also finish second three times at Prestbury Park, including when chasing home Seddon at the Festival in March.

Fugitif (pictured below) will make his reappearance 22lb higher in the weights than when filling the runner-up spot at this meeting 12 months ago, but Hobson believes he is better than ever and did not feel it necessary to give him a prep run ahead of his latest bid for big-race glory.

Fugitif, Paddy Power Gold Cup betting, horse racing

He said: “Fugitif is in good shape. He’ll have his final bit of work tomorrow (Tuesday), he’ll have a pop (over fences) on Thursday and as long as that all goes smoothly we’re all set for Saturday.

“We decided we’d go straight there. I was thinking he was going to get there too soon fitness-wise, but actually he’ll just be spot-on.

“He ran lovely over two miles first time out last season and wouldn’t have been as fit as he is this time round, but he’s gone up a few pounds since then.”

On the prospect of potentially encountering testing conditions this weekend, Hobson added: “The wetter the better for him – you saw him at Chepstow last year. I think it’s just going to be nice, soft ground and that will be fine.

“He’s a strong horse and not far off 18 hands. He’s a weight carrier, he’s improved through the summer and he’s got a beautiful weight (11st 5lb) – I could nearly ride him myself!”

There are 14 horses still in contention with Laura Morgan’s pair of Notlongtillmay and Whistleinthedark, the Sam Thomas-trained Angels Breath and Authorized Art from the Willie Mullins yard having also stood their ground.

Coral’s David Stevens said: “A few runners have attracted support for Saturday’s big race in recent days, with Unexpected Party, Fugitif and Il Ridoto all popular this week, but Stage Star has been the long-time market leader and looks unlikely to relinquish that position now.”

2023 Paddy Power Gold Cup betting odds

9/2 Stage Star

7/1 Notlongtillmay, The Real Whacker, Unexpected Party

8/1 Fugitif

9/1 Il Ridoto

12/1 Angels Breath, Harper’s Brook

14/1 Easy As That, Torn And Frayed

20/1 Authorized Art, Final Orders, Whistleinthedark

25/1 Black Gerry

View the latest horse racing odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.