Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup
3m 2½f, Cheltenham, Friday 19 March 1520 GMT
Number, form, horse's name, age, weight, trainer, jockey.
Odds are a guide for information purposes only.
Verdict: I will be lucky to ever see another horse as good as Kauto Star. And Denman is no slouch either. They set a formidable standard, but anything can happen. While Imperial Commander, Cooldine and Tricky Trickster merit respect, a real outsider sometimes makes the frame so I will try 100-1 chance Calgary Bay. Warning - I may be the only person in Cheltenham who thinks he can be placed.
1 Kauto Star 2 Denman 3 Calgary Bay
1 4-P01 CALGARY BAY 7 11-10
Henrietta Knight Graham Lee
Training legend Jenny Pitman told me a few weeks ago this was a potential future Grand National winner. Impressive win last time. Forgotten horse of the race in the capable hands of the team that trained triple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate.
Rating: 7/10 Odds: 100-1
2 4-512 CARRUTHERS 7 11-10
Mark Bradstock Mattie Batchelor
Disappointed in the RSA Chase at the 2009 Festival, although has impressed elsewhere. Owned by Lord Oaksey, the former TV pundit who is one of racing's most popular figures. Would be emotional scenes if he won. Think the handkerchiefs can stay in their box.
Rating: 6/10 Odds: 100-1
3 P/05- CERIUM 9 11-10
Paul Murphy Davy Russell
Struggling to find much to recommend about his chances. He has a good jockey, who won the RSA Chase aboard Weapon's Amnesty on Wednesday.
Rating: 3/10 Odds: 500-1
4 1-4P2 COOLDINE 8 11-10
Willie Mullins (IRE) Paul Townend
Mightily impressive 2009 Festival winner in the RSA Chase, the so-called Gold Cup race for novice chasers. Has not shown that form so far this season but signs of progress when second in Irish Hennessy to Joncol last time. Trainer hugely respected and a big improvement can be expected.
Rating: 7/10 Odds: 10-1
5 2F-1U DENMAN 10 11-10
Paul Nicholls Tony McCoy
Thrashed Kauto Star to win Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008. Then had a heart problem which threatened career before recovering to be runner-up behind stablemate Kauto last year. Memorable Hennessy win in November followed by shock defeat when unshipping champion jockey in February.
Rating: 8/10 Odds: 4 -1
6 1-P25 IMPERIAL COMMANDER 9 11-10
Nigel Twiston-Davies Paddy Brennan
Loves Cheltenham and won the Ryanair Chase here at the Festival in 2009. Lost by a nose to Kauto Star in Betfair Chase at Haydock in November. Trainer is bullish despite slight stamina doubt.
Rating: 7/10 Odds: 8-1
7 11-11 KAUTO STAR 10 11-10
Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh
The best National Hunt racehorse of his generation. Outdid Desert Orchid by winning King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day four years running. Took Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009, and runner-up in 2008. Cheltenham record is two wins, two defeats, but owner insists there is no issue with the course.
Rating: 9/10 Odds: 4-6
8 1-P346 MON MOME 10 11-10
Venetia Williams Aidan Coleman
The 100-1 winner of the Grand National in 2009 has been in good heart without winning this season. Capable of running well again, although the assumption is that the bid to win a second consecutive National on 10 April remains the primary objective.
Rating: 6/10 Odds: 150-1
9 6220- MR POINTMENT 11 11-10
Paul Murphy Ken Whelan
Has not won since landing the Becher Chase at Aintree in November 2007, which had marked him out as a Grand National type but he pulled up in the race. Returning after a 384-day absence, this looks too much.
Rating: 5/10 Odds: 500-1
10 3-275 MY WILL 10 11-10
Paul Nicholls Nick Scholfield
French-bred racehorse who finished fifth in the 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup. One of four entries this time for champion trainer Paul Nicholls. A winner round the course, but it would be a major shock if he repeated the trick here.
Rating: 6/10 Odds: 100-1
11 21-21 TRICKY TRICKSTER 7 11-10
Paul Nicholls Barry Geraghty
Joint favourite for the 2010 Grand National, he claimed the Aon Chase at Newbury when Denman came unstuck. Reportedly working well on the gallops and while champion trainer also has the big two market leaders, he is young and could well be on the upgrade.
Rating: 7/10 Odds: 16-1