Gold Cup Form Guide 2012

Weird Al has entered the Gold Cup picture for 2012 with an excellent win in the Charlie Hall Chase at Weatherby. The horse has moved to the Donald McCain Jnr yard over the summer and he was impressive in holding off a decent run from Time For Rupert. Both horses looked good there but could only manage third and fifth in the Betfair Chase behind Kauto Star and Long Run proving both have to improve to mix it with the best. Time For Rupert has bounced back with an easy win in an average Graduation Chase at Newbury but it does get him back to winning ways and he is still headed towards the Gold Cup.

Long Run has made his seasonal debut in the Betfair Chase at Haydock but he was upstaged by the brilliant Kauto Star who produced a stunning performance to defy his age. Long Run made a few jumping mistakes and was unable to live with the legendary Kauto Star who defied his age and calls for his retirement to throw himself back into the Gold cup picture.

Kauto and Long Run rematched on Boxing Day at Kempton in the King George Chase with everyone expecting Long run to reverse the form from Haydock. Most people were wrong though as Kauto Star once again bowled along in front to gallop and jump Long Run out of the race as the legendary horse won his fifth consecutive King George. Kauto now looks a real Gold Cup threat this year to win the race for a remarkable third time but Long Run cannot be ruled out with age still on his side.

Long Run has boosted his Cheltenham claims with a good win in the Denman Chase at Newbury and he will go to the Gold Cup in good form. Long Run held off a strong charge from stable mate Burton Port at Newbury despite giving away ten pounds and his jumping seemed to be sharper which will please connections.

The 2010 Welsh Grand National winner, Synchronised, has emerged as a surprise Gold Cup contender this season after he won the Lexus Chase in some style. The Jonjo O'Neill trained horse beat the more fancied Quito De La Roque and Rubi Light with some ease at Leopardstown and now looks a nice each-way Gold Cup contender if there is a bit of rain at Cheltenham.

Midnight Chase has proven himself a Cheltenham specialist over the last couple of years and he once again proved that point with a career best win in the Argento Chase on Trials Day recently. Dougie Costello gave him in a great front running performance and plenty of good horses could not live with him as he won well. Time for Rupert, Diamond Harry and Captain Chris were nowhere to be seen despite being well fancied in the betting with Tidal Bay staying on well to finish second.

Quel Esprit is another horse heading to the Gold Cup after he won the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown recently. Willie Mullins has said he deserves to take his chance at Cheltenham following his win and although he has fallen on a number of occasions recently he could be one to consider in the each way market if there is a bit of cut in ground.

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