Bet365 Gold Cup Tips: Viking Blond

27th Apr 2012 | Horse Racing

0.75pt Viking Blond e/w 20/1 with Paddypower Place Bet

A good quality field assembles for the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (3.10) and it is difficult to find any angles on the horses established at the top of the market. The value is to be found lurking down the bottom, where Viking Blond stands out at 20/1 (Paddy Power).

On his bare form the seven-year-old looks outclassed in this field but I think he could be quite a lot better than he has shown. Stamina is Viking Blond’s real strength but on the two occasions he has gone beyond 3 miles, it’s all gone wrong. He fell at the first in the Grand National and was pulled-up in bottomless conditions in the Welsh National.

A fall at Aintree is easily excused, and the going at Chepstow was so deep, even proven soft ground horses struggled. It is worth remembering Viking Blond was actually favourite for the race, so there is ability lurking.

During the rest of the season he has been running over an inadequate trip but still performing with credit. He was only beaten 4.5 lengths into fourth, in an extremely hot novices’ chase back in November. The winner went onto contest the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival whilst the second and fifth placed horses have both won valuable handicaps since.

When asked about Viking Blond’s prospects, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies was quietly optimistic: “He fell at the first in the National so he didn’t race at all. He came back absolutely bouncing. The softer the ground, the better his chances. The handicapper hasn’t got hold of him as he probably has most of the others.”

I think there is plenty more to come and at 20/1 he is a cracking each-way bet with Paddy Power paying ¼ odds for the first five places.

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0.75pt Viking Blond e/w 20/1 with Paddypower Place Bet

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Our Tip

3.10 Sandown

0.75pt Viking Blond e/w

20/1 with Paddypower Place Bet

Tips & Advice

Sandown Tips: Elusivity

Soft ground lover who wasn’t beaten far in a Group 3 over course and distance two years ago. Performances this season suggest he retains ability.

Lingfield Tips: Expose

Capable of running sub-22s for the final two furlongs and with plenty of pace in the field the race could set up for him.

Epsom Tips: Huntsmans Close

Not beaten far in competitive handicap at Goodwood despite suffering minor interference. Has won on heavy ground.

Epsom Tips: Lady Gibraltar

Visor back on after a couple of excusable efforts. Previous course and distance winner and wasn’t beaten far in the Dash.

York Tips: Accepted

His sire won the race in 2010 and given the way he overcame unfavourable conditions at Tipperary he could make it a family double.

Ebor Tips: Ted Veale

Favourite for the race 12 months ago and although his National Hunt form has tailed off over fences he’s got the fast ground he needs.

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