Would you bet on who’ll be favourite in the Gold Cup?

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Bobs Worth - favourite to be Gold Cup jolly

Bobs Worth – favourite to be Gold Cup jolly

Are bookmakers getting desperate? I can’t help but ask that question after seeing the latest set of “Cheltenham Specials” on offer from Coral.

It’s getting silly now. We’ve gone way beyond the normal ante-post market. We’re well used to markets on leading jockey and leading trainer, and in the past few years I’ve seen markets for which race certain horses will run in. They are on offer again. Now, Coral have gone a step further, and for both the Gold Cup and the World Hurdle have opened up a market on who will go off favourite for the race. Do dead heat terms apply in the event of joint favourites?

For what it’s worth, Bobs Worth is favourite to be Gold Cup favourite at 6/4, with Sir Des Champs at 5/2 and the rest lagging behind. I suppose that could change after this weekend’s trials, and if Sire Des Champs and Flemenstar put up rattling good performances to make much of an impact.

There’s a similar story in World Hurdle, for which Oscar Whisky is an 11/8 jolly to be jolly, and Reve De Sivola 2/1 and Monksland 11/2. When you consider that the next two quoted are Tidal Bay and Quevega, neither of whom is likely even to run in the race, you can see how silly this idea really is.

At first thought I find it hard to believe anybody would want to bet on either of these markets. But if you think Coral have got it right and that in each case the race favourite will be one of the first two in their market, there’s money to be had from dutching them: £45.83 for £100 in the Gold Cup and £32.71 for the same stake in the World Hurdle. But we know that odds of less than 1/2 and 1/3 just don’t offer any kind of value.

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