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Clive Smith Declares Gold Cup “Very Open”


Punters can expect one of the most exciting iterations of the Cheltenham Gold Cup to unfold on Friday and Clive Smith, the owner of living-legend Kauto Star, was bullish on the 11 year-old’s chances of securing Cheltenham glory.

Speaking to At The Races, Smith declared that the switch from McCoy back to Ruby Walsh could be the difference maker. “He (McCoy) has a different style of riding to Ruby and perhaps Kauto wasn’t quite right that day… He has blossomed since – it’s a very open Gold Cup this year.”

Smith pointed to the betting favourite, Imperial Commander, as the biggest obstacle to Kauto Star winning his third Gold Cup. Denman and Long Run are considered the other major threats. Smith stated that Long Run is a major contender and that his form in his early racing career in France was actually rated higher than Kauto Star during the same phase in his career.

Kauto Star remains at a 5/1 price ahead of Friday’s showpiece with Long Run taking plenty of money at 9/2. Imperial Commander holds steady with a 7/2 price that could drift up if the grounds softens thanks to overnight rains. 

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