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Cheltenham Ground Could Be Rated Soft for Gold Cup

There is plenty of rain in the forecast for the Cheltenham Festival showpiece as Friday’s Gold Cup race draws closer. The 48-hour declaration stage has now passed and Synchronised is the only contender to drop out of the race.

Current forecasts indicate 4-5mm of rain could fall on Cheltenham on Friday morning alone – this will likely change the equation on the ground as the good to soft could quickly become soft, good to soft in places.

Speaking to the Racing Post, clerk of the course Simon Claisse explained “it all depends on whether we get the full amount that is forecast… that amount of rain falling on the ground we have at the moment could make the ground go soft.”

A Cheltenham Gold Cup has not been run on ground rated as soft since 1995 when Master Oats came home to score. As the surface softens up, so could the odds on current betting fancy Imperial Commander. He scored last year when the ground was rated good, while Denman and Kauto Star have all won over good to soft.

The soft going variable could certainly find its way into the betting markets as the favourite will likely see a price increase and the longer-odds selections could take additional money as punters hunt for soft-going specialist outliers. 

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