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bet365 Gold Cup tips and predictions: Le Milos the choice

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The British National Hunt season comes to a close on Saturday at Sandown, where the card contains plenty of top-class action including a superb handicap in the bet365 Gold Cup.

The race is the third in a series of big staying handicap chases to round off the season and has been won in the past by the likes of Desert Orchid, Mr Frisk, Tidal Bay and Hewick.

Last year’s winner Kitty’s Light is the post-declarations favourite. A field of 20 will go to post and we have the best bets in the race from our expert.

bet365 Gold Cup tips

Odds, correct at the time of publishing, are subject to change.

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Skelton to strike in season finale

It is all but certain that the trainers’ championship will go to Willie Mullins. He has nearly £200,000 on Dan Skelton and the only route back for Skelton involves a win in this race.

Fortunately for him, he may have the likeliest winner. LE MILOS has been aimed at this race for some time. He had an excellent season over fences last term, winning the Coral Gold Cup and going well in the Grand National for a long way before he failed to stay. 

This season he has been campaigned over hurdles and it took him to the Cheltenham Festival. A return to fences was always on the cards at some point, given his attacking jumping style that surely gains him ground. A return to good ground, the conditions on which he won the Coral Gold Cup in 2022, could bring him back with a bang.

Le Milos is 3lb higher in the weights than when he won the Coral Gold Cup. He is fresher, too, than Kitty’s Light and the main contenders from the Mullins yard, Nick Rockett and Minella Cocooner, who both ran in the Irish National on Easter Monday. It would be no surprise if he went off favourite or thereabouts.

Selection: Le Milos @ 8/1 with bet365

The right time to catch Caught

Sandown is famed as a jumping test, which is only half right. There are a lot of fences here, but they are generally on the smaller side and would be less fearsome than, say, those at Cheltenham.

That matters, because the only place that WEVEALLBEENCAUGHT has run over fences is at Cheltenham. It is only really his jumping that has held him back.

This horse was a useful novice hurdler, who was sent to the Dublin Racing Festival to take on the best Ireland could offer. His first season as a chaser had been softly softly until he ran at the Cheltenham Festival. There, in the competitive Ultima Handicap Chase, he made plenty of mistakes but still managed to get minor money in sixth.

Going up in distance and jumping less imposing fences could really help out Weveallbeencaught. He undoubtedly has the talent to win a big handicap off 132 and novices have a good record in this race. 

Selection: Weveallbeencaught @ 14/1 with bet365

Can’t outrun the Flash

Paul Nicholls is out of the running for a 15th trainers’ title but he has a long record of keeping something up his sleeve for this meeting. He might have another one in FLASH COLLONGES, who is a massive price on his novice form.

After running good races at Kelso and Newbury, Flash Collonges went off 17/2 for last season’s Scottish Grand National and he was still going well when falling on the final circuit. Nicholls said from the outset that his 2023-24 season was about going back to Ayr. He was true to his word until the final declarations, when presumably the soft ground put him off. Luckily, this race was the back-up and conditions are much more in Flash Collonges’ favour here.

Blinkers replace cheekpieces and Bryony Frost takes the ride. Frost is in excellent form at the moment and rode a winner for Nicholls at Perth on Wednesday. There is every chance she can guide Flash Collonges into the frame.

Selection: Flash Collonges @ 40/1 with bet365

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