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Fastorslow backed to win this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup and The Real Whacker is a good each-way bet

All Areas > Sport > Horse Racing

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 14th March 2024, 09:00

The Cheltenham Gold Cup will get under way at 3.30pm on Friday The Cheltenham Gold Cup will get under way at 3.30pm on Friday

There will be a new name on the Cheltenham Gold Cup after Friday’s showpiece race (3.30pm).

That’s the view of The Local Answer’s tipster Mike Edwards who believes the Irish-trained Fastorslow has what it takes to see off all-comers over the 3.2 miles.

This year’s race is just that little bit more special, of course, because it is the 100th anniversary of the Gold Cup and it will certainly take a special performance to overcome the defending champion Galopin Des Champs, who is trained by serial Cheltenham Festival winner Willie Mullins.

But there is plenty of support for the Martin Brassil-trained eight-year-old Fastorslow because he has beaten last year’s Gold Cup winner twice in the past year and Edwards is backing him to make it a hat-trick of wins this week.

“He beat him at Punchestown in April and November,” he said. “I know that Galopin Des Champs has avenged those defeats but that was at Leopardstown which is a flat course, it’s nothing like Cheltenham.

“Fastorslow beat him quite comfortably at Punchestown which is a bit more undulating, it’s a bit more akin to Cheltenham.”

Galopin Des Champs will  go off as favourite to make it nine Irish wins from the past 11 Gold Cups but Fastorslow has  a good Cheltenham Festival record, having finished second in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle two years ago and second again in the Ultima Handicap Chase 12 months ago.

Edwards, meanwhile, is backing The Real Whacker, who is trained by Yorkshire-based Patrick Neville, to run a good race.

He will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, the son of Cotswolds trainer Nigel, and Edwards said: “He’s a good each-way bet, he likes Cheltenham.”

The Real Whacker was second to the Willie Mullins-trained Capodanno in the Paddy Power Chase at Cheltenham over more than three miles in January and Edwards added: “He was staying on all the way up the hill, the distance will suit him.”

The eight-year-old won the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase under Twiston-Davies at last year’s Festival, a victory which followed wins at the course in November 2022 and January 2023.

“He’s what I call a Cheltenham horse,” Edwards said. “I like Cheltenham horses, he’s got a good record there. The hills make Cheltenham different to anywhere else.”

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