Crockford considers if Sam Waley-Cohen and Long Run can reclaim their Gold Cup crown at the Cheltenham Festival 2013

With Hurricane Fly regaining his title on Tuesday in the Stan James Champion Hurdle punters now ask if Nicky Henderson’s Long Run can do the same in the Festival’s feature race. Long Run appears to have drifted under the radar of many punters and pundits with the more fashionable Bobs Worth, Silviniaco Conti and Sir Des Champs taking the limelight. The withdrawal of Bog Warrior (who ran yesterday in the World Hurdle) and Sunnyhillboy (who scoped badly this morning) the rivals to the former Gold Cup winner are down to eight.

Crockford considers the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2013 contenders:

Bobs Worth – Brilliant Hennessy winner and twice victorious at the Cheltenham Festival, he loves the track but may well have benefitted from a further run before taking on his rivals today. An obvious contender and not to be under-rated.

Cape Tribulation – After his battling victory in the Argento on Trials Day he became a lively each way contender for many punters. Connections share the same view and expect a big run from a horse who knows how to win at the Festival. However, Crockford feels he lacks the class to threaten the frame.

Captain Chris – Back to somewhere near his best this season and going well last time when blundering when looking to challenge Cue Card at Ascot. This race and its conditions will suit him, expect a big run.

Long Run – Former Champion and victorious in the King George at Christmas. The yard says that he comes here in fine form. Crockford believes that a double celebration will be on the cards for the Waley-Cohen’s after the birth of Sam’s son this week.

Monbeg Dude –  Paul Carberry gave this horse the ride of the season to win the Coral Welsh National in January and he ran again with some credit last time out when staying on. At 66/1 it would take a surprise for him to figure today.

Silviniaco Conti –  Winner of all three starts this season which have seen many of today’s rivals finish behind him. Paul Barber told ATR that he would certainly win this too. Crockford is unsure though and knows that horse can disappointing when expected to do well.

Sir Des Champs – Progressed with each race this season and has shaped like the race will suit him. Crockford is not sure that this horse will make the elevation from a good horse to a great horse but is certainly is on the short list.

The Giant Bolster – At the beginning of the season connections said that “it was all about this year”. The 2012 Gold Cup second appears to have returned to form with his run in the Denman Chase at Newbury behind Silviniaco Conti and may come on again.

Wayward Prince – Looked to have recaptured some of his earlier career form in his first two outings this year but now seems to have lost it again. Deserves the 100/1 odds available.

Silviniaco Conti
Silviniaco Conti at a misty Newbury

Crokford’s prediction for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2013:

1 Long Run

2 Bobs Worth

3 Captain Chris

Crockford predicts that The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2013 will be a battle between the two Henderson favourites which will help Nicky Henderson seal the 2012/13 Trainers Championship.


(Featured Photograph – The Waley-Cohens at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)

(Photograph – Silviniaco Conti before The Denman Chase 2013 by Stuart Rice)









Sam Waley-Cohen