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CONFIRMED 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup runners: 16 runners to line-up in this afternoon's Cheltenham Festival showpiece

Ruby Walsh will ride Bellshill in today's Cheltenham Gold Cup as Willie Mullins looks to win the Festival showpiece for the first time.

Ahead of this afternoon's highlight of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, Mullins has saddled the Gold Cup runner-up on six occasions and has four runners as he looks to land that elusive first win.

A total of 16 runners have been declared for the 2019 Gold Cup, including last year's winner Native River.

Native River returns in a bid to join an illustrious list of horses to win successive Gold Cups - only Arkle, Best Mata and L'Escargot have previously managed it.

Native River faces a big ask, however, with Presenting Percy and Might Bite also declared for the big race, which is due off at 3.30pm on Friday.



The 16 in full:

Al Boum Photo
Anibale Fly
Bellshill
Bristol De Mai
Clan Des Obeaux
Definitly Red
Double Shuffle
Elegant Escape
Invitation Only
Kemboy
Might Bite
Native River
Presenting Percy
Shattered Love
Thistlecrack
Yala Enki

Brian Healy's quick Gold Cup pick:

This year, it could be the turn of Presenting Percy (7/2 bet365) to graduate from the RSA Chase hall of fame to Gold Cup winning-status, but Pat Kelly’s star has had the strangest of preparations for the big race.

The Sir Percy gelding will be bidding for a third straight win at the Festival, having won the 2017 Pertemps Final, and he readily held off Monalee twelve months ago to win the RSA Chase and leap to the forefront of Gold Cup contenders this term.

But, perhaps strangely Presenting Percy has had only one start this campaign when contesting the Galmoy Hurdle which he won for the second straight year; he hasn’t been seen since, and he has missed a few intended engagements which included the recent Bobbyjo Chase.

A Gold Cup bid will see him look to become the first horse since Easter Hero some 90 years previously to win the big one without a previous start over fences in the season. He may well do it, but his preparation hardly seems ideal for such a demanding contest and at his current price he makes little appeal for all he could conceivably triumph.



Countdown to Grand National

The 2018 Grand National takes place on Saturday 14th April and we'll have live coverage of the meeting on here and on Twitter.

Join millions of fans preparing to celebrate the build up to the world's most famous race - the Aintree Grand National.


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CONFIRMED 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup runners: 16 runners to line-up in this afternoon's Cheltenham Festival showpiece

Ruby Walsh will ride Bellshill in today's Cheltenham Gold Cup as Willie Mullins looks to win the Festival showpiece for the first time.

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