If the horses in the Cheltenham Gold Cup were Premier League clubs, which ones would each be?
Man United fans will be all over Bobs Worth. This former winner is a danger to all if recapturing glories of old, but the man at the helm looks to be past his best on recent evidence.
One for Everton fans. Promised plenty last season with some blinding performances, but has regressed this campaign and hard to see him striking a blow against the big boys now.
Just keeps on getting better, and with star striker AP McCoy on board he has a touch of the Tottenham’s and Harry Kane’s about him.
The young upstart with unfashionable connections, Coneygree will appeal to Southampton fans. He’ll go off like a rocket, but whether he can keep up the pace in this company is open to question.
Liverpool. Looked out of his depth when beaten in the Hennessy at the start of the season, but has improved massively since then with a sexy win in the Thyestes Chase. The improving form horse that everyone wants to be with.
Arsenal fans have to back Holywell. He’s unbeatable on his day, some would say flashy, but he’s let himself down a couple of times already this season. Will be charging home for a Champions League place at least as this is his time of year.
Similarities with Leicester City here. Respected thanks to good management and organisation, but although showing up well for a long way will ultimately be outclassed on the way down.
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX
Screams Stoke City. Honest, reliable and can beat the best when granted his conditions. However, ultimately found out when pitched against quality opposition on the big occasion.
Like Man City, has won a couple of trophies in the last few years for powerful connections. However, has flattered to deceive at times this season and hard to see him landing silverware again this time around.
Back in the big time following some recent successes, he does things the right way and is everyone’s favourite underdog. Like Swansea.
ON HIS OWN
One for Newcastle fans. He did tremendously well at times last season and looked just as good before the turn of the new year when putting in a good effort at Leopardstown. However, a poor effort recently has left many questioning his attitude for the big league.
Burnley. Out of his depth at the very highest level. A return to a lower level is inevitable.
ROAD TO RICHES
Unexpected improvement following a change in regime this year. Big Noel [Meade] thinks he’s found the key but tactics could play a big part in his destiny. Runs in the claret and white, not unlike West Ham these days.
Underachieved earlier in the season but the application of cheek-pieces saw him step up a level last time. Like Crystal Palace, a lively outsider.
The best horse in the race for the title, Silviniaco Conti is the Chelsea of the Gold Cup. He’s simply the best, trained by a special one and is clear of the rest of the field on ratings. However, he has the ability to self-destruct on the big occasion having failed a couple of times when it has mattered in the past.
West Brom. Everyone was worried about him earlier in the season but he’s steadied the ship with a respectable effort last time. A lively outsider.
THE GIANT BOLSTER
The Hull City of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Somehow finished as runner-up the last few seasons, but has been well beaten by several of today’s rivals throughout the campaign.
Chelsea (Silviniaco Conti) should win but we’ve seen them fail at this juncture before and it could be best to side with some of the form teams. Arsenal (Holywell) have looked good recently and this is their time of year, but nothing has been as easy on the eye as Liverpool (Djakadam) in recent months.
They’ve got over their early-season struggles and nobody is playing better right now.
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