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2020 Haldon Gold Cup Tips – 2/1 shot can net Nicholls’ another win at Exeter

  • We take a look through the betting for the 2020 Haldon Gold Cup
  • This Grade Two is the highlight of the season at Exeter racecourse
  • Paul Nicholls’ Greaneteen heads the current market
  • Graded winners Esprit Du Large, Global Citizen and Bun Doran will also run
  • We take a look through the odds and the form before picking out our best bet
greaneteen
Greaneteen winning on his chasing debut at Ascot. (Getty)

We take a look through the odds and the form for the feature race at Exeter on Tuesday, before picking out our best bets.

Exeter racecourse stages the biggest race on their calendar on Tuesday, as a stellar cast assembles for the 2020 edition of the Haldon Gold Cup. This Grade Two Limited Handicap has been the starting point of the season for many a top horse, with the likes of Best Mate, Edredon Bleu and Cue Card claiming victory at Exeter in recent times.

2020 Haldon Gold Cup Odds


Name
Odds
Greaneteen2/1
Global Citizen6/1
Espirit Du Large7/1
Glen Forsa8/1
Not That Fuisse8/1
Bun Doran12/1
Bar14/1

2020 Haldon Gold Cup Form Guide


Greaneteen2020 Haldon Gold Cup FavouriteGET 2/1 HERE
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Topping the market we find Greaneteen, who has only been defeated once over fences thus far. That loss came in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, where Paul Nicholls’ charge stayed on to finish fourth, despite being hampered at the crucial second-to-last fence.

Despite Ben Pauling enduring a very difficult campaign, Global Citizen managed to impress last season, winning the Wayward Lad at Kempton after Christmas, before finishing inbetween Rouge Vif and Al Dancer when fourth in the Arkle. Both of the aforementioned chasers have come out and won this season, making the Arkle form look solid. I just worry that the undulating track here at Exeter won’t suit Global Citizen, and he’s failed to produce his best first time out in each of the last two seasons.

Esprit Du Large won the Grade One Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown last season, and remains a young horse who’s open to improvement. The form of that Grade One, however, looks exceptionally weak, and looked beaten in the Arkle when he took a heavy-fall at the second last. That tumble may have knocked his confidence.

Glen Forsa was only seen once last season, finishing third as Oldgrangewood edged out Kalashnikov in a big handicap at Newbury. Dropping back to the minimum trip seems sensible, as Mick Channon’s charge has looked a little one-paced over longer trips. Yet, the fact he’s been upped another four pounds – despite one placed effort in the last 20 months – doesn’t make Glen Forsa seem like the best-handicapped option.

bun doran
Bun Doran (left) could be hard to pass at the head of the field. (Getty)

Bun Doran has been lumbered with top-weight, but similar marks haven't stopped Janika and former stablemate, God's Own winning this the last two years. Tom George's star is a wonderful jumper, and proven at a higher level than this.

Not That Fuisse continually comes up short at this sort of level, and had a hard race at Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting just ten days ago. Vision Des Flos really hasn’t convinced anyone with his jumping over fences yet, and Moonlighter seems like the type who would want the ground much softer than it is.

Pink Eyed Pedro and Marracudja round off the field for Tuesday’s feature, but neither have the class of the proven horses at the head of the market.

2020 Haldon Gold Cup Tips


Greaneteen2020 Haldon Gold Cup TipGET 2/1 HERE
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I’m really tempted with an each-way punt on Bun Doran, who was last seen finishing third in the Champion Chase. Tom George’s charge registered RPRs of 160 or above on all three of his starts last season, and beat Duc Des Genievres to win the Desert Orchid. George has won three of the last seven renewals of the Haldon Gold Cup, and the past two renewals have been won by top-weights, so this classy chaser cannot be discounted.

That being said, I’m a huge fan of GREANETEEN, who remains a chaser very much on the up. Although Paul Nicholls’ six-year-old won on bottomless ground at Ascot last season, Greaneteen seemed to relish better ground conditions when winning at Musselburgh next time out, and looked a class above his rivals when racking up a three-timer at Fakenham.

Greaneteen didn’t produce his cleanest round of jumping at Cheltenham and found himself boxed in on the rail after the second last. The way he stayed on up the hill to finish fourth was really impressive, though, and I’m sure Nicholls’ was delighted with his performance.

At the age of just six, there’s clearly much more to come from Greaneteen this season. I’m sure he’ll be stepping up into open company over fences before too long, but Nicholls – who has an excellent record in this race – would be made not to try and exploit his charge’s current handicap mark. With just 11-3 to shoulder, I think Harry Cobden’s mount will be very hard to beat.

US

Verdict

12/1 on a very classy chaser like Bun Doran to win is very tempting, and I may have a small each-way bet on Tom George's charge. However, I feel Greaneteen could progress into a Grade One-level chaser, and Harry Cobden's mount should take all the beating.

2020 Haldon Gold Cup Tip: Greaneteen Straight Win @200 at William Hill - 20 Units

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