Betfred TV regulars Frankie Foster and Joel Ross believe an each way bet for Protektorat in the Gold Cup at this year’s Cheltenham Festival is as good as it’s going to get for punters this year.
In the latest episode of Betfred’s Road to Cheltenham, the two racing fanatics joined Matt Hulmes to react to Saturday’s action at festival trials day to judge who they think is looking in good shape for the festival in six weeks’ time.
With the Gold Cup the spectacle of the four-day meeting in Gloucestershire, the Betfred TV guests feel that the current price of Dan Skelton-trained Protektorat for an each way bet is something that punters need to be looking at.
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The eight-year-old gave a decent showing in the Cotswold Chase but placed fourth as Ahoy Senor stormed to victory. Protektorat was being tipped to blow the field away against the likes of Sounds Russian and Grand National winner Noble Yeats but he fell short on Saturday.
Foster feels that Protektorat gave a strong run at the weekend and that his current price (14/1) is going to be a great selection for an each way bet after placing third in the 2022 Gold Cup.
He said: “Proktektorat has been pushed out further than I would’ve expected, he didn’t run that badly. He stayed on, which is what you need to do in the Gold Cup, and he did stay on for third in the Gold Cup last year. So I think as an each way bet, I think that is as good as you’re going to get in a Gold Cup.”
Ross believes Skelton will be working tirelessly to get Protektorat better equipped to win the Gold Cup after the trainer had been taking the blame for Saturday’s defeat.
He said: “I heard Dan Skelton on the radio talking about Protektorat, blaming himself, saying the horse was in the 90s not 100 per cent. He thought he’d run better but he takes the blame for it.
“Dan Skelton said that he would have this week off to recover from the race and then kitchen sink treatment just to get him right [for the Gold Cup].”
Despite Protektorat having a commendable run in the Cotswold Chase, Foster still believes that there are some concerns about the strength of the English entries for the Gold Cup.
He added: “There are some worries again. We thought Protektorat was our best chance here in England. We’ve got Ahoy Senor, Sounds Russian… and the race didn’t just look as good as you’d have hoped, did it? And you are starting to think have we not got the quality over here that maybe we thought we did and is it going to be a bit of a whitewash come festival week?
“I am worried looking at that field, is that the best we can do? Currently it is for the Gold Cup and that doesn’t bring me much confidence because the field’s not the strongest, and that’s why for all of us Protektorat was such a strong bet on Saturday.”
The episode also took a look at the result of the Clarence House Chase to guess how they think the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival will go. Foster feels that the race is still wide open after Editeur Du Gite stumped Edwardstone on Saturday, but he still believes the latter will triumph in the Champion Chase.
“I’ve watched that race back so many times,” he said.
“Edwardstone was winning that everywhere, bar the line. He did exactly what we hoped he would, pinned the last, picked up some speed, finishing like a train and then somehow hasn’t managed to keep his head in front.
“He did have his nose in front at one stage and then Editeuer Du Gite just battled back. I still think he [Edwardstone] can do it at the festival. I am scratching my head a bit because I think Tom Cannon actually gave it a beautiful ride, I wouldn’t say he got there too early or there were any kind of problems, or you gave him too much to do. I think it was a great ride and he gave the horse every chance, Editeur Du Gite was just really good on the day.
“But Edwardstone for me is still straightforward. Editeur Du Gite is a bit quirky, will he always perform to that level? I don’t know.
“Edwardstone did exactly what he thought we would and got very close, and looked very good doing it. I do still think Edwardstone’s the right favourite and I’m really happy that he ran a great race and showed what he could do. Hopefully, it’ll come down to doing the best or the same again come festival week and just getting a bit of luck, a bit more luck than he did at the weekend."
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change | Odds Courtesy Of Betfred