Peter Scudamore predicts Bobs Worth to win this year’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at ‘From the horse’s mouth’ evening in Castle House, Hereford

Hereford Times: Back row: Michael Scudamore, Thomas Symonds, Peter Scudamore; Front: Alan Lee, Sam Turner. Back row: Michael Scudamore, Thomas Symonds, Peter Scudamore; Front: Alan Lee, Sam Turner.

NICKY HENDERSON’S Bobs Worth will win this year’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, according to a panel of racing experts in Hereford.

Eight-time champion jump jockey Peter Scudamore, Herefordshire trainers Michael Scudamore and Thomas Symonds, The Times’ Alan Lee and Sam Turner, who is also known as The Daily Mail Racemail’s Robin Goodfellow, have all backed last year’s champion to triumph again.

The five pundits revealed their tips for Friday’s big race at the popular annual pre-Cheltenham Festival preview, ‘From the horse’s mouth’.

Peter Scudamore’s partner, Lucinda Russell, who runs Arlary House Stables near Edinburgh, and Brightswells’ Terry Court were present at Wednesday’s event at the Castle House in Hereford.

Trainer Symonds, who is based at Dason Court near Ross-on-Wye, believes the favourite, Bobs Worth, ‘has got everything in his arsenal’ to repeat his success in the Gold Cup over the three mile, two-and-a half-furlong course.

And Lee said Happy Topper, owned by Hereford United chairman David Keyte, was unlikely run unless there is rain between now and Thursday to make the ground soft.

Peter Scudamore, who chaired the evening, also gave his backing to Bobs Worth and all the pundits were unanimous in their agreement for the Gold Cup winner.

Wye Valley Brewery sponsored the night with their Butty Bach and the evening raised £200 for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The Cheltenham Festival starts on Tuesday and runs through to Friday; see below for comments from the panel on some of the other races at the festival.

TUESDAY

Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle: Alan Lee: Top tip: Irving; Thomas Symonds: Top tip: Irving; Peter Scudamore: “It’s the horse that turns up on the day”.

Racing Post Arkle Chase: Michael Scudamore: Top tip: Champagne Fever; Thomas Symonds: Top tip: Dodging Bullets; Peter Scudamore: “I think Champagne Fever is a false favourite”; Sam Turner: “Trifolium was electric in his last race and I think he should be favourite”; Alan Lee: “Trifolium is my favourite with Dodging Bullets as number two”. Terry Court said Ted Veale, which had been sold by Brightwells, is expected to run in the race.

Baylis and Harding Festival Handicap Chase: Peter Scudamore said Lucinda Russell’s Green Flag was worth an each-way chance.

Stan James Champion Hurdle: Alan Lee: “Hurricane Fly needs to improve and The New One is the best horse in the race”; Sam Turner: “My Tent or Yours will win this”; Thomas Symonds: “No-one has mentioned Our Conor but I like The New One”; Michael Scudamore: “I am tipping The New One – he is the class horse in the field”.

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle: Peter Scudamore: “Quevenga for me”.

Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Hurdle: Symonds: “I do like Present View at 12-1”.

WEDNESDAY

Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle: Michael Scudamore: “Red Sherlock has been very impressive”; Alan Lee: “I like the Nicky Henderson horse, Royal Boy, and I think he’s the best of Henderson’s chances in the novice horses during the week; Pundits’ agreed choice: Red Sherlock.

RSA Chase: Alan Lee: Smad Place; Sam Turner: “It’s a very open field”; Peter Scudamore: “I am going for Morning Assembly – Irish horses have won 14 of the last 16 runnings”.

Betvictor Champion Chase: Alan Lee: “I am impressed by Captain Conan”; Sam Turner: “I have taken a chance with Hinterland”; Peter Scudamore: “Value for money is with Sizing Europe”; Michael Scudamore: “I am going with Hinterland”.

Fred Winter Juveline Handicap Hurdle: Alan Lee: “Katgary has not run in this country but he has been preparing in France,”.

THURSDAY

JLT Novices’ Chase: Sam Turner: “Bright New Dawn could be good value”.

Ryanair Chase: Peter Scudamore: “I think Dynaste is the winner if the right Dynaste turns up”; Thomas Symonds: “Dynaste does not do it for me and I think Benefficient and First Lieutenant”; Sam Turner: “I am going for Al Ferof”.

Ladbrokes World Hurdle: Michael Scudamore: “I think Rule the World will be interesting in this and it depends on whether Annie Power has the staying power”; Peter Scudamore: “We could be watching one of the next greats in Annie Power”; Alan Lee: “My heart says Big Bucks but my head says Annie Power”.

FRIDAY

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle: Alan Lee: “Urban Hymn is a real stayer”; Peter Scudamore: “It’s Kings Palace for me”; Michael Scudamore: “Briar Hill is favourite but I am going for Kings Palace for the way he runs and jumps and he’s being ridden by Tom Scudamore and he’s really looking forward to it’.

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