Outlander looks a huge threat given he travels strongly in his races and won convincingly at the top level at Leopardstown last month. He was a shade disappointing over hurdles at this meeting last year though and Bristol De Mai gains the nod.
If In Doubt was 5th in last year’s RSA Chase but his fencing has never truly convinced and he looked a happier conveyance TAGLIETELLE was 3rd to Cup Final last month and would have finished a good deal closer but for a bad blunder at the third last when he was still travelling well. He posted a fine run in last season’s Coral Cup and looks a major player with Gordon Elliott’s team among the winners with Diamond King yesterday.
Road To Riches is another to swerve the Gold Cup and he too looked to find the 3m trip beyond him at Leopardstown last time. He could be a huge danger with the ground in his favour.
Others to consider include the front-running Village Vic who should make a bold bid to make all and Taquin Du Seuil who bounced back to form in style at Warwick and looks to be peaking at the right time.
The ground looks spot on for last year's winner Cole Harden who looks sure to make another bold bid from the front, while the Paul Nicholls duo Saphir Du Rheu and Aux Ptits Soins are reported in rude health.
John’s Spirit boasts a terrific Cheltenham record but most of his days in the sun have come on the Old Course rather than today’s track so Festival regular FINGAL BAY could be worth siding with to build on his win the Pertemps Hurdle Final two years ago.
The Philip Hobbs-trained 10-year-old sports a tongue tie and blinkers for the first time after a sluggish effort at Exeter, but today’s big field and better surface should be more to his liking.