Horse Racing

3.00 Newbury Tips: Bet on Bertinelli

Another Saturday of top-quality racing is in store this weekend, with many of the highlights live on ITV. One of the races that viewers will be able to watch live on television is the London Gold Cup from Newbury.

London Gold Cup
Photo by Icon Sport

Taking place at 15:00, the BetVictor London Gold Cup Heritage Handicap is one of the season’s premier handicap races, especially if we’re only considering middle-distance horses. The race is run over one mile, two furlongs, and this year’s renewal looks as competitive as ever with 16 runners set to go to post.

Can Desert Hero defy a break?

The early favourite is Desert Hero, who in the royal silks is likely to be popular in the betting as the race gets closer too. Trained by William Haggas, the three-year-old impressed in a couple of runs last season, winning nicely on debut at Haydock, though he disappointed in Group 3 company after that, before resuming winning ways when stepped up in trip at Redcar.

His performance that day points towards this trip of ten furlongs suiting, but he’s now in better company, while he’ll have to defy a break of over 200 days, which not many horses have done in this race. In fact, only two of the last 13 winners of the London Gold Cup have returned for the season in this race without having a prep run. It’s not impossible, after all he holds a Derby entry and is thus clearly well thought of, though it’s still a big ask.

Bold Act, for a trainer that regularly wins races at Newbury, is one of the runners who has run this season, while he’s also the highest rated runner in the contest, though defying what is a hefty weight won’t be easy, that’s for sure. The fact that this race has never been won by a horse rated above 99 doesn’t exactly bode well for the Godolphin colt, who now holds a handicap mark of 103.

Bertinelli looks the bet

For my money, Bertinelli is hard to oppose, especially while the price allows for an each-way poke. Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, the three-year-old arrives here having had just three runs. He got off the mark at Dundalk last season, before returning from a 168-day break in April to finish second over this trip at Cork. He finished less than two lengths behind a 104-rated winner that day, while the horse that he beat into third would rate among the best in here.

It’s likely that he’ll improve for that comeback run, which ought to see him make his presence felt. Moreover, his breeding suggests that he’ll have plenty to offer in some strong middle distance races this season.

Best Bet: Bertinelli each-way @ 15/2

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