Can Delta Work win the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Whether Delta Work can win the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup remains to be seen, but despite finished fifth, beaten just 6¼ lengths, behind Al Boum Photo in the 2020 renewal, the eight-year-old is currently quoted at 33/1, in places, to find the necessary improvement. In 2020, Delta Work failed to establish a jumping rhythm and, although he made just one notable mistake, was rarely, if ever, as fluent at his obstacles as the first four home. Nevertheless, trainer Gordon Elliott seem satisfied enough with his performance, under the circumstances, and may be more concerned by the jumping problems that resurfaced on his most recent start, in the Grade One Savills Chase at Leopardstown, over Christmas.

Not for the first time in his career, Delta Work failed to sparkle on his seasonal reappearance, in the Grade One Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal, in late October, but was nonetheless sent off second favourite for the Savills Chase, having narrowly won the same race in a driving finish in 2019. However, having been held up at the rear of the field, he made a mistake and parted company with jockey Sean Flanagan at the ninth fence. Clearly, his jumping still has room for improvement but, granted that he was sent off 5/1 joint second-favourite for the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup, his current odds do appear rather dismissive, even allowing for his recent reverses. According to Elliott, Delta Work will have just one more run before the Cheltenham Festival, with the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown and the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles, among others, mooted as possible engagements.