Belmont Gold Cup 2017: Post Time, Race Schedule and Prize Money Info

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2017

NAAS, IRELAND - APRIL 28:  Patrick Mullins riding Wicklow Brave (L, purple/gold cap) clear the last to win The BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle at Punchestown racecourse on April 28, 2017 in Naas, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

There'll be a purse of $400,000 on offer in Friday's Belmont Gold Cup, with Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, to host the fourth edition of this fascinating two-mile chase.

Since its inaugural outing in 2014, the Belmont Gold Cup has grown in popularity, and for the first time the race will be graded. It means there is a high-class 13-horse field in 2017, including a clutch of international competitors seeking to become the first foreign winners of the race.

It'll be the showpiece event on Friday in an appetiser to Saturday's Belmont Stakes. Here are the viewing details for the action, the latest odds and a preview of how the race will pan out in the Gold Cup.

       

Odds

Wicklow Brave (5/2)

Clondaw Warrior (7/2)

Red Cardinal (5/1)

Wall of Fire (8/1)

Now We Can (10/1)

Renown (10/1)

St Michel (10/1)

Taghleeb (10/1)

Hunter O'Riley (33/1)

Wayward Kitten (33/1)

Farz (40/1)

Romal Approval (40/1)

Bullards Alley (50/1)

Odds are from books monitored by OddsChecker. Numbers are accurate as of Wednesday, June 7 at 11 p.m. (BST)

Prize money figures courtesy of Equibase

           

Date: Friday, June 9

Time: 10:46 p.m. (BST) 5:46 p.m. (ET), 2:46 p.m. (PT)

TV Schedule: NBCSN (U.S.)

Live Stream: NBC Sports App (U.S.)

             

Wicklow Brave Favourite for Friday Glory

In a cosmopolitan field for the Belmont Gold Cup, it's Willie Mullins' Wicklow Brave who is the early favourite for the two-mile chase.

Wicklow Brave has already won over fences this year.
Wicklow Brave has already won over fences this year.Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Indeed, the horse will be hoping to showcase his versatility with a win in New York, having shone over hurdles earlier in the year. Wicklow Brave's performance in winning the Punchestown Champion Hurdle has made him the one to beat in the eyes of many.

As we can see, Wicklow Brave showcased excellent staying power to win that one, holding off a flurry of late rallies:

Having also won the Irish St. Leger last year at Curragh, Ireland, it's clear this is a horse with tremendous pedigree, and it is a worthy favourite at this point.

Mullins' interests won't be limited to Wicklow Brave, though, as he will also have another hope in Clondaw Warrior. He'll be ridden by jockey John Velazquez, who steered Always Dreaming to glory at the Kentucky Derby earlier this year. 

The trainer believes, despite their travelling, that both horses have a great chance in the Belmont Gold Cup. 

"Clondaw Warrior is seasoned in his travelling at this stage, and I'm happy that Wicklow Brave travelled over much better than he did to Melbourne last year," said Mullins, per Johnny Ward of Independent.ie. 

"At their ages the hosts may not give them much chance but looking at the form of last year's race, Da Big Hoss won it and Clondaw Warrior was second to him afterwards in the American St Leger, so he must have a chance, as does Wicklow Brave."

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JANUARY 29: Willie Mullins poses at Leopardstown racecourse on January 29, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

It's little surprise Red Cardinal is also high in the betting, as he recently won over two miles at Hoppegarten in Germany. The Irish horse is another who has the capabilities to become the first foreign winner of the Gold Cup.

Wall Of Fire is a horse that may catch the eye of punters keen for a little more value in their bets. He struggled over the two-mile distance in the Dubai Gold Cup, although he had previously been sidelined for six months due to injury. Crucially for him, Florent Geroux, who won this race last year on Da Big Hoss, will be on board.

Hugo Palmer captured Wall Of Fire ahead of the big race on Friday:

In a field packed full of Europeans, the best chance of an American winner is set to be Taghleeb, who won over two miles in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes in December. Hunter O'Riley, meanwhile, has to be considered an outsider, although the distance may suit him.

However, at this point, the horses from overseas look as though they're going to be difficult to beat, especially Wicklow Brave.

Mullins may have concerns about his ability to travel having slumped at the Grade 1 Melbourne Cup. But Wicklow Brave is a horse familiar with the distance, a winner over two miles and well rested since his January jaunt down under. Those factors will be enough to see him to a win here.