What is it?
The jewel in the crown of the Cheltenham Festival - The Gold Cup.
When is it?
Friday, March 17.
What time does it start?
3:30pm is the scheduled start time for The Gold Cup.
Cue Card and Native River are among the 14 horses declared for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.
Colin Tizzard's pair dispute favouritism for the blue riband along with the Willie Mullins-trained Djakadam.
Cue Card came to grief three fences from the finish 12 months ago and has since won a third Betfair Chase at Haydock.
The 11-year-old proved no match for stable companion Thistlecrack when chasing back-to-back victories in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, but got back on the winning trail at Ascot last month.
His stablemate Native River has enjoyed a fantastic campaign thus far, winning the Hennessy at Newbury, the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and last month's Denman Chase at Newbury.
Mullins has saddled the runner-up of the Gold Cup six times but has yet to taste victory.
Djakadam has chased home Coneygree and Don Cossack in the last two Gold Cups and heads a formidable Irish challenge for this year's renewal.
Jessica Harrington saddles her first runner in the race in Irish Gold Cup hero Sizing John, with Henry de Bromhead represented by Champagne West.
Gordon Elliott has declared both Outlander and Empire Of Dirt, though the latter is set to instead line up in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday.
Jonjo O'Neill saddles More Of That and Minella Rocco, while Bristol De Mai, Smad Place, Saphir Du Rheu, Tea For Two and Irish Cavalier complete the field.
Who is going to win?
It looks perfectly set for a new staying chasing star to appear on the scene and Native River fits that bill. His improvement has been commensurate with the tasks set him and he has answered every question. He may well have more in him yet as he has looked far from tired at the end of any of his races this term.
There can be no doubt that stablemate Cue Card deserves to win a Gold Cup – whether last year, when he fell three out, was his year remains to be seen. Djakadam appears vulnerable to improvers such as Outlander, who is preferred.
Who won in 2016?
The favourite, Don Cossack, won last year's Gold Cup after leader (and 2017 leading pick) Cue Card fell with only three fences to go.
Runners and riders, odds to win
- Djakadam - 3/1
- Native River - 9/2
- Cue Card - 5/1
- Sizing John - 8/1
- Outlander - 10/1
- More Of That - 12/1
- Empire Of Dirt - 16/1
- Minella Rocco - 16/1
- Champagne West - 20/1
- Bristol De Mai - 25/1
- Smad Place - 50/1
- Saphir Du Rheu - 50/1
- Tea For Two - 66/1
- Irish Cavalier - 80/1