The prestigious Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase is the ultimate highlight of the Festival and is run over an extended three-and-a-quarter miles. The race is open to horses aged five and older and it really puts the emphasis on a horse’s ability to jump fluently, to have excellent tactical speed, and then calls upon the horse to have stamina in abundance in order to make their way up the incline in a race to the finish.
Horses that make mistakes are found out very quickly in this feature event and even the brave warriors who have won in the past have found it difficult to recapture their best form afterwards. It is a gruelling contest that often runs at excessive speed so it can pay to side with those who have previous knowledge of the course and distance when making a selection.
If you like statistics, it usually pays to stick with horses aged between seven and nine years of age as they have won nine of the last ten renewals. Long Run is the only recent winner to have been aged as young as six and the last ten-year-old to win this Cool Dawn in 1998. It is quite a good race for well-fancied runners. Four of the last ten favourites have obliged and four other winners have been within the first three in the betting market on the day.
Paul Nicholls has won the race three times in the last twenty years and Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins have won two apiece in the same time frame. Henry De Bromhead has taken the last two consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups with Minella Indo and A Plus Tard.
Trained in Scotland by Lucinda Russell who’s already been amongst the winners this week with Corach Rambler. Bounced back to form in the Cotswolds Chase here on Trials day in January but overall is opposable as his jumping can be a bit hit and miss.
A Plus Tard
Ran away with this race last year sprinting away on the run-in to win by a staggering 15L under Rachael Blackmore. Only seen the once since when going off a warm odds-on favourite in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November when running below form and pulling up. He came back ill that day and hasn’t been seen since. Trainer Henry De Bromhead did the trick with Honeysuckle on Tuesday and if back to anywhere near his best is a massive player today.
Brings arguably the best form from this season to the table having won the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Has won 6 of his 7 starts over fences and is a very good jumper. Wouldn’t want the ground to become too soft and if that’s the case has a very big chance with Harry Cobden riding for Paul Nicholls who isn’t having the best of weeks so far.
A good winner of the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over 3M at Christmas time and comes here a fresh horse. Fell in the Ryanair last season and runs here in preference to that contest this season. Davy Russel rides and holds each-way chance if staying the extra two furlongs.
Held by plenty of his rivals today and impossible to fancy for trainer Joe Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell. A rank outsider.
Galopin Des Champs
Has won all of his five completed starts over fences and fell at the last when had race comfortably won in last year’s Turners at this meeting. Comfortable winner of both his races this season in grade ones at Punchestown and Leopardstown. Has an extra 2 1/2F to try today but should have no problem and a major player for Messrs Mullins and Townend. The only thing not to like about him is his price.
Trained in Ireland by Shark Hanlon. Last seen winning in America in October. Much better on good ground and today’s conditions will not suit. Hard to fancy.
Won this in 2021 and a 15L runner-up in last year’s contest to A Plus Tard. At ten is the oldest horse in the field here and Henry De Bromhead appears to have a better chance with A Plus Tard though did win last time out at Tramore from Stattler. Mark Walsh rides and has a small place chance.
Last season’s Grand National winner appears to have improved this season by winning at Wexford and the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree in fine style. Bit disappointing in third behind Ahoy Senor and Sounds Russian in the Cotswolds Chase here last time. Probably needs to improve further to get involved at the business end. Trained in Ireland by Emmet Mullins.
Beaten 17 1/2L in third place in this last year behind A Plus Tard and was a very impressive winner of the Betfair Chase at Haydock on re-appearance last November. Disappointed since here in Cotswolds Chase. Softer the better for Dan Skelton’s 8-year-old.
Venetia Williams’ 9-year-old is hard to fancy on the form book (14L behind Bravemansgame at Kempton) and his only chance is if the ground went heavy which he adores. Charlie Deutsch takes the ride.
Improving Northern chaser whose best effort came in the Cotswolds Chase in January when runner-up to Ahoy Senor. Needs to improve further and on official ratings has 19lb to find with the top-rated A Plus Tard.
A real stayer who won the 3M 6F NH Chase at the meeting last year. Willie Mullins’ second string here and was 8L behind Galopin Des Champs at Leopardstown. Each way claims but may not be good enough to win.
Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Tips
This year’s Gold Cup is a cracker with the value surely with last year’s winner A Plus Tard, who took the field apart under Rachael Blackmore winning by 15L and is officially rated a 7lb better horse than the favourite. He’s reportedly back to his best at home and there’s no finer big race trainer for getting them ready in Henry De Bromhead. Favourite Galopin Des Champs is an obvious danger along with Bravemansgame who could do with the rain staying away.
A Plus Tard @ 7/1 Bet365 1/5th 1234
If you want to find out the best bookmaker promotions, head over to our Cheltenham Festival betting offers page.
All odds are correct at the time of writing.