Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips: 2022 Betting Preview & Trends

Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips: 2022 Betting Preview & Trends
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The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious event in jumps racing and the Grade 1 contest is the showpiece of the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Naturally, Gold Cup tips are sought-after as punters flock to the best horse racing betting sites on the Friday of the Festival hoping to land a big winner in the feature race.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips

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Only four horses have won the race at least three times but Al Boum Photo, winner of the race in 2019 and 2020, has an opportunity to join that elite group this year.

The 2022 edition of the Blue Riband event looks wide open on paper, with no outstanding candidate, so expect Gold Cup betting tips to vary greatly. The market is dominated by Irish-trained runners but the home challenge looks dangerous in 2022 as well.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Preview

Minella Indo bids to become just the second horse to win back-to-back Cheltenham Gold Cups since Best Mate dominated the scene at the beginning of the century.

Henry de Bromhead’s charge led home a stunning one-two for the stable in a 2021 edition of the race that was run effectively behind closed doors.

Stablemate A Plus Tard, beaten a length-and-a-quarter 12 months ago, is once again a shorter price than Minella Indo but Cheltenham Festival form is king and it would be folly to ignore the claims of Minella Indo, especially as his Irish Gold Cup second was so encouraging.

Expect to see the best version of Minella Indo once again and that gives him major prospects of retaining his crown.

The problem is, opposition to Minella Indo goes a lot deeper than just a rival from his own stable.

Galvin arguably brings the best single piece of chasing form of the season to the table courtesy of his Savills Chase success over A Plus Tard at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Last year’s National Hunt Chase winner is as strong a stayer as there is in the field but he’s got bags of class to go with it, even though the handicapper rates him 6lb inferior to Minella Indo. That gap might just close up after this year’s race.

And then there is dual winner Al Boum Photo. Things didn’t go entirely to plan for him 12 months ago and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could close the five-length gap on the front two from that day. Work reports from the Closutton gallops haven’t exactly set the pulse racing but he’s impossible to ignore and is an obvious place chance.

And then there is also a much stronger home challenge this time around.

Wednesday’s rain would have been music to the ears of Royale Pagaille’s connections and his trainer has already had a winner this week. He’s a player but Protektorat probably holds stronger claims after producing something a bit special at Aintree when last seen.

Stepping up to a three-mile plus trip for the first time, Dan Skelton’s charge obliterated some high-profile rivals, not least 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River, without even being asked for maximum effort.

Protektorat, who is part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, has stacks of untapped potential as a staying chaser and his trainer has never hidden how much talent they believe this horse possesses.

He’s a track winner, he’s on the up and he won’t mind which way the ground goes. He could spoil the Irish party.


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Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners in Focus

Here's an in-depth look at some of the leading contenders for the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup:

A Plus Tard

Ante-post Gold Cup betting odds lists were headed, rather surprisingly, by 2021 runner-up A Plus Tard.

Sent off second favourite behind Al Boum Photo on the day, A Plus Tard was the choice of Rachael Blackmore over stablemate Minella Indo but that rival just proved a touch stronger from the second-last to edge home by just over a length.

A Plus Tard proved his stamina for the extended three miles that day and he should be approaching the peak of his career now as an 8-year-old but he’s let short-priced favourite backers down a few times, not least when he was collared by Galvin (who went into the race rated 9lb inferior) in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. There is a feeling in some quarters that he doesn’t win as many races as a horse of his ability should do.

However, that is probably the strongest piece of chasing form in the book this season, so A Plus Tard returns to the Cheltenham Festival as one of the leading form candidates and he is sure to be primed to the minute for the occasion by Henry De Bromhead, whose runners dominated the championship races in 2021.

Galvin

Stamina has never been an issue for 2021 National Hunt Chase winner Galvin but for many the question was whether he would be classy enough to be competitive in a Gold Cup.

The doubters got their answer when Galvin overcame some trouble in running by storming home after the last to collar odds-on favourite A Plus Tard in the Savills Chase over Christmas.

Galvin Wins the Savills Chase

That was Galvin’s first success at Grade 1 level but more could be on the way now that the Gordon Elliott-trained 8-year-old has proved that he can mix it with the best around.

This strong stayer looks for all the world like he’s ready for a shot at the Gold Cup and although he’s a bigger price than A Plus Tard, it would hardly be a surprise if this progressive chaser was able to confirm that Leopardstown form.

One thing we know for sure is that he’ll be coming home strongly, so if he’s within striking distance off the home turn, Galvin will be a huge Gold Cup player.

Al Boum Photo

Al Boum Photo lost his Gold Cup crown in 2021 but the dual winner ran an honourable race to finish third, having been a touch outpaced off the home turn before keeping on. Ground conditions were a little quicker than he would have ideally liked and that meant that he was vulnerable to younger rivals with a little more speed.

Al Boum Photo is 10 years old now and no horse of that age has won the Gold Cup this century, which means Gold Cup trends followers won’t want him on their side. However, he’s been campaigned fairly sparingly by Willie Mullins (only seven runs since the beginning of 2018) and his four-length defeat of Burrows Saint at Tramore on New Year’s Day suggests he’s not far away from being as good as ever. He is a rock-solid yardstick with obvious place claims.

Minella Indo

Minella Indo was pushed out to an ante-post price of 8/1 with FansBet from around 9/2 after his disappointing performance in the King George VI Chase. He is now back down to 5/1 on the eve of the big race.

The reigning champion was in trouble a long way out in first-time cheekpieces at Kempton and was quickly pulled up before three-out, although a post-race examination failed to reveal any abnormalities.

However, fans of Henry De Bromhead’s top-class chaser should keep the faith because his mid-season form in 2021 was well short of what he produced at Prestbury Park and it feels churlish to desert him on the back of a run - especially after a decent second place behind Conflated at Leopardstown last month.

His master trainer has had him primed to win at two Cheltenham Festivals already and, if he does that again in 2022, then this eight-year-old is going to be the one they all have to beat once again.

King George winner Tornado Flyer has done most of his racing over shorter trips but he finished his race off so well that the extra two furlongs at Cheltenham will surely not prove troublesome and he brings untapped potential in staying chases to the table. He does, though, need to prove that 25/1 success wasn’t a fluke.

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2022 Gold Cup Tip: Protektorat

Gold Cup betting tips are dominated by Irish-trained runners but there is a dangerous runner lurking among the home challenge in the shape of Protektorat.

It was impossible not to be seriously impressed with his 25-length demolition job in the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase at Aintree, where he positively thrived over the 3m1f trip which he was tackling for the first time.

Unexposed and on the up, he bolted up in a novice chase at Cheltenham in 2020, so we know he acts around Prestbury Park and he could be the joker in the pack for punters who expect Irish-trained runners to dominate the 2022 Gold Cup.

It might also be folly to overlook the claims of Chantry House despite his desperate performance in the King George. Nicky Henderson was adamant that he hated the ground at Kempton and was never travelling so he can be forgiven that and his 32-length defeat of Shan Blue, who would have hosed up in the Charlie Hall Chase had he not fallen at the last fence, at Aintree last season was arguably the novice chase performance of the season.

He won last year’s Marsh Novices’ Chase so we know he handles the big occasion.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

RunnerBetting OddsBet With
A Plus Tard3/1bet365
Galvin4/1William Hill
Minella Indo6/1888sport
Al Boum Photo9/1888sport
Tornado Flyer11/1BetVictor
  • Odds correct as of 18/03/2022 - For full latest odds head over to 888sport

Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends

  • Avoid the older contenders: The last 21 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners have been aged nine or under, which is a concern for fans of Al Boum Photo.
  • Only the cream need apply: The last 20 Gold Cup winners were Grade 1 winners going into the race.
  • Key festive trials: 17 of the last 22 Gold Cup winners ran in either the King George VI Chase or the Savills Chase in Ireland.
  • Lightly-raced chasers have strong recent record: 11 of the last 16 winners had run no more than nine times over fences prior to landing the big one.
  • Festival form counts: Since the turn of the century, 14 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners had previously finished first or second at the festival. Furthermore, every one of the last 12 winners had run at Cheltenham before.
  • We are in the midst of Irish dominance: Runners trained in Ireland have won six of the last eight Gold Cups.
  • Stamina is essential: 11 of the last 12 Gold Cup winners had won at least once over at least three miles.

Recent Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

YearWinner
2021Minella Indo
2020Al Boum Photo
2019Al Boum Photo
2018Native River
2017Sizing John
2016Don Cossack
2015Coneygree
2014Lord Windermere
2013Bobs Worth
2012Synchronised

Cheltenham Gold Cup Verdict

Not an easy race to be dogmatic about. Galvin looks nailed on to go well and whatever beats him will probably win the race.

However, PROTEKTORAT might just have what it takes. He’s not an easy horse to assess in the context of this but it was impossible not to be impressed by what he did at Aintree and it’s unlikely we’ve seen the best of him.

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