Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips: 2023 Betting Preview & Trends
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the big one - it’s the most prestigious race in the jumps calendar and the showpiece event of the Cheltenham Festival. This race is always a tough puzzle for punters to solve, so Gold Cup tips are always hugely popular.
Here, we have listed our top Cheltenham Gold Cup tips – along with insight into the leading contenders. We've also picked out the best odds from UK betting sites.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips
- Bravemansgame to win the Gold Cup - 13/2 @ William Hill
The value play in the Gold Cup at this stage looks to be the strong-travelling Bravemansgame at 13/2 This superb jumper might just find the race being run to suit and he is the shortest-priced English challenger at a general 13/2 with the best horse racing betting sites. However, Bravemansgame is not a horse to be taken lightly after his impressive 14-length romp in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
His key attributes are his ability to travel and jump with ease, despite the hot tempo of a top-class staying chase, and the potential lack of pace in here would play right into his hands.
Rain-softened ground limited his participation in last season’s Brown Advisory and he was put firmly in his place by a peak-form Bob Olinger in the 2021 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. So, we don’t have a whole stack of evidence showing that he's suited to Cheltenham. However, his 13-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls is in no doubt that he will not only handle the track, but also see out the stiffer test of stamina.
Bravemansgame appears to be going under many people’s radar, perhaps because punters have him down as a flat-track horse, but he could easily prove everyone wrong.
Read More: Compare Grand National Odds for the 2023 Aintree showpiece
Quick Betting Preview
The 2023 Gold Cup market is dominated by Galopin Des Champs and Willie Mullins’ star will be the choice in many Gold Cup tips columns.
He’s a horse that looks to be maturing perfectly ahead of the Gold Cup and it’s hard to find any real chinks in his armour. He’s a strong traveller that can sit anywhere, he’s become a very fluent and intelligent jumper and he possesses a power-packed finish when unleashed, as he showed in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
That being said, he’s still to break the 180 mark in the ratings, a barrier which was smashed through by A Plus Tard (184) in the 2022 Gold Cup. An in-form A Plus Tard would be a formidable opponent, but he’s not been seen since pulling up in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November (a race he won in a hack canter the season before) so punters are a bit in the dark with him.
Pace could be an issue in this year’s Gold Cup because very few out-and-out front-runners are likely to run in the race. That is potentially bad news for really strong stayers like Noble Yeats and, from a punting point of view, it places extra emphasis on the horses that have the ability to travel and quicken off a potentially steady pace. That brings Bravemansgame firmly into the reckoning.
There is plenty of strength-in-depth for the 2023 contest, with the likes of Ahoy Senor, Sounds Russian and previous winner Minella Indo all lively outsiders as well. More on the leading contenders below.
Read More: Get access to the best 2023 Cheltenham betting offers
Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners in Focus
Galopin Des Champs - 13/8 @ bet365
The red-hot favourite and a popular Gold Cup tips selection. The 2021 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle winner would have already been a dual winner at the Cheltenham Festival had he not crumpled on landing after the last when miles clear in last year’s Turners Novices’ Chase - but his superiority was there for all to see.
Willie Mullins’ star made amends in emphatic fashion in the Grade 1 Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse the following month and the transition to open company has been a smooth one this season.
Hugely impressive in the John Durkan in December and the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, Galopin Des Champs heads to Cheltenham with the strongest form claims of any runner. The way he powered clear after the last at Leopardstown in February strongly suggests that he’ll have no problem seeing out the stiffer test of the Gold Cup.
A brilliant jumper who travels and finds off the bridle, it’s going to take a good one to beat him on the day, but the market knows that, too.
Noble Yeats - 14/1 @ bet365
Gold Cup horses tend to become Grand National contenders later in life but Noble Yeats has done it the unconventional way by winning the Aintree showpiece before ever even running in the Gold Cup.
He has emerged as a Gold Cup candidate after taking his chasing form to a new level this term, not least back at Aintree where he showed an explosive change of gear from two-out to run down some good yardsticks, including Ahoy Senor in the Many Clouds Chase.
He was far from disgraced when third in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham, but he was conceding weight to the winner that day and wasn’t ideally suited by the way the race was run.
Emmet Mullins’ stable star will be finishing his race strongly in the Gold Cup, so his chance largely depends on whether they go a strong enough gallop. If they do, he won’t have the speed to challenge at the business end.
A Plus Tard - 5/1 @ Unibet
Mightily impressive 15-length winner of the 2022 Gold Cup and would take a world of beating if he can reproduce anything like that form. However, he’s not been seen since being pulled up (1/2F) in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.
A Plus Tard is reportedly on track to defend his crown and his trainer is adept at getting his horses to the Cheltenham Festival at the peak of their powers, but it’s hard to be confident that he can repeat last year’s form.
Stattler - 18/1 @ William Hill
Stattler is yet to win a Grade 1 race, which is a major negative when looking at Gold Cup trends). But the way he stayed on in second after getting outpaced in the closing stages of the Irish Gold Cup suggests he’ll be well-suited by the stiffer test at Cheltenham, especially if they get some slower ground.
Stattler bolted up in last year’s National Hunt Chase, so we know he acts well around Cheltenham and has to be in the mix for each-way players.
Protektorat - 20/1 @ bet365
The value pick for this year on the back of his third-place finish in the race in 2022, on just his second start over three miles or further.
He built on that form when running away with the Betfair Chase at Haydock, posting a career-best effort on Racing Post ratings. Yet he has drifted right out in ante-post Gold Cup odds lists after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Cotswold Chase on Trials Day at Cheltenham.
Dan Skelton has since admitted that his stable star was undercooked for that key trial but it was hugely encouraging to see the 8-year-old stay on again after the last, having looked as though he would drop away. A stronger gallop on slower ground would be ideal and although that is by no means guaranteed, Protektorat still looks overpriced now at 20/1.
Latest Cheltenham Gold Cup Prices
Below are the latest Gold Cup odds, updated daily. Ahead of Cheltenham, you can check out our Cheltenham Festival Odds page for the latest prices on all 28 races.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends (Since 2000)
- Avoid older contenders: 21 of the 22 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners since 2000 were aged 7-9.
- Only the cream need apply: Every one of the 22 Gold Cup winners this century was already a Grade 1 winner going into the race.
- Key festive trials: 18 of the last 22 Gold Cup winners ran in either the King George VI Chase or the Savills Chase in Ireland.
- Festival form counts: Since the turn of the century, 15 Gold Cup winners had previously finished first or second at the Cheltenham Festival. Furthermore, 21 of the last 22 winners had previously run at the Festival.
- Recent winning form crucial: 20 of the 22 winners this century had won at least one race previously that season.
- Monitor the market: Big-price winners are rare. 18 of the last 22 winners came from the top three in the betting. There have only been two double-figure priced winners this century (Lord Windermere in 2014 & Al Boum Photo in 2019).
- Lightly-raced chasers tend to excel: 19 of the last 22 winners had run no more than 12 times over fences.
- Take Irish dominance into account: Runners trained in Ireland have won seven of the last nine Gold Cups.
- Stamina is essential: 12 of the last 13 Gold Cup winners had won at least once over at least three miles.
Recent Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners
Cheltenham Gold Cup Verdict
2023 Gold Cup tips are going to revolve around the most likely winner, which is clearly Galopin Des Champs, but this is horse racing and races are often not won by the best horse.
It’s the Gold Cup, so it’s easy to make an each-way case for several runners, not least last year’s hugely impressive winner A Plus Tard. If you had been offered 15/2 by the bookmakers after he bolted up last season, then you would have snapped their hands off.
The striking value play at this stage is probably last year’s third-place finisher Protektorat, whose third-place finish in the Gold Cup last year came on just his second start. He looked a top-class chaser when sauntering to victory in the Betfair Chase and there are excuses for his Cotswold Chase defeat.
However, our Gold Cup tips shortlist is headed by Bravemansgame, one of the few horses in this race to have already won a Grade 1 staying chase this season. His ability to travel and jump at championship speed will stand him in great stead here and he fits most of the big race trends from above. At 13/2, he rates a decent play.
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