Cheltenham Tips: Gold Cup Betting Odds, Preview And Predictions

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Cheltenham Tips: Gold Cup Betting Odds, Preview And Predictions
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Gold Cup Tips:


The £625,000 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most eagerly-anticipated race of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

It’s a date with destiny for the sport’s new chasing superstar Galopin Des Champs, who looks set to go off the shortest-priced Gold Cup favourite with betting sites since Bobs Worth in 2014.


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But this is no one-horse race, it never is. The last two winners of the race are back for another crack at the title and if 2022 hero A Plus Tard turns up in the same form as he did 12 months ago, then Galopin Des Champs will need to be every inch the superstar to lower his colours.

A whole host of horses go into the race with genuine win prospects so let’s take a look at the key contenders.

Galopin Into The History Books?

There can be no doubt which horse is most likely to win the 2023 Gold Cup but will Galopin Des Champs’ date with destiny end in celebration or dejection?

He looks the standout staying chaser of the current crop, even allowing for what A Plus Tard did in last year’s renewal. 

Galopin Des Champs has already posted numbers that would win most renewals of this race and the best is surely still to come.

Surprisingly, he didn’t impress some when powering clear after the last to win the Irish Gold Cup by eight lengths, but the way he finished his race off that day surely puts to bed any doubts about him not coming up the hill at Cheltenham.

Furthermore, Galopin Des Champs went through that race with such ease that, if the Irish Gold Cup had been the be all and end all, then he would probably have been committed for him a good bit earlier than he was. Basically, Paul Townend knew exactly what he was sitting on.

His jumping has looked assured this season and his high cruising speed means that Townend should have little difficulty manoeuvring this horse into the perfect position to attack come the business end of the race. 

He may be a short price, but he deserves to be. He’s a class act and could easily dominate the staying chase division for the next few years. 

What Of The Reigning Champ?

Very few horses have won a Gold Cup without having completed a race that season but that is the task facing A Plus Tard.

Should he follow up last year’s stunning success, then it will, without doubt, be the training performance of the meeting by Henry De Bromhead.

And what a performance it was last year. The 15-length rout was the biggest winning distance since Master Oats won by the same margin in 1995 and if A Plus Tard can find that level of form again, then he is by some distance the biggest threat to Galopin Des Champs.

It is worth remembering that he was beaten on his final start before Cheltenham last season, but he had previously won the Betfair Chase at Haydock by a thumping 22 lengths and was clearly at the peak of his powers.

Fast forward 12 months and his trip to Haydock was nothing like to sooth. 

It was clear a long way out that something wasn’t quite right with the 1/2 favourite on horse racing betting sites and he was eventually pulled up before the third last. 

He hasn’t been seen since but Rachael Blackmore told RTE in a recent interview that the reigning champion is “really starting to come back to the horse that we were hoping he would be at this time of year.”

Even so, it’s a huge ask to win a Gold Cup with that sort of preparation so although it’s possible, it’s not probable.

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Be Brave And Stick With Nicholls Contender

The vibes at Ditcheat are strong for Bravemansgame, who has been trained for this race ever since his brilliant 14-length success in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

In a recent preview night, Harry Cobden nominated Bravemansgame as the team’s best chance of a winner over the four days, which is eye-opening when you consider that Hermes Allen has been ante-post favourite for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle for a long time now. 

Paul Nicholls’ is confident stamina won’t be a problem for Bravemansgame, who will be stretched further than he’s ever been before.

However, his ability to jump economically and travel strongly should ensure that he can keep as much energy in reserve as is physically possible for that climb to the line.

Bravemansgame

However, his ability to jump economically and travel strongly should ensure that he can keep as much energy in reserve as is physically possible for that climb to the line.

The prospect softening ground is a slight concern but providing conditions aren’t overly testing, Bravemansgame is primed to run a huge race in the Gold Cup.

It’s worth bearing in mind that his 177 Racing Post Rating from Kempton is as good as anything Galopin Des Champs has done. 

There can be no doubt that he has the class to go close, and that’s why the gelding is so high in the Gold Cup betting

Has Noble Got The Gears?

Emmet Mullins is a trainer going places and he would become one of the youngest trainers ever to win a Gold Cup should Noble Yeats produce the sort of finish that many think he is capable of.

He’ll need the pace to be strong and he’ll need to be in touch coming down the hill but if he is, then this stamina-packed eight-year-old will surely come home stronger than most. 

The key question is whether he’ll be able to lay up handy enough, something he couldn’t do in the Cotswold Chase. 

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Best Of The Rest

Stattler will be better suited by this stamins test than the one he got in the Irish Gold Cup but even so, it’s hard to see him reversing form with Galopin Des Champs.

Conflated will have his stamina tested like never before and although he’s capable of top-class form, his days are hard to predict. 

He would probably have finished a remote second behind Allaho in last year’s Ryanair Chase had he not come down at the last, which is his only previous visit to Cheltenham.

A more appealing each-way play on new betting sites is Protektorat who finished third in this race last year, on just his second try beyond three miles.

He looked top-class when strolling home in the Betfair Chase and there are excuses for his short-priced defeat in the Cotswold Chase, where he wasn’t suited by the steady tempo and was caught out by a lack of match sharpness.

Connections have made no secret that this is the day they have been targeting all year so we can expect him to be primed to the minute.

Don’t be surprised if he turns that Cotswold Chase for on its head, especially now that ground conditions are coming in his favour.

2021 Gold Cup winner Minella Indo is probably not capable of reproducing that level of form anymore, while Hewick’s chances might be ruined by conditions because he’s a horse that goes best (and he will need a career-best) on a sound surface.

2023 Gold Cup Verdict 

Galopin Des Champs will be all the rage, both on the day and in thousands of multiples across the four days. 

He clearly has a strong chance, but he won’t be everyone’s cup of tea at the odds available on betting apps

If you want to oppose the favourite with something at a juicier price, then the best options are Bravemansgame and Protektorat (each-way). 

Bravemansgame is probably the best jumper in the field and will be one of the last off the bridle, while Protektorat showed loads of promise in this race last year. He could easily be capable of better still.

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Gavin Beech

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