Cheltenham Gold Cup Favourites

Can Galopin Des Champs fulfil the favourite’s tag at the Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the premier event of the incredible four-day horse racing festival. The race is the pinnacle of the National Hunt race season, with the best of the best competing for the famous Gold Cup trophy. 

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The 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup race will take place on Friday, March 17th, on the final day of the festival. The races leading up to the Gold Cup are merely the appetisers for the entree. The Gold Cup offers plenty of betting options in the lead-up to the race. 

The Gold Cup may be one of the most exciting and competitive races on the National Hunt calendar, but it is a difficult nut to crack for many bettors. With so many high-quality horses entering the event, getting an upper hand over the bookmakers is essential for any pony punter.

Who are the Gold Cup favourites?

Galopin Des Champs is the favourite to win going into the Gold Cup. Bookmakers like the Willie Mullins-trained horse, with William Hill providing odds of 15/8. Bet365 and BoyleSports have Galopin Des Champs at odds of 6/4. 

The seven-year-old ran well in the Turners Novices’ Chase a season ago but failed at the final just before the end. Galopin was on the way to glory in the Turners and was 12 lengths in front of the competition before tumbling to the ground. Since then, Galopin has been in fine form, winning three consecutive races at Fairyhouse, Punchestown, and Leopardstown. 

Based on Galopin Des Champs’ odds and form, plenty of punters will back the seven-year-old to pull off the win. However, the Gold Cup has so many high-quality horses competing that another could pip Galopin to the post. 

Bravemansgame is receiving plenty of attention ahead of the Gold Cup. William Hill has Bravemansgame at the fantastic odds of 13/2 to win the race. Meanwhile, Bet365, 888Sport, and BoyleSport have Bravemansgame at odds of 6/1 to pull off the victory. 

The eight-year-old is trained by Paul Nicholls and goes to the Cheltenham Festival on a two-race winning streak. In October, Bravemansgame romped to victory at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase. The horse followed up the victory with a Boxing Day win at Kempton in the King George VI Chase. The win at Kempton was by an impressive 14 lengths. Bravemansgame shouldn’t be taken lightly. The horse runs and jumps with ease, making it a perfect punt for bettors. 

With Galopin falling at Cheltenham Festival last season in a high-pressure race, some punters may feel that the horse can’t handle the intensity. Perhaps Bravemansgame can.

Gold Cup Bets to Consider

Galopin Des Champs and Bravemansgame are the two favourites to run to glory in Gloucestershire. However, the rest of the horses involved won’t be there just to make up the numbers. One horse to keep an eye on is A Plus Tard. William Hill and BoyleSports have A Plus Tard at odds of 15/2 to win the race. 

Let’s not forget that A Plus Tard took home the Gold Cup a year ago with a brilliant run down the final stretch. If A Plus Tard can replicate the form from last year’s Gold Cup, no horse in the race will come close to beating him. 

The nine-year-old has only raced once since winning the Gold Cup, which was at November’s Betfair Chase at Haydock, but pulled up during the race. Whether Henry De Bromhead can get the best out of A Plus Tard once more is the big question. 

Bet365 has Noble Yeats at 8/1 odds to win, while William Hill has the horse at 9/1 to win the Gold Cup. Noble Yeats is the reigning Grand National winner. The horse, trained by Emmet Mullins, claimed one of the biggest prizes in horse racing before ever running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Most Grand National winners do it the other way around, competing in the Gold Cup before moving on to the Grand National.

Noble Yeats won two of its last three races, including once more at Aintree. The Irish horse’s most recent race was at Cheltenham in the Cotswold Chase, where it finished third. 

Big Prices: Which long shot is the best bet to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

While the horses profiled above are all considered favourites or thereabout, punters may want a horse at a big price. The horse with the longest odds to win the Gold Cup is Coole Cody, with odds of 250/1 from Bet365, BoyleSports, William Hill, and 888Sport.

Of course, punters should probably stay away from betting the farm on a horse at such long odds. But what about something in between the favourite and the horse with the longest odds?

Well, what about last year’s Gold Cup runner-up, Minella Indo? Bet365, BoyleSport, William Hill, and 888Sport are all offering Minella Indo at odds of 20/1. Although Minella Indo weakened toward the finish line last season, the horse was still in the mix to win the race. Had A Plus Tard not run the race of its life, then Minella Indo could have finished the day in the winner’s circle. 

Minella Indo is coming off a win in the Savills New Year’s Day Chase. The horse outlasted Stattler to win the Chase. Interestingly, Stattler is 9/1 to win the Gold Cup, according to William Hill. 

BoyleSport has Protektorat at odds of 14/1 to win the Gold Cup. Although the odds aren’t tremendously long, Protektorat offers plenty of value for a punt. Indeed, Protektorat may be the best value pick for the Gold Cup 2023. Trained by Dan Skelton, Protektorat finished third in last year’s Gold Cup. Although the horse’s races since haven’t been anything special, Protektorat could rise to the challenge on the day. 

5 Gold Cup trends:

  • 21 of the last 22 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners were between 7-years-old and 9-years-old.
  • The last 22 Gold Cup winners had already won a Grade 1 race before running the Gold Cup.
  • 15 of the last 22 Gold Cup winners had finished first or second at a previous Cheltenham Festival. 
  • 21 of the last 22 Gold Cup winners had previously run at the festival before competing in the Gold Cup race.
  • Seven of the last nine Gold Cup winners were trained in Ireland.