A Plus Tard, Cheltenham Gold Cup
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Cheltenham Gold Cup: A Plus Tard favourite but Galvin odds cut

| 09.01.2022

Leading contenders for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the one they all want to win and the highlight of March’s four-day Cheltenham Festival.

Henry De Bromhead made it five wins in the last six years for Irish trainers when saddling the winner of National Hunt racing’s most prestigious race for the first time in 2021.

The defending champion Minella Indo is just one of many contenders for the Festival blue riband as we take a look at the Cheltenham betting odds.

A Plus Tard

Although failing to defend his Savills Chase crown over the Christmas period, the son of Kapgarde is 3/1 favourite in the Cheltenham betting.

That is perhaps due to the comprehensive way in which De Bromhead’s charge won the Betfair Chase at Haydock earlier this season.

The seven-year-old travelled smoothly throughout in the hands of Rachael Blackmore before drawing 22 lengths clear of his rivals to record an unchallenged victory in Merseyside.

De Bromhead’s leading hope heading into the race in 2021, he was unable to bridge the one-and-a-quarter length gap to stablemate Minella Indo in the closing stages and had to settle for a gallant silver medal.

He proved the 3m2f stamina-sapping test of the Cheltenham Gold Cup was no problem then and could go one better this time around in the week’s feature.

With his regular trip to Leopardstown out of the way, it appears straight to the Cheltenham Festival for the market leader, who looks to hold leading claims.

Galvin

The winner of the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2021, Gordon Elliott’s charge made himself a bona fide Cheltenham Gold Cup contender when claiming the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.

He flew home under an inspired ride by Davy Russell to hunt down A Plus Tard in the shadow of the post and is now 6/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting for success in the blue riband.

The dour stayer finished ahead of the defending champion Minella Indo when second to Frodon on reappearance at Down Royal and Elliott’s decision to campaign him in all of the key staying chases in the Emerald Isle looks to be paying dividend.

Minella Indo

Defeat in the King George has seen the defending champion pushed out to 8/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds, but the two-time Cheltenham Festival winner is still one of the most likely winners of the Festival showpiece.

Minella Indo, Cheltenham Gold Cup

Kempton was a completely unsuitable track for the nine-year-old, who failed to sparkle in first-time cheekpieces, but it would be no surprise to see the son of Beat Hollow back to his best at Cheltenham

The winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2019, he has only once failed to get his nose in front at Prestbury Park when second to Champ in the 2020 RSA and he comes alive when breathing in the Gloucestershire air.

Al Boum Photo

The two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner ultimately came up short in his quest to replicate Best Mate and win a hat-trick of titles, but can’t be overlooked in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting at 10/1.

The gelding was sent off the 9/4 favourite when third behind Minella Indo and A Plus Tard in March, but lost little in defeat as he once again showed his liking for Cheltenham racecourse.

He also showed his love of Tramore recently when winning the Savills New Year’s Day Chase for the fourth successive season and he looks a real contender for Cheltenham Festival success once again.

Champ

Pulled up when fancied by many for the race in 2021, the enigmatic 10-year-old made a winning return when reverted to timber in December.

He showed he retained plenty of ability when beating the very best staying hurdlers around at Ascot and could aim for Cheltenham Festival glory in either the Stayers’ Hurdle or Gold Cup, for which he is a 14/1 shot.

Protektorat

Second at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on his reappearance, Dan Skelton’s seven-year-old took the step up to three miles in his stride when seen in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.

Protektorat, Cheltenham Gold Cup

Having pulled jockey Bridget Andrews’ arms out for the majority of the contest, he cruised past former Gold Cup winner Native River entering the home straight and sauntered to a 25-length victory.

He has been put into the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting at 14/1 and could have any amount of progress to come over staying trips.

Tornado Flyer

Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old is 14/1 to follow up his shock victory in the King George with a win in the Cheltenham Festival feature.

Ridden to success at Kempton by Danny Mullins, Tornado Flyer took advantage of the frantic pace set by Frodon and Minella Indo to take over after the second last and give the Closutton handler his first win in the Christmas Grade One since 2001.

Only seen twice over three miles, he is something of an unknown quantity, but could prove a leading contender if staying the stamina-sapping 3m2f trip of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Asterion Forlonge

Another of the Mullins string who could play a part in the Prestbury Park feature, the 16/1 shot would have a big say if managing to complete a clear round.

He has looked a real threat in both the John Durkan and King George this season when failing to successfully navigate all the fences and if he manages to brush up his jumping could provide his big-race jockey Bryan Cooper with a second Cheltenham Gold Cup victory.

Chantry House

Seen as the UK’s best chance of a winner prior to his disappointing appearance in the King George, Nicky Henderson’s chaser now has a bit of a point to prove.

He was sent off 7/2 co-favourite for the Boxing Day Grade One, but struggled to keep tabs with the field and was one of the first to be pulled up.

Chantry House

Twice a Grade 1 winner last season, he could easily bounce back and the 20/1 shot is set to put his Gold Cup credentials to the test on Cheltenham Trials Day later this month.

Fiddlerontheroof

An unlucky loser when second in the Ladbrokes Trophy last month, Colin Tizzard will be optimistically hoping his progressive chaser can develop into a genuine Gold Cup contender.

The 33/1 chance has developed into a sure stayer and has proven his effectiveness here at Prestbury Park when second in last season’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

View the latest horse racing odds

All odds and market correct at date of publication

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Author

Stuart Walker