The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious prize in steeplechasing and the feature race of the Cheltenham Festival. Run over 3 miles and 2½ furlongs on Cheltenham Racecourse’s new course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is open to racehorses aged five and above. Henry de Bromhead trained the first two home in the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup, as A Plus Tard got the better of stablemate Minella Indo at odds of 3/1. This article contains our 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup betting preview, with picks, predictions, best odds, trends and no deposit free bets.
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CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP BETTING PREVIEW
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the highlight of the four days of the Festival, with the best chasers in the UK and Ireland taking on each other in the most anticipated race of the year. It's a Grade 1 chase covering three miles and about two and half furlongs, for horses aged five years and upwards. The Gold Cup runners have twenty-two jumps to face before a gruelling climb up the Cheltenham hill.
A strong pace usually means this becomes a war of attrition up the hill, and stamina rather than speed is the essential requirement. Defending champion A Plus Tard is sure to be back to defend his title and will be tough to beat.
And now we take a closer look at this year's Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail in the big race.
Who will win the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2023?GALOPIN DES CHAMP is the odds on favourite this year. He was almost guaranteed the win at last year’s festival in the Turners but fell at the last when he was 12 legngths ahead and gifted the win to Bob Olinger. He subsequently won at Fairyhouse by 18 lengths in April. Willie Mullins' charge was last seen winning the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown by 8 lengths. Prior to that he scored in the John Durkan memorial chase at Punchestown back in December, winning by 13 lengths to Fakir D’Oudairies.
Winner of the Irish Gold Cup last season, CONFLATED probably would have finished second behind Allaho in the Ryanair Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival had he not come down at the second last fence. On his seasonal reappearance, he finished a close-up third in the Champions Chase at Down Royal while in his most recent outing he landed the Savills Steeplechase at Leopardtown's Christmas Festival.
The reigning Grand National champion NOBLE YEATS has emerged as a Gold Cup candidate after taking his chasing form to a new level this term. He won at Wexford and Aintree this season and he was far from disgraced when placing third in the Cotswolds Chase in January. He has been given a break since and that could well work in his favour. Emmet Mullins' charge has abundant stamina but a slight concern would be his jumping.
With no Brown Advisory Novice Chase winner L'Homme Presse around, BRAVEMANSGAME leads the British hope. Third behind Bob Olinger and Gaillard Du Mesnil in the 2021 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and having missed last year's festival, he was an impressive winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Prio to that, he won the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, showing he clearly loves flat tracks. Paul Nicholls eight-year-old has yet to win from two previous visits to Cheltenham and he doesn't perform well on soft ground.
A PLUS TARD is the defending champion. A classy horse that enters the race on the back of very poor performances. After winning the Gold Cup, he disappointed in the Savill's Chase at Leopardstown. Henry De Bromhead's stable star hasn’t been been seen since pulling-up in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, so his form is unknown.
After a disappointing 4th place in the 2021 Albert Bartlett, Willie Mullins' STATTLER won the National Hunt Chase over 3m6f last season and quickened away in the style of a useful performer. He finished 3rd in both his outings this term - behind Gold Cup hero Minella Indo in the Grade 3 Savills Chase at Tramore on New Years Daand behind stablemate Galopin Des Champs in the Irish Gold Cup last month - showing notable progresses in his only 2nd season over fences.
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Dark horses?AHOY SENOR beat the aforementioned Bravemansgame at Aintree last spring and returned to winning ways this season when scoring in the Grade 2 Cotswolds Chase over this C&D in January.
MINELLA INDO first and second in this race in the last two years. Add to those Gold Cup runs, a win in the 2019 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and a silver medal in the 2020 RSA Chase (now the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase), then Minella Indo’s Cheltenham Festival record reads 1-2-1-2. He returned with a gutsy victory over Stattler in the Savills New Year's Day Chase at Tramore. Kept fresh since then, Henry De Bromhead's stable star could the surprise package here.
A horse bought for £800, HEWICK has turned into the horse of a lifetime for the larger-than-life trainer who goes by ‘Shark’, amassing nearly £400,000 in prize money. After success in the valuable Gold Cup handicap at Sandown and the Galway Plate last year – followed by a setback at Listowel in September – he won the American Grand National Hurdle Stakes at Fair Hill on his last outing last October. He needs good ground and the rain at the course this week may have lengthened the horse’s chances of success
PROTEKTORAT finished third in the 2022 Gold Cup renewal, behind the Henry De Bromhead trained pair of A Plus Tard and Minella Indo. This season he won the Betfair Chase at Haydock by 11 lengths last November but finished well behind Ahoy Senor in the Cotswold Chase in January. At current odds he looks overpriced and could be a smart each way option.
SOUNDS RUSSIAN, ROYALE PAGAILLE and ELDORADO ALLEN are long shots for brave punters.
The section below contains the most backed entries at the moment:
CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP TRENDS
- Just 5 of last 13 winners were favourites/joint favourites
- 20 of the 22 winners were priced 9/1 or less
- 18 of the 22 winners had won (10) or placed (7) at the Festival before
- 9 of the last 12 winners have won last time out (16 of the 22 winners overall)
- All the 22 winners were previous Grade 1 winners
- 11 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 previous win over 24 furlongs or further
- 11 of the last 12 winners were officially rated 164 or higher
- 21 of the 22 winners were aged between 7-9
CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP PREDICTIONS
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2023 CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP FAQs
What time is the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the 4th and feature race run on Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival. That falls on Friday March 17, 2023 and the official starting time is 3:30pm.
How many obstacles are jumped in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
There are 22 obstacles to jump for the Cheltenham Gold Cup runners
What is the distance of the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is run on a distance of 3 miles 2 and a half furlongs
What is the prize money for the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
The total prize money on offer for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival will be £625,000.
Who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year?
Last year's renewal was won by A Plus Tard at SP of 3/1, trained by Henry De Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
What weights are carried for the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
11st 8lb (5yo). 11st 10lb (6yo+), with a 7lb allowance for mares.
Who is the leading jockey in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Thanks to Al Boum Photo, Paul Townend is the only current jockey to win the race more than once in recent history. Nico De Boinville went very close to record his second success - after Coneygree in 2015 - with Santini in 2020.
Who is the leading trainer in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
No modern trainer has saddled more winners than Paul Nicholls (4). Anyway, Henry De Bromhead has saddled the first two home in the last two renewals while WIllie Mullins won the 2019 and 2020 editions. Plus, Nicky Henderson has saddled two winners and three placed horses from just 12 runners.