Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest horse racing events across the globe and all eyes of the racing world will be on the Cotswold region of the United Kingdom for four days of action.
The Gold Cup is the most prestigious prize on offer in the competition, and in terms of grandeur it ranks behind only the Grand National in jumps racing, and many will argue that the caliber of horses competing in the event is greater than that of the Aintree meet.
The 2022 race promises to be a classic due to the quality number of horses that are competing in the event from the leading yards in the jumps racing business from the UK and Ireland.
A Plus Tard
The French thoroughbred is the outright favorite in the Cheltenham betting odds at +333 to win the crown. He placed second in the event last season, finishing narrowly off the pace of his stable-mate Minella Indo. Jockey Rachael Blackmore will attempt to continue her record-breaking pace by becoming the first female jockey to win the Gold Cup, and boost her own chances of finishing as the top jockey as she is currently backed at +450 in the Cheltenham top jockey odds to finish the week with the most wins.
“A Plus Tard annihilated them” – @BarryJGeraghty discusses the Betfair Chase as he hails it as “the easiest Grade 1 winner Rachael Blackmore’s ever ridden”#OffTheFence pic.twitter.com/Pdl0B6MS1X
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) November 23, 2021
After finishing second last season, A Plus Tard and Blackmore have a point to prove. They destroyed a talented field in the Lancashire Chase earlier in the campaign, but were pegged back last time out in Ireland by Galvin at the Savills Chase. A Plus Tard is an outstanding horse and a bet on him would be the safest one you could place for the Gold Cup.
The Irish thoroughbred presents a gamble with your bet, but he has defeated A Plus Tard at Leopardstown in the Savills Chase. It was a fine performance from Gordon Elliott’s charge and Davy Russell in the saddle. Russell has the experience needed to guide his charge to the Gold Cup, having won the event on the back of Lord Windermere in 2014, while Elliott won the race in 2016 with his charge Don Cossack.
Galvin does have past history at Cheltenham Festival as he claimed the National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase last season, while he also finished second in 2020 in the Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase. It would be a case of redemption for Elliott if Galvin were to triumph one year removed from a suspension. The Irish thoroughbred has quality, but it will take a special effort to beat Galvin for a second time, especially at Cheltenham.
You can never overlook a former champion for the race and Minella Indo and Al Boum Photo will be aiming to add to their tally of crowns. Minella Indo was a surprise winner last season at +900, but produced a fine performance down the stretch to outlast his stable-mate A Plus Tard. De Bromhead’s charge has struggled for form in the 2021/22 National Hunt season and has fallen down the pecking order in terms of the hierarchy of chasers. It would be foolish to count him out after his victory last season, but it would not be a sound idea to place all your eggs in the basket of Minella Indo.
Minella Indo was simply incredible!
Henry de Bromhead becomes the first trainer to win the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and the @WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup at the same Festival#CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/FdFpsMlwPq
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) March 19, 2021
Al Boum Photo became a darling of the Cheltenham Festival by winning back-to-back Gold Cups in 2019 and 2020. He put forward a gallant performance last season against Minella Indo and A Plus Tard, but finished third in the contest. Trainer Willie Mullins will put his charge out for one last effort in a bid to claim a third Gold Cup. However, a 10-year-old has not won the race since 1998 when Cool Dawn triumphed, therefore, the odds are against the French thoroughbred.
There are a number of talented horses competing in the signature race of Cheltenham Festival, be sure to look at them all before placing a bet. However, these four competitors stand out more than most.
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