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Cheltenham Festival Favourites: Our Four Top Tips for the Boodles Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest event in the National Hunt calendar. Representing four glorious days of racing, it’s packed full of action from start to finish, but one race draws attention more than any other.

We’re talking of the Boodles Gold Cup, the piece de resistance in the lauded Cheltenham crown. Those who win it go down in history – and with good reason. Now, with less than five weeks to go, we take a look at the horses we believe are most likely to storm to victory come March 18th.

A Plus Tard

If you’re looking for horse racing tips, A Plus Tard is a natural recommendation. As Betfair's current favourite to win, he has all the qualities that might be required from a Gold Cup champion. Not only has he shown a magnificent turn of speed against the likes of Chacun Pour Soi but the stamina to win the Savills and Betfair Chases. He’s also proven himself strong in this contest previously, having finished a mere length and a quarter behind last year’s victor. It was A Plus Tard’s jumping that let him down in 2021, but now eight years old and in his prime, he seems much more accomplished than last time around. We will have to see if reality meets expectations.

Galvin

Galvin is another strong contender, and it’s telling that he beat A Plus Tard when the latter was competing for a second Savills Chase win in 2021. This is a horse that is – above all – reliable. While he may not be the hottest talent who’s ever stormed around the track, he doesn’t seem to have bad days, and this could work in his favour. We also know he has previous form at Cheltenham and should be able to stay strong up the hill, as he’s won over four furlongs previously (in the National Hunt Chase). While he seems naturally more suited to the Grand National than the Gold Cup, he’s nonetheless shown he can beat the favourite once already, so it’s not out of the question that he could repeat this feat a second time.

Minella Indo

There’s no doubting Minella Indo has talent, given he claimed the Boodles Gold Cup title last year. He also seems to have a particular penchant for Cheltenham, having previously won the Albert Bartlett and come second in the RSA in 2020. What he lacks is consistency. Outside of this track, he’s found it difficult to shine in other major contests, with the Down Royal being a case in point (interestingly, Galvin came in ahead of him on that occasion). However, he did recently put in a strong performance in the Irish Gold Cup, so a return to form shouldn’t be counted out.

Protektorat

Last but not least, Protektorat. Again, this is a horse with history at Cheltenham, having two prior victories under his belt. Possessed of seemingly infinite stamina, he won an effortless and impressive victory in December’s Many Clouds Chase against stiff competition. That being said, there hasn’t been a British-trained Gold Cup winner for over six years, so it remains to be seen whether Protektorat can buck that trend.

Tell us, come March 18th, who will your money be on?