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Gold Cup

15:30 Cheltenham Festival

2022-03-18

Winner: £351687.5

Runners: 11

Going: Good To Soft

No. of hurdles: 22

Distance: 3m2f70y

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The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious contest in jump racing and has been won by some of the greatest horses in the history of the sport. The Grade 1 chase provides the highlight of the four-day Cheltenham Festival and, with prize-money of £625,000, is the most valuable jumps race in Britain and Ireland after the Grand National. The Gold Cup represents the ultimate challenge for the very best staying chasers, with 22 fences to be jumped during the relentless three miles and two and a half furlongs, and a punishing finish up the famous Cheltenham hill. Among the greats to have won the race are Golden Miller, Mill House, Arkle, Best Mate and Kauto Star. Check the Cheltenham Gold Cup runners and riders ahead of the big race and place your bets by clicking the odds buttons.

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10(0)
53P-42
silk
Santini

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J: Nick Scholfield
T: Polly Gundry
10
11-10
153
164
A top stayer in his prime (acts on soft) but slugging it out with Al Boum Photo in this race in 2020 took its toll and he never dug that deep again; pulled up in this last year and although he recaptured some form on second start for new yard, dividing Chantry House and Aye Right here in January (3m1f, good; received 4lb from both), it is unlikely he will be involved today.
1(0)
/13-21
silk
Al Boum Photo

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J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
10
11-10
170
179
Has proved very well suited by the demands of this race on good to soft (acts on soft) for the last three years, finding the most in 2019 and hanging on from Santini in 2020 before several small mistakes cost him dear behind Minella Indo and A Plus Tard last year; if he can jump economically in first-time headgear he could be a danger to all.
4(0)
30-513
silk
Aye Right

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J: Callum Bewley
T: Harriet Graham & Gary Rutherford
9
11-10
158
167
Game stayer who has done connections proud with multiple wins; cracking effort when third to Chantry House and Santini here in January (3m1f, good; acts on soft) but that form and two previous Festival runs leave him with plenty to find.
9(0)
16-212
silk
Royale Pagaille

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J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
8
11-10
166
175
A trier who excels on testing ground; entered last year's Gold Cup picture after a barnstorming win in a 3m1f Haydock handicap on heavy but finished lame in this race; no match for A Plus Tard on return in a Grade 1 at Haydock in November (good to soft) but this week's rain is a blessing.
11(0)
543-51
silk
Tornado Flyer

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J: Danny Mullins
T: W P Mullins
9
11-10
167
178
First run over 3m was a muted one behind A Plus Tard at Leopardstown in late 2020 but he came through strongly to win the King George on Boxing Day (soft) in good style; not impossible that he will go on to better things in staying races but this event is chalk and cheese to the Kempton one now he's up against gilt-edged stayers.
2(0)
212-12
silk
A Plus Tard

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J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
8
11-10
172
184
Has run excellent races at the last three Festivals, most significantly when a pressing runner-up (beaten just over 1l), without looking likely to overhaul Minella Indo, in the Gold Cup last year; brilliant return at Haydock in November but unable to justify a short price when Galvin dug in late to deprive him at Leopardstown in December (3m, yielding; acts on soft) and, while entitled to be bang there, he is not necessarily the strongest stayer in the field.
3(0)
3-1UF4
silk
Asterion Forlonge

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J: B J Cooper
T: W P Mullins
8
11-10
164
174
High-class performer but sound jumping cannot be taken for granted and he fell again when about to be second to Tornado Flyer in the King George at Kempton (3m, soft); that was the fourth time he failed to complete in nine chases and his Leopardstown defeat since, when nearly 6l behind Minella Indo, was not encouraging enough to take a chance on his unproven stamina.
7(0)
41-3P2
silk
Minella Indo

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J: Robbie Power
T: Henry De Bromhead
9
11-10
174
183
Top-class form at the last three Festivals when winning the Albert Bartlett over hurdles, burgled late on in the RSA and outstaying A Plus Tard and Al Boum Photo in the 2021 Gold Cup (good to soft; acts well on soft); has had a difficult season and the appearance of cheekpieces was a surprise in the King George, albeit that it wouldn't have been his ideal race even if he hadn't taken on the front-runner (eventually pulled up); however, he ran much better behind a surprise winner who caught him on the hop at Leopardstown in February and has a major chance of retaining his title.
5(0)
11-1P1
silk
Chantry House

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J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
8
11-10
160
171
Reputation at an all-time high when winning Grade 1 novices here (2m4f) and at Aintree (3m1f; both on good to soft; has won on soft) last spring but he disappointed badly when favourite for the King George, urged along leaving the stands and eventually pulled up; next seen with cheekpieces fitted (retained today) when partially back on track to beat Santini and Aye Right here in January (3m1f, good) but doubts have crept in.
6(0)
11-121
silk
Galvin

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J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
8
11-10
168
179
Has never been flashy but upward steps have been steady since finishing second in the novices' handicap chase here in 2020 and there was abundant stamina on show when winning the National Hunt Chase 12 months ago (3m6f, good to soft); looked an unlikely contender for this race earlier in the winter but his indomitable rally to beat A Plus Tard in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown (3m, yielding) put a different slant on the situation; acts on soft; comes here as an improving stayer with major chance.
8(0)
221-21
silk
Protektorat

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J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
7
11-10
164
176
Has made great strides over fences since winning a novice chase here in November 2020; his first run over a staying trip, at Kelso last February, didn't go well but despite fighting his rider from the off at Aintree in December (3m1f, soft; also suited by good/good to soft) he still charged home in isolation; did not have much to beat there and he will do well to last out this stiffer test unless he settles better, but it's still possible he can prove an outstanding stayer.

RACING POST TIP

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silk
Galvin
A terrific contest, thoroughly worthy of the Blue Riband of chasing. Several have already proved themselves at the top level and there are two intriguing young pretenders to spice things up. Last year's winner Minella Indo had something in hand when beating A Plus Tard and he was back in better form at Leopardstown last time after the unnerving appearance of cheekpieces for the King George, which didn't go to plan at all. He is preferred of the first three in last year's race, as the third Al Boum Photo, who had won the previous two runnings, spoilt his chance with some small mistakes. GALVIN (nap) never shoots the lights out on the track but he is an improving stayer who has a good record at the Festival and whose never-say-die attitude earned him a deserved win over A Plus Tard at Leopardstown. The boisterous Protektorat and King George winner Tornado Flyer will do very well to outstay him, and Minella Indo may be the one to follow the selection home.

Verdict

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PREVIOUS GOLD CUP WINNERS

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CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP KEY TRENDS AND STATS

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR - CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP 2021

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