Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Odds

Horse racing is one of the most popular spectator sports in the UK and a hugely common sport to bet on.

There are two types of racing in the UK; Flat and Jumps racing.

The pinnacle of the Jumps season is the Cheltenham Festival, which reaches its climax on the fourth day when the most prestigious race of the entire season is run. That race is the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Here we look at the race in detail and offer some advice when betting on it.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a historic Jumps race that was first run in 1924.

It is a chase, run over three miles two-and-a-half-furlongs of the Cheltenham New Course, with horses jumping 22 fences and running two complete circuits of the Cheltenham track.

Aside from the Grand National, it is the most valuable race in the Jumps racing calendar, with a prize fund of over £500,000.

The topography of Cheltenham provides a perfect natural amphitheater for racing and few spectacles can compare with watching the best-staying chasers contest the Gold Cup.

What makes the Gold Cup the ultimate jumps race is that it is usually run at a strong tempo, meaning horses have to have speed but also stout reserves of stamina in order to make it up the famous Cheltenham hill in front.

The Gold Cup is the race that all Jumps trainers dream of winning.

Current Top 5 Favourites To Win The 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup

Minella Indo (6/1) – Last season’s Gold Cup winner returned this campaign in the Champion Chase at Down Royal, but could only manage third.

He is likely to come on for that run and his main target will be a defence of his Cheltenham crown in March.

A Plus Tard (7/1) – Found only Minella Indo too good last year when attempting the extreme distance of the Gold Cup for the first time.

A Plus Tard is still only a seven-year-old so could have the improvement to come over a trip of three miles this season. That makes him a standout Gold Cup candidate once again.

Envoi Allen (8/1) – Envoi Allen came into the 2021 Cheltenham Festival unbeaten in 11 races but surprisingly fell when bidding for Grade One glory in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.

He returned this season with an impressive display at Down Royal and the Gold Cup is likely to be on the agenda. If he can return to the form of his earlier novice chasing performances, then he would be tough to beat.

Chantry House (10/1) – Chantry House won the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year, but we will never know what would have happened had Envoi Allen completed the race.

He has won five of his six starts over fences to date and there could still be lots of improvement to come this season.

Al Boum Photo (20/1) – Already a dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, the Willie Mullins-trained runner failed in his bid to make it three consecutive wins last year.

He finished third behind Minella Indo and A Plus Tard and might be vulnerable to younger legs once again.

Betting Strategy For The Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade One race, meaning horses all carry the same weight.

Horses that compete in the race have usually spent at least one previous season racing over fences, and so are not considered novice chasers.

Stamina

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the most grueling staying races in the season and it takes a horse with special reserves of stamina to win.

Horses that have run and won over three miles still often don’t see out the Gold Cup trip.

A good example is Willie Mullins’ Djakadam, who finished second in 2015 and 2016, was fourth in 2017, and fifth in 2018. In many of those races Djakadam looked as though he was coming to win the race, but he was ultimately beaten by stronger staying rivals each time.

To get an idea of a horse’s stamina the best place to start is to look at its past form. If they have won over three miles plus in their career, then the chances are they will have enough stamina to get home.

However, you can make extra sure of a horse’s stamina by checking their record on soft or heavy ground, and if they have won over three miles in those conditions then their stamina for the Gold Cup is virtually assured.

Another way of assessing a horse’s stamina reserves is to look at its run style. Every horse has a maximum speed it can run and horses with a lot of stamina tend to be slower but keep going for longer.

Look back at replays of a horse’s past runs. If they tend to finish their races more quickly than their rivals and make up positions late in the race, then they can be considered a strong stayer over the distance they are racing.

However, when it comes to finding a Gold Cup winner, they need a mixture of both speed and stamina, which is why it is such a difficult race to win and thrilling to watch with your money down.

Ground

Keeping a close eye on ground conditions can be vital, particularly with a race like the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

In soft ground conditions, the race can be even more stamina sapping than usual and you may have to approach the race in a different way when looking for a bet.

2015 Gold Cup Coneygree had won five of his seven career races on soft or heavy ground before his tilt at the Gold Cup and he benefited from overnight rain at Cheltenham, which meant the going changed to soft on Gold Cup day.

In contrast, in 2018, Might Bite’s chances were damaged by the soft ground conditions and he was outbattled by a stronger stayer, Native River, after the last fence on the ground that suited that rival perfectly.

It can help to look closely at forecasts and keep an eye on how the ground changes throughout the four days of the Cheltenham Festival.

Once you have a good idea of what ground conditions will be like on Gold Cup day, then attempt to side with horses that you know will be best suited by the conditions and tie this into your consideration of a horse’s stamina and run style too.

Follow Cheltenham Form

Cheltenham is a unique track that doesn’t suit all horses. Finding a horse that has won or run well before at Cheltenham can be a good way of approaching a race like the Gold Cup.

Seven out of the last ten Gold Cup winners had at least placed in a chase at Cheltenham in the past.

Of those, there were two winners and one placed horse in the Broadway Novices’ Chase (known for many years at the RSA Chase) over three miles and half a furlong, which is run at the Cheltenham Festival each year and is the most important novice trial for the Gold Cup.

Picking several good performers in the Broadway Novices’ Chase from the previous season to follow through the season in the build-up to the Cheltenham Festival is a good way of getting to know the main prep races for the Gold Cup and many of the key form lines.

Notable Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

Cheltenham Gold Cup winners immediately secure a place in Jumps racing folklore, and there have been several multiple winners that still stand at the pinnacle of the sport.

The irrepressible Golden Miller won a historic five Gold Cups in succession from 1932 to 1936, and he still holds the record for most wins in the race.

Between 1948 and 1950, legendary Irish trainer Vincent O’Brien primed Cottage Rake to win three Gold Cups, a feat that was later equaled by possibly the greatest Jumps horse of all-time – Arkle.

Trained by Jim Dreaper and ridden by Pat Taaffe, Arkle had to work hard to land his first Gold Cup at the expense of Mill House in 1964. The following year he blitzed his rivals, finishing 20 lengths ahead of the same rival in second.

In 1966 he produced a remarkable performance of jumping and galloping, cruising clear of his rivals off the home turn to romp to a 30-length victory.

The only other triple Gold Cup winner is Best Mate, who didn’t have the flamboyance of Arkle but was all heart when winning between 2002 and 2004 for Henrietta Knight and rider Jim Culloty.

The duels between stablemates Kauto Star and ‘The Tank’ Denman in 2008 and 2009 were one of the great narratives in racing. They won one Gold Cup each, but Kauto Star also triumphed in the 2007 Gold Cup earlier in his career.

In 2015 the wonderfully bold Coneygree produced a stirring front running performance to become the first novice chaser to win the Gold Cup since 1974.

His trainers the Bradstocks had less than 10 horses in their yard at the time, proving that Jumps racing and the Gold Cup still gives the smaller trainer a chance to dream.

In 2019, Al Boum Photo won the first Cheltenham Gold Cup for Willie Mullins and went on to repeat the feat a year later but was foiled in his bid to match Best Mate, Cottage Rake, and Arkle last year when Minella Indo emerged victoriously.

Popular Horse Racing Bets

For any horse race, the type of bet you place is an important consideration.

This is because every race market is different, due to the number of horses running and the odds of those horses. Knowing the best bet to place in different circumstances can improve your chance of winning.

Here are a few common horse racing bets.

Straight Bets

A bet placed on a single outcome, for example, on one horse in a race.

These can be divided into different types of bets: win, place, and each way bets.

Forecast

There are two types of forecast: a straight forecast and a reverse forecast.

A straight forecast is a bet where you select two horses to finish first and second in a race. They must finish in the correct order to win the bet.

With a reverse forecast, the two horses can finish in any order.

Tricast

Much like a forecast, there are also straight and reverse tricasts.

A straight tricast challenges you to predict the first three horses in a race in the correct order.

A reverse tricast gives you a few more possible outcomes if you are not confident about the finishing order of your selections.