Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Preview


Galopin Des Champs Cheltenham Festival


Another thrilling Cheltenham Festival draws to a close on Friday afternoon, with the Prestbury Park venue offering seven more chances for punters to find a winner. All seven events will attract their share of attention, but the Gold Cup takes pride of place as the highlight of the meeting. So far, the Irish have claimed the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Stayers Hurdle - will the raiding party complete a clean sweep of the major events, or will the better-than-expected British resistance carry over into the most coveted staying chase prize of the season?

Galopin to Glory Part 2?

One look at the betting market suggests the home team may be up against it in the feature. Only three runners traded at a single-figure price in the overnight market – all three hailing from Ireland. Sitting atop the betting - and clear of his nearest rival at Evs with Betfred - is the defending champion Galopin Des Champs.

2024 represents the fourth festival outing for this talented performer, with the previous three resulting in a win in the Martin Pipe, a fall with the race at his mercy in the Turners’ Novices Chase, and a glorious seven-length romp in this race last year. Back-to-back defeats on his final start last season and his first of the current campaign suggested there may be chinks in his armour. However, those chinks have been all but forgotten following sizzling wins in the Savills Chase and Irish Gold Cup. He’s the one to beat, but races don’t come any hotter than this, and anything less than his A-game is unlikely to be enough.

Best of the Rest

As the horse to inflict that pair of defeats on Galopin Des Champs, the Martin Brassil-trained Fastorslow (6/1 with Betfred) is attracting plenty of support. 2½l too good for the favourite in the Punchestown Gold Cup, he was value for more than the ½l margin when again coming out on top in the John Durkan. However, he had no answers for Galopin Des Champs in the closing stages of the Irish Gold Cup. That 4½l defeat still rated a fine prep for this, but his form at Cheltenham – equating to defeats in the Coral Cup and Ultima Handicap Chase – is a notch below that of the jolly.

It took Gordon Elliott longer than usual to hit the target at this year's meeting, but having claimed the headline act on Day 3 with Teahupoo, he will hope to follow up in the biggest race of all. Gerri Colombe (8/1 with Betfred) is the horse to fly the Elliott flag in 2024. Like Fastorslow, this eight-year-old finished second to Galopin Des Champs last time out, but, in his case, he has 23 lengths to make up. However, it seems fair to assume that Gerri Colombe wasn’t himself that day, as he failed to find his trademark strong-finishing effort. Much better can be expected here, and as a four-time Grade 1 winner - who lost out by only a short head in the 2023 Brown Advisory - he merits the utmost respect.

Despite her prowess with staying chasers, Venetia Williams is yet to land this prize. Hoping to change all that is the talented nine-year-old L’Homme Presse. Generally liking to get on with things from the front, this bold-jumping sort has the style and pace to put his rivals under pressure. Brilliant on his previous Festival appearance when powering home in the 2022 Brown Advisory, he undoubtedly has the class to go well. At 10/1 with Betfred, he’s the shortest-priced British runner in the field.

Moving further down the list, we come to 2023 Grand National hero Corach Rambler (11/1 with Betfred). This Lucinda Russell star is a perfect two from two at the Cheltenham Festival, having landed the 2022 and 2023 editions of the Ultima. He might lack the pace of some of these rivals but won’t come up short in the stamina department. If close enough as they turn for home, he could be a threat coming up the hill.

Bravemansgame (14/1 with Betfred) may be only sixth in the betting, but was too good for all bar Galopin Des Champs in 2023 and, hailing from the Paul Nicholls yard, will arrive in tip-top condition. Gentlemansgame (20/1 with Betfred) has proved no match for Galopin Des Champs in the past but looked an improved performer when beating Bravemansgame in the Charlie Hall Chase. Monkfish (25/1 with Betfred) is possibly the most intriguing contender as he continues his comeback from injury. In Willie Mullins, he has the right trainer in his corner and has already scored twice at this meeting in the past.

Rounding out the field, we have The Real Whacker, who needs to improve on this season's form, Nassalam, who probably needs the heavens to open, and Jungle Boogie, who looks to be thrown in at the deep end but has the assistance of Rachael Blackmore, and goes for two-time winner of this race, Henry De Bromhead.

Best Bets

A cracking renewal of one of the greatest races of the calendar year. No prizes for imagination with our win selection, but Galopin Des Champs' display last year is hard to forget. 9lbs clear of the field on official ratings and hailing from a yard doing so well this week, he’s a worthy favourite.

Fastorslow and Gerri Colombe are dangerous rivals, but the former needs to step up on previous festival displays, and the latter has a question to answer following that subpar Savills Chase effort. L’homme Presse is a solid each-way option, but we prefer backing up the main selection with a small punt on his stablemate, Monkfish. Only a couple of seasons ago, this Rich Ricci runner was touted as a sure-fire Gold Cup challenger, only for injury to intervene. Winning nicely on his recent return, it may be worth chancing that he belatedly gets his day in the sun.

  • Galopin Des Champs to win - Evens
  • Monkfish each way - 25/1

All Prices with betfred


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