Cheltenham Gold Cup: How The Odds Are Shaping Up

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Ask any horse racing fan what their favourite time of year is, and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll say sometime around mid-March. Yes, the Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest events in the UK sporting calendar, and captures the attention of racing fans for four days each spring.

This year, the Festival will be a little different, due to the fact that crowds will not be permitted to attend the event as a result of coronavirus restrictions. There will be no ‘Cheltenham Roar’, but that does not mean that the Festival’s 28 races can’t still be enjoyed to the full from the comfort of home. 

The most highly anticipated of those races each year is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and you can bet that punters across the country are agonising over the latest Gold Cup odds to try and pick a winner. With less than a month to go until this year’s edition of the famous old race, let’s have a look at how the betting odds are shaping up.

Al Boum Photo – 5/2

It’s no surprise that the clear favourite for this year’s Gold Cup is Al Boum Photo, who has won each of the last two editions the race. Last year, the Willie Mullins-trained horse proved his mettle by holding off a spirited performance by Nicky Henderson’s Santini to win the Gold Cup for the second year running, and this year, Al Boum Photo’s connections are targeting a hat-trick.

At odds of 5/2, it’s hard to look past him, but over the last couple of weeks, the odds of various challengers have begun to shorten, and plenty of other trainers and jockeys will be looking to make the favourite sweat come race day.

Champ – 5/1 

One of the pretenders to Al Boum Photo’s throne is Champ, trained by Henderson. Racing fans will remember with fondness his performance in last year’s RSA Novices Chase at the Festival, where he charged through at the last to outstrip Allaho and Minella Indo and finish first. That performance showed what Champ has in his locker, and a good spell of recent form means his odds for the Gold Cup have shortened significantly. 

A price of 5/1 suggests that the bookies think Champ is in with a shout, and Henderson will be desperate to land his first Gold Cup winner since Bobs Worth in 2013.

A Plus Tard – 5/1

There has been a lot of excitement surrounding A Plus Tard’s chances for the Gold Cup this year since he triumphed in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December, and although Champ has jumped into contention in recent weeks, trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore will fancy their chances of usurping Al Boum Photo.

Most bookies have A Plus Tard about level with Champ at odds of 5/1, and it’s clear that there’s little to choose between the top contenders.

Royale Pagaille – 8/1

Sitting a bit further back in the betting is Royale Pagaille, who at one stage had been something of a long shot for this year’s Gold Cup. However, three wins on the spin between the start of December and the end of January have seen Royal Pagaille’s odds slashed dramatically.

Of course, the Gold Cup will be a monumental challenge for the Venetia Williams-trained horse, but his form has given the shorter-priced favourites much to ponder. Odds of 8/1 mean Royale Pagaille certainly can’t be dismissed. 

Whether it’s Cheltenham day 3 tips or day 4 tips you’re interested in, or indeed the earlier races in the Festival, there’s no doubt that the Gold Cup will bring plenty of excitement come March 19th.


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