The Cheltenham Gold cup is the highlight of the whole Cheltenham festival, it is also seen as the most prestigious race of the whole National Hunt calendar. It also offers the highest purse out of all the non-handicap races. Last year the total prize fund was £550,000 with £313,225 going to the winner and 8/1 outsider Coneygree. The 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup is sponsored by communications supplier specialists, Timico after previously being sponsored by horse racing tote providers, Betfred.
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Cheltenham Gold Cup – History
The Cheltenham Gold cup dates back all the way to 1819, but was first run as a jumps race in 1924. The race was moved to the new course in 1959. Since this time the race has pretty much remained unchanged. The race is one with a length of three miles and two and a half furlongs and consists of 22 gruelling jumps.
Horses that stand out in history in this race would be Arkle from back in the sixties. This was the Duchess of Westminster’s horse and won this highly acclaimed race three times in a row. The only other horse to repeat this fete is Best Mate who also accomplished three consecutive wins in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Cheltenham Gold Cup – Trainers
In terms of successful trainers at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in recent years, two stand out amongst the rest. These are Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson. Paul Nicholls has also won the Gold cup three times in a row but with different horses (Kauto Star 2007, Denman 2008, Kauto Star 2009). He has won it 4 times in total, making him the most successful trainer in this race from the last 30 years.
Henderson has seen more recent success winning this race in 2011 with Long Run and 2013 with Bob’s Worth. Keep a close eye on these trainers in this event this year.
That said do not take away the chances of the less well known trainers. Mark Bradstock took the prestigious award of winning Gold Cup trainer last year after successfully getting a novice chaser past the post first for over forty years.
Cheltenham Gold Cup – Last year’s race.
Last year’s race was a surprising one with the outsider Coneygree running a fantastic race. The horse and jockey both made sure they were out in front right from the start and made sure that was the way it stayed right the way through the race. A valiant run and worthy winner from an unlikely source, but thoroughly deserved. Here is a clip of Coneygree finishing the race.
Cheltenham Gold Cup – horses to look out for
Don Cossack is joint favourite to win here at general odds of 4/1. This horse has great stamina and staying power and has proven he can race in all conditions. He likes to stay in the pack for the early parts of the race, conserving energy for a very strong finish. Has seen five wins from his last 6 races. The race He didn’t win was on Boxing Day and was due to a fall at the last after a close run in between himself, Cue Card and Vautour.
A fine horse trained by Willie Mullins who only has first and second place finishes to his name after eleven lifetime jump races. Vautour is going for it’s third Cheltenham Victory after winning the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle in 2014 and the Novice’s chase last year. a prolific horse, but one who was beaten by another worthy contender in this field in Vautour’s last run out. Cue card showed to have more in him towards the end of the King George VI Chase, back on Boxing Day, winning the race by a nose. With Cue Card looking likely to also run here, I fancy Vautour as a more each way bet rather than the ‘on the nose’ option. Vautour is the other joint favourite, also around the 4/1 mark.
This is my top pick for the Ante post markets and I really fancy this horse to either do the business and win or push the likes of Don Cossack and Vautour right to the line. This horse comes in to this race with three back to back wins and will certainly be a wise choice should the conditions lean towards the soft. This is where Cue Card seems to perform best. This horse does contain a lot of Cheltenham festival experience, with this being his fifth year of competing. His last run out here was back in 2013 when he won the Ryanair Chase with Joe Tizzard. Odds for Cue Card sit around 13/2. A good price in my opinion.
If this horse can jump confidently and stay on its feet, it has a chance to place here, possibly win. Another horse trained by Mullins and ridden by Walsh, it has plenty of winning experience and has raced in the two previous festivals.
Djakadam makes for good reading on the heavy ground and certainly has a kick-on at the end to stay with the rest of the pack. The only downfall here is that Djakadam fell in his last run out in January as well as experiencing a fall at the festival back in 2013. Still at odds of 13/2 you can see that he is a popular choice and a serious contender.
With horses backing out of races all the time it is also wise to follow us on Twitter for all of the up to date news as it lands. Our twitter name is @bettingapps. We’ll also be letting you know what special offers are hitting leading up to the big event.