For the big one we have asked a number of our previous guests and tipsters who we have featured on The Cheeky Punts to give us their best bet of the Gold Cup along with the picks from the The Cheeky Punts team (plus we still have the race by race preview as well)
And for those in our competition, check out our Cheltenham Tipping Competition pages for all the latest as we go in to the final day. Good Luck to everyone
The Gold Cup
It looks like a good renewal of the big race and whilst it would be great to see A Plus Tard steam up the hill for the Blackmore/De Bromhead combo, and what a story that would be, I'm going to go against the heart & try to go with head instead.
And I think the story could be a first Gold Cup for trainer Dan Skelton. It seems almost unbelievable that he's only actually got 5 festival winners over the years with Langer Dan the last of those coming this week. But i think he could have a real chance here of landing the big one with Protektorat
He knows his way round here having finished 3rd in last years GC & he should be even better this year. Last time he followed home Minella Indo and the winner A Plus Tard so he will have to run a huge race but at a decent price, he's my pick and could be a bit of each way value
Fawkes Racing - @FawkesRacing
Selection: A Plus Tard (11/2 – 3 places)
Trainer: Henry De Bromhead Jockey: Rachael Blackmore
Summary: Obviously the talking horse of the race is Galopin Des Champs, and he is a worthy favourite. However, I’m sticking with A PLUS TARD to gain a consecutive Gold Cup victory.
I backed A Plus Tard at 12/1 when he was pulled up in the Betfaire Chase at Haydock, that was definitely not his running and subsequently their were issues found.
There is a concern he hasn’t had a run since that race at Haydock, but if he is back to his best then, in my eyes, he’ll be fighting out the finish with Golpin Des Champs.
And what a story and week it would be for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.
You can also find more from Fawkes Racing on their blog here for even more tips for the day
TAK Racing - @TAKracingadvice
Cheltenham Festival 2023
DAY FOUR, Friday 17th March
The flagship race of the meeting and in all honesty it’s building up to be a fantastic renewal! At the top of the market is the exciting GALOPIN DES CHAMPS who was highly unfortunate to fall at the last fence in last years Turners novice over 2m 4f. He came back from that by winning a couple of Grade One Irish novice chases over 2m 4f before last months Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup over 3 miles where his jumping has been excellent and he was going away at the finish. The extra 2 furlongs in this up the stiff Cheltenham hill is what sorts the men from the boys and a lot of people believe he can prove himself to be the superstar we need in the chasing ranks.
One at an each way price for me is last years third PROTEKTORAT for the Skeltons. He would’ve run on into 2nd but for a blunder at the last fence. He did show strength and stamina though as Harry gathered him up and got him going again to battle up the hill and hold on to 3rd place. Soft/testing ground will be spot on and I can see him running a big race again.
You can also find selections for EVERY race today from TAK over on Twitter @TAKracingadvice or on their Facebook page here
Tic Tac Racing - @RacingTicTac
I am going to make two selections here, one at a shorter price to win and one with bigger odds. Irish dominate this race and look to hold the keys, particularly with Galopin Des Champs as the market leader. My good friend has said since day one, his numbers from his novice season last year were astounding and stood by it. He looks like a Gold Cup winner in waiting and fits the bill perfectly. ‘
He was unlucky last year when well ahead in the Turners Novice Chase at this course when about to sluice up and could make amends here and land the Blue Riband of jump racing. Nothing unique about the selection and he is a best priced 15/8 at the time of writing and I am not going mad but feel he is a worthy favourite with everything in his favour, other than the question of a first attempt at the trip but Mullins the master knows what it takes for a Gold Cup winner, having won it twice in the last four years with Al Boum Photo.
You do not see many horses that can win the race twice and it understandably takes a lot out of them to even be competitive in the race. Only 5 of the last 22 winners have been older than 8, of them only Best Mate and Kauto Star had already appeared in the race. The latest was back in 2009 when Kauto Star was the 7/4f. This indicates how hard it is to keep coming back for more.
Also another key stat, only 2 that have won have ever ran over a trip further than the Gold Cup trip of 3m2f. Negatives for Noble Yeats and Stattler.
Another stat? No King George winner has come here and won since 2011.
We have four runners from the Cotswold Chase, Ahoy Senor won that day but no winner has come here and won since 2000. Noble Yeats and Protektorat also have a favourable swing in the weights today. Though Protektorat was beaten in this race last year, he was still placed behind A Plus Tard and Minello Indo and could be stronger for the experience this year. He finished quite a way off Ahoy Senor the last day in aforementioned Cotswold Chase but it looked to my eye that he was not asked for maximum effort and a half hearted slap when outpaced. It certainly looked like it perhaps was Ahoy Senor’s Gold Cup that day and I felt he could struggle to even uphold the form with this one let alone win the race.
If Protektorat can produce something like his Betfair Chase win from November then he could well give me a good run for my money at 18/1 with 4 places on offer and can hopefully sneak a place at least.
Galopin Des Champs win
Protektorat EW 4pl
Worth a try Tips - @WorthATryTips
Cheltenham will be closing the curtains on what has been an exciting meeting thus far & Friday marks the last day, with the main feature being the Gold Cup.
Willie Mullins tops the market with Galopin Des Champs. He tackles the trip for the first time after looking very impressive at Leopardstown over 3 miles. He has been faultless since his heart breaking fall in the Turners last year & he is certainly the one to beat, but in what looks a very competitive field, I'm happy to try take him on with his price being so short.
Bravemansgame is the one I've come down on with his price looking more than respectable at 7/1. He has looked to really come into his own since his Aintree defeat last year. His King George VI win was more than good enough to put him into contention for the Gold Cup. Some bookmakers are offering 5 places & I would be shocked to see him out of the place's.
Henry De Bromhead has started hitting a bit of form this Cheltenham festival with three winners already and it would be no surprise to A Plus Tard get back to form in Friday with the stable now firing. A Plus Tard is the current Gold Cup holder but he was well below par when last seen at Haydock back in November. Hopefully whatever his issues where back then are now firmly in the past. If they are, then he will surely be in the mix.
I don't think he is a backable price as he should be a bigger price based on what we saw last time he set foot on the track, but maybe he is the price he is because connections feel he is back to his old self.
Finally, with A Plus Tard is fancied, you'd have to fancy Minella Indo at a price. He was the Gold Cup holder before the race last year before passing the honours to his stablemate. He was the one to try challenge A Plus Tard last year in the race but could see out the challenge once over the last. With race fitness on his side, compared to his stablemate, he could be one to cause a potential upset. At the price's he could be worth a small each way play.
The Bookies Foe - @BookiesFoe
I like to follow stats/trends for this race as this will nearly always point you in the right direction. I will avoid previous runners almost every time.
I will also avoid 10YOs and over as well as horses aged younger than 7. We have whittled it down by now so I would also swerve Noble Yeats who lacks class and course form.
Bravemansgame, Protektorat, Conflated and Ahoy Senor are more suited to flat tracks imo.
My selection is Stattler (11/1) who tackles the race for the first time and has course and festival form and will stay all day!
Pugwalls Pick - @westbrom7777
Gold cup day! What a line up! Who’s everyone fancy? After the performance in the king George, I’m having a small play on bravemansgame. Good luck to you all today