Last year’s Gold Cup 1-2-3 return to Prestbury today to compete for the Cheltenham Festival’s headline prize at 3:30 as last year’s winner Minella Indo seeks to best stablemate and favourite A Plus Tard as well as the in-form Galvin.
Two-time champion Al Boum Photo also highlights what is a thoroughly star-studded field at the festival’s fourth and final day.
The defending champion will be ridden by Robbie Power today, and despite the gelding returning to the racecourse after victory in last year’s event, finds himself the third favourite, trailing behind last year’s runner up A Plus Tard, and up-and-comer Galvin.
The Irish horse lacks form, with just a pair of place finishes at Leopardstown and Down Royal highlighting his run since his Gold Cup victory a year ago.
At 6/1, a horse with Minella Indo’s accolades is certainly not a bad bet.
A Plus Tard
A Plus Tard, like Minella Indo, is trained by Henry de Bromhead, who will be hoping to add to his pair of wins so far at the festival with two strong contenders from his stables at the front of the field.
The race favourite is ridden by Cheltenham legend Rachael Blackmore, as last year’s Grand National winning jockey guns for her third triumph of the week, and twelfth at Prestbury.
A victory at Haydock in December certainly helps fight the Irish horse’s cause, but he has been beaten this year.
The only horse to beat the race favourite, claiming victory over A Plus Tard at Leopardstown in December.
The Gordon Elliott trained horse was a winner at last year’s festival in the Novice’s Chase, and is certainly the in form horse heading into this one.
He is ridden by an experienced and talented jockey in Davy Russell, who shockingly is still searching for his maiden win of this year’s festival.
The Gold Cup often favours young, up and coming horses, and Galvin would certainly be another of this breed.
Al Boum Photo
The Al Boum Photo/Paul Townend pairing will hope to return to the winning column in search of a third Gold Cup victory.
The Willie Mullins trained gelding gallops into Cheltenham on the back of a fourth consecutive winning performance in the New Year’s Day Chase at Tranmore, with hopes of earning his trainer’s 84th victory at the festival.
His age perhaps condemns him to harsher odds at the bookies, but underestimating the two-time Gold Cup winner could come at a cost.
Perhaps the best of the rest is this Skelton ridden and trained horse, with a pair of wins at Aintree along with a place finish at Cheltenham to his name in the last year.
The youngest runner in the field is the British challenger in the market, currently sitting at 11/1 with the capabilities to produce some enthralling performances at high-profile racecourses.