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CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL PREVIEW: The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham.co.uk team break down the 2022 Cheltenham Festival’s feature race

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The biggest race at the Festival comes on the fourth and final day of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, as several top-class chasers aim for success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

A PLUS TARD (10/3) is the favourite for the contest for the second year running, after just being narrowly being in last year’s race.

The gelding has continued his strong form this season, thundering clear of his rivals in the Betfair Chase before finishing second in the Savills Chase over Christmas.

He is a deserving favourite but he will need to be wary of stablemate MINELLA INDO (5/1), who got the better of the gelding in this contest 12 months ago.

Jack Kennedy (second right) celebrates on top of Minella Indo after winning the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase during day four of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture date: Friday March 19, 2021.
Minella Indo landed success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last season

A Plus Tard has also been beaten by GALVIN (7/2) in recent times as well, as last season’s National Hunt Chase winner has been consistent in Graded company this term.

Gordon Elliott’s recruit finished three-quarters of a length behind Frodon in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal before snatching success in the final strides of the Savills Chase.

The eight-year-old has shown rapid levels of progress this season and carries course form, so he is one to watch here.

There’s an owner/trainer conflict over CONFLATED’s (10/1) Cheltenham destination and while Elliott wants to take his chance here, it’s likely owner Michael O’Leary will get his way and see his runner head to the Ryanair Chase on the Thursday.

ALLAHO (6/1) may be prominent in the betting, but Willie Mullins has already made it clear that his recruit will also be heading to the Ryanair Chase.

Trainer Willie Mullins after Turban won the Underwriting Exchange Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Steeplechase at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Ireland.
Willie Mullins could send a trio of runner to the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Instead, it looks as if dual Gold Cup winner AL BOUM PHOTO (10/1) will spearhead the Mullins squad for the contest with King George winner TORNADO FLYER (12/1) likely to join him.

ASTERION FORLONGE (25/1) could well feature alongside his stablemates, while FRANCO DE PORT (50/1) and MELON (50/1) also hold entries for the Closutton trainer in this contest.

Dan Skelton’s PROTEKTORAT (8/1) has made massive strides in the last 12 months and could well be an undetected threat, while ROYALE PAGAILLE (16/1) couldn’t live up to the hype in last year’s contest but he returns for another crack at the contest for Venetia Williams.

CHANTRY HOUSE (16/1) looks the leading fancy of Nicky Henderson’s entries and AYE RIGHT (66/1) is given his chance in Grade 1 company by joint trainers Harriet Graham and Gary Rutherford.

Colin Tizzard’s FIDDLERONTHEROOF (40/1) and Polly Gundry’s SANTINI (40/1) look the best of the remaining entries.

BEST SELECTIONS:

  • Protektorat @ 8/1
  • Santini E/W @ 40/1

*Odds courtesy of Spreadex and correct at time of writing

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.