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Cheltenham Gold Cup

Cheltenham Gold Cup VenueCheltenham Gold Cup Venue

Of all the races at the Cheltenham Festival the Cheltenham Gold Cup has to be the finest. Three miles two furlongs of precision jumping over the Cheltenham Festival racecourse, at an unrelenting gallop is a test in which only the fittest and most talented chasers have prevailed. 

It is a grade 1 race run on the new course at Prestbury Park, Cheltenham and consists of 22 fences over a distance of 3 miles 2 1/2 furlongs. Find out the 7 attributes required to win this most prestigious of races.

The top 4 in the betting for the 2024 renewal:

Galopin Des Champs trainer Willie Mullins 5/4

Fastorslow trainer Martin Brassil 5/1

Gerri Colombe trainer Gordon Elliott 10/1

Bravemansgame Paul Nicholls 16/1

We'll analyse their respective chances in a minute but first let's have a look at some of the history and trends of the race.

First run over fences in 1924 the race has established itself as the pinnacle of National Hunt racing.

The roll call of honour includes legends such as Desert Orchid who won in 1989, Best Mate who won the race three times and Kauto Star who regained  the trophy in 2009 having relinquished his crown to Denman the previous year.

However attempting to pinpoint the likeliest winner is a far from simple task; only 7 of the last 11 favourites have won. 

Gold Cup Winner Kauto StarGold Cup Winner Kauto Star

The most obvious starting point when analysing the runners in the Cheltenham Gold Cup is to use past trends to highlight the likeliest candidates.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Past Trends

Average Age of Winners – In the last 22 renewals only 3 winners (Long Run in 2011 as a 6yr old, Cool Dawn ’98 and Cool Ground ’93, both 10 yr olds) have not been aged between 7 and 9

Betting – 7 of the last 11 favourites have won while the last 13 winners came from the first 3 in the market. Bobs Worth is a worthy favourite for this year's renewal (2014)


Places – In the last 17 renewals there have been 17 placed horses at prices bigger than 16/1. Two winners, eight 2nds and seven 3rds. The Giant Bolster was 2nd at 50/1 and Mon Mome was 3rd at 50/1

Stayers - only 14 of last 24 winners had previously won over a distance in excess of 3m. There have been no Novice winners since Captain Christy in 1974

Trainers – in the last 15 renewals the Irish have won 2 and had 10 placed.

Class –The last 14 winners of the race were all previous Grade 1 Chase winners and all but one had won that season. 12 of the last 16 Gold Cup winners had finished 1st or 2nd at a previous Festival.

Significant Races - A number of horses have won the King George prior to winning the Gold Cup including Arkle, Desert Orchid, Best Mate, Kicking King, Kauto Star (twice) and Long Run and Silviniaco Conti (winner in 2013) who is entered in this year’s renewal. Other races include the Lexus, The Irish Hennessy and the G2 Aon.

Ratings – 11 of the last 12 winners were rated 166+

Headgear – There have been no winners wearing headgear in the past 11 years

Times – These will depend on the state of the ground; in 2013 the going was soft and the time 7 mins 6 secs. While on good ground in 2011 the current record was achieved in 6 mins 30 secs.

Cheltenham Racecourse photo by Kate TannCheltenham Racecourse photo by Kate Tann

So now for an appraisal of the most likely winners for the 2024 renewal:

Galopin Des Champs trainer Willie Mullins 5/4

  • Main Attributes:

Age: 8-year-old (as of March 2024)

Breed: France - Sire:Timos (GER)

Dam:Manon Des Champs (FR)

Dam's Sire:Marchand De Sable (USA) (7.5f)

Breeder:G A E C Des Champs

 

Reputation: Currently considered the best horse on the planet according to official ratings [2]. Known for being a fantastic staying chaser, winning back-to-back Irish Gold Cups [2].

  • Past Performance:

  • Won the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup [1, 3].
  • Won the 2024 Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup [2].
  • Had a successful season leading up to the 2024 Cheltenham Festival with two wins before the Gold Cup [2].
  • Health Status:

  • No recent health concerns mentioned in sources found. Described as coming out of his last race "very well" [3].
  • Willie Mullins Main Attributes:

  • Nickname: "The Master" [5].
  • Profession: Horse trainer, considered the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history with 94 wins [1].
  • Past Performance:

  • Won four Grade One contests at the 2023 Dublin Racing Festival [5].
  • Hoping to reach 100 wins at the Cheltenham Festival during the 2024 edition [1].
  • Training Style:

  • Known for strategically planning races for his horses throughout the season, prioritizing big wins [2].


Fastorslow trainer Martin Brassil 5/1

Fastorslow is an 8-year-old bay gelding currently in racing. Here's what we can glean from publicly available information:

  • Breed: Saint Des Saints (FR) - Popova (FR) (Kahyasi (IRE)) [presumably]
  • Trainer: M Brassil
  • Owner: Sean & Bernardine Mulryan
  • Racing History:
  • Has competed at Cheltenham Festival with 2 runner up spots
  • Won a race in Punchestown (IRE) Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)in 2023 beating Galopin Des Champs. Followed that by beating Appreciate It in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (Grade 1) in November 2023. But came 2nd to Galopin Des Champs in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) in Feb 2024


Gerri Colombe trainer Gordon Elliott 10/1

  • Main Attributes:

Age: 8-year-old (as of March 2024)

Sire:Saddler Maker (IRE)

Dam:Ruse De Guerre (FR)

Dam's Sire:Cadoudal (FR) (18f)

Breeder:C Boistier & M A Boistie

 

  • Past Performance:
    Unbeaten in his first 7 starts including 2 Grade 1’s the last of which was the Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices' Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) 
  • Runner up to the The Real Whacker in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase (Grade 1) at Cheltenham in 2023 and subsequently winning 2 further Grade 1’s ending with a second place to Galopin Des Champs in the Savills Chase (Grade 1) at Leopardstown.


Trainer Gordon Elliott

Here's a summary of Gordon Elliott, a successful Irish National Hunt racehorse trainer:

Accomplishments

Background

Additional Resources


Bravemansgame trainer Paul Nicholls 16/1

  • Age: 9 (foaled March 28, 2015)
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Breed: Sire:Brave Mansonnien (FR)
  • Dam:Genifique (FR)
  • Dam's Sire:Nickname (FR)
  • Breeder:Dr Vet M Guiot & Dr Vet B Stoffel

  • Sire: Brave Mansonnien
  • Dam: Genifique
  • Owner: Bryan Drew
  • Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Racing Performance

Additional Resources

In Conlusion:

  • Galopin Des Champs (5/4): The current favourite, known for excellent stamina and two back-to-back Irish Gold Cup wins. Trained by the renowned Willie Mullins.
  • Fastorslow (5/1): A strong contender with impressive wins and a close second to Galopin Des Champs in the recent Irish Gold Cup.
  • Gerri Colombe (10/1): An up-and-coming horse with a solid record, including two Grade 1 victories. Trained by Gordon Elliott, a Grand National winner himself.
  • Bravemansgame (16/1): A more experienced horse with Grade 1 wins under his belt, but faces stiff competition from the frontrunners.

Key Points:

  • Galopin Des Champs is favoured to win again due to his exceptional record and strong trainer.
  • Fastorslow poses a serious threat with recent victories.
  • Gerri Colombe is an exciting prospect with potential for an upset.
  • Bravemansgame has experience but might be an underdog.

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