The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious horse race in the world and the declarations for the feature contest have now been made. The field for the 3m2½f contest is headed by Galopin Des Champs, an exciting chaser from Ireland.

Trained by Willie Mullins in Ireland, the eight-year-old recently won the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival. That was his first appearance over the distance of 3m, and he dislodged any stamina concerns, finishing the race powerfully to score by eight lengths.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the horse racing betting options punters have at the four-day meeting in March. Galopin Des Champs tops the betting for that race at +150, which means he is a strong favourite to ensure it is won by an Irish horse again. 

Mullins has been successful twice before in the Championship contest. Al Boum Photo prevailed in 2019. A year later he defended his crown in the race, becoming the first to do so since Best Mate in 2004. The Irish Champion Trainer will be hoping his latest talented chaser can go on to emulate or better his two-time Gold Cup winner.

Last Year’s Winner Looking to Defend Crown

A Plus Tard has fared very well in the last two renewals of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He finished second in the race in 2021 behind stablemate Minella Indo. Twelve months later, he went one place to better to land the top prize.

Henry De Bromhead’s chaser has featured just once since his Gold Cup triumph. He was pulled up in the Grade One Betfair Chase back in November. That contest came on testing ground at the Lancashire racecourse in the race which was won by Protektorat. 

Given his record at Cheltenham, A Plus Tard’s connections will be hoping he returns to form on his return to the Gloucestershire racecourse. The horse helped his jockey Rachel Blackmore make history last year by becoming the first female rider to win the Gold Cup.

Grand National Winner in the Field

Noble Yeats sprung a shock in the 2022 Grand National when he landed the world’s most famous steeplechase at odds of +5000. That race at Aintree was over the distance of 4m2½f, so unlike some of the horses in the Gold Cup field this year, there are no doubts about his stamina.

It has been a good campaign for the Grand National winner this season. He prevailed in a Listed race at Wexford by just under five lengths back in October. Emmet Mullins’ chase then scored in the Grade Two Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.

The Irish horse had to settle for third place last time out in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham, the race which was won by Ahoy Senor. If successful in the Festival highlight, he will become just the third horse in history to complete the Grand National and Gold Cup double.

The 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup takes place on March 17, and it features on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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