With the advent of summer jumping, National Hunt racing isn’t far off being a year-round sport these days. It is in the month of March that the season really reaches a crescendo though with the annual Cheltenham Festival. There’s not a bad race to be found at this meeting, but for many there is one contest which stands above all the rest.
One of the most iconic and historic racing events of the season, the Cheltenham Gold Cup continues to enthrall racing fans. We are already looking forward to Cheltenham Gold Cup day in 2019, and here we have compiled a quick guide to the race, including Cheltenham Gold Cup betting info, Cheltenham Gold Cup betting offers and a look back at those Gold Cup runners and riders to have come out on top in recent years.
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Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019 Preview & Tips
Preview By Ed Quigley
Growing up just outside Cheltenham, Ed spent over a decade with the Racing Post. He was best known for his Longshot column, RPTV, and as a weekly columnist in the Racing & Football Outlook. Now as a freelance Racing Broadcaster and Journalist, he is a regular on Ladbrokes TV and Sky Sports Racing amongst other things. He describes himself as a Cheltenham Festival fanatic!
2019 Gold Cup
It has to be one of the most intriguing and exciting renewals in years, and I am very keen on the chances of CLAN DES OBEAUX (4/1). The Paul Nicholls representative has taken his form to new levels in recent times and produced a wonderful performance to win the King George, seeing off previous winner Thistlecrack (16/1) in the closing stages, producing a spectacular leap at the last fence to seal the deal.
The Paul Nicholls trained seven-year-old is going from strength to strength, looks as though he is maturing, is jumping is getting slicker, and as he showed with the recent thumping of dual Grade 1 winner Terrefort (100/1) at Ascot, he will come into this assignment full of confidence.
The unknown’s are the trip, and is ability to produce his best at Cheltenham, I am of the opinion he will actually improve for tackling the 3m2f trip, as opposed to finding it a negative. Critics will point out that he is 0/4 at Prestbury Park with form figures of 2622, but those runs weren’t exactly a disgrace, and he is a much improved animal since he last ran at the venue. He can finally demonstrate his true potential and he ticks a lot of the right boxes.
Presenting Percy (4/1)
Presenting Percy is one of the most popular horses in training and has been racking up the victories in his portfolio. The eight-year-old produced more or less flawless round of jumping as he attacked his fences with aplomb in last year’s RSA Chase as he travelled smoothly the whole way round, before putting the race to bed in commanding fashion from seven lengths over Monalee (33/1).
That win took his Festival tally to two from two, after a resounding success in the Pertemps Final a year earlier. Media-shy trainer Patrick Kelly, has a small but select string and is clearly a master at getting his horses to peak for the big day. However, purely from a price perspective, I do question whether he is too short in the market at around 4/1.
When you consider the fact on the fact that he is yet to have a chase start in open company and his only start since his RSA win was when winning the Galmoy Hurdle once again, seeing off the 152 rated Bapaume, I have my doubts about his preparation. He is exciting, but I’m not excited by his price which I firmly believe is priced up on what he could achieve as opposed to what he already has. The form of his RSA Chase win last year is essentially what he is priced up on, and that form isn’t outlandishly better than what other horses in the Gold Cup field. I think it will be a spectacular training performance to get him to win having not been seen over fences for 12 months.
Outside of Presenting Percy, the Irish have plenty of challengers, with Kemboy (10/1), Road To Respect (20/1), Bellshill (14/1), Al Boum Photo (16/1) and Invitation Only (40/1) all possible contenders.
Kemboy, has been very impressive this season, winning the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase on his seasonal reappearance and then producing a wonderful round of jumping when absolutely pulverising the opposition in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown over the Christmas period, as he bolted up by over seven lengths.
Last year his jumping could often let him down, but he appears to have really flourished in that department in recent times. He has stamina is a little bit of an unknown, but he has proven he is versatile in regards to ground requirements, as he has won on a sound surface on his last two starts, so any thoughts on him needing a soft surface to operate at his peak can be forgotten. Willie Mullins is still hunting for that that elusive first Cheltenham Gold Cup and Kemboy looks to have the best chance from his string.
Road To Respect (20/1) & Bellshill (14/1)
Behind Kemboy in December were both last year’s Gold Cup fourth, Road To Respect, and Bellshill.
Road To Respect looked unlucky on that occasion and then went on his next start he went on to produce a thrilling finish in a prolonged battle with old foe Bellshill in the Irish Gold Cup, in which the latter just got the better of him. I have always questioned his stamina over an extended 3m2f at Cheltenham, and I think it stretches him, so the Noel Meade representative and he is likely to come up short once again. I thought the petrol light came on when he hit the Cheltenham Hill last year, albeit on testing ground.
In winning the Irish Gold Cup, Bellshill appeared to put to bed the theory that it is compulsory for him to go right-handed which had long been the case. However, the question still lingers – can he produce his best form at Cheltenham? Bellshill has career form figures at the track of 003 suggest perhaps he may struggle once again. Al Boum Photo has the option of the Ryan Air Chase, and Invitation Only will need to take another big step forward after his Thyestes triumph.
Native River (6/1) & Might Bite (14/1)
Last year’s winner is Native River (6/1) who has been beaten twice at the highest level since, but on both occasions ran with plenty of credit at venues (Kempton and Haydock) that would have not played to his strengths, and on underfoot conditions quicker than ideal. He looked outpaced when second to Bristol De Mai (33/1) in the Betfair Chase on lively ground. That was a good run all things considered, and he didn’t perform too badly at Kempton, when although a well beaten third, he plugged on to his credit despite looking ill at ease with the speed orientated track – just as he did at that venue in his novice chase days.
A return to Prestbury Park can see his form go up a level once again, and as long as there is sufficient cut in the ground, the Colin Tizzard trained nine-year-old is hard to leave out of the equation. Bristol De Mai is a hard horse to work out, and he is still yet to show that he can be at the peak of his powers away from his happy hunting ground which is Haydock.
Might Bite (14/1) has had a stinking season, but recent vibes have been positive about the Nicky Henderson representative. The prospect of much quicker ground will be in his favour but he comes with risks attached.
Frodon (25/1) & Elegant Escape (25/1)
Frodon (25/1) and Elegant Escape (25/1) met when coming 1st and 2nd in the Cotswold Chase respectively. Welsh National winner Elegant Escape has endless supplies of stamina, and would come into the reckoning if the ground became testing. Judging by how outpaced he became in the Cotswold Chase on a lively enough surface, I would have my reservations about his chances unless the weather turned rotten.
Stamina would be my main concern for Frodon, who still has the option of dropping back in trip to contest the Ryan Air Chase. I think connections will leave it until the last minute to make the decision, based on ground conditions and the strength of the opposition in the respective races.
More on Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019
It may not be the richest jumps race of the year – although with £600,000+ on offer, the prize money is not to be sniffed at – but there is little doubt that in terms of quality the Cheltenham Gold Cup is the very best National Hunt event of the season. Run over a stamina sapping 3m2½f, with 22 fences to be safely negotiated, it is a contest which really lends itself to drama and heroic performances. A race isn’t born with the reputation and prestige bestowed upon the Cheltenham Gold Cup though.
These things comes with time and are largely down to the equine stars to have etched their names onto the list of previous Cheltenham Gold Cup winners. The likes of Arkle, Desert Orchid, Best Mate, Denman and Kauto Star were all horses whose fame transcended the sport, and all were amongst the greatest winners in Cheltenham Gold Cup history.
From a betting angle it is also one of the events which most preoccupies the minds of punters, with talk of possible Cheltenham Gold Cup horses and Gold Cup betting cropping up from an early stage. So when is the Cheltenham Gold Cup? And what is the Gold Cup race time? Always run as the feature race on the Cheltenham day 4, Friday 15th March at 3:30pm is the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019 date for the diary.
Gold Cup Betting Offers
When a race is as popular and so high profile as the Cheltenham Gold Cup, one thing you can be sure of is that it will attract its fair share of interest from the bookies in terms of special offers and promotions. That can only be a good thing for punters when looking at the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting in 2019. The Cheltenham Festival is a good time of the year for offers in general, but there will likely be a number of specials available specifically related to the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019 betting markets.
Those looking to get involved early in the Gold Cup 2019 betting – or indeed the festival in general -should keep an eye out for the non runner no bet offer. Often available from as early as January, this takes the risk out of ante post betting. Unlike with a standard ante post bet, a bet under the non runner no bet conditions means you will receive your stake back should your selection not be amongst the Gold Cup runners in 2019 on the day of the race.
Other than non runner no bet, what else can we expect? Well if past festivals are anything to go by, we should be in for a deluge of money back specials, enhanced odds and free bets surrounding the Cheltenham Gold Cup race. Be sure to check out our Cheltenham Betting Offers page for the full details of all those sportsbook promotions as the event approaches and the attention of the racing world turns ever more to the horses running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Betting On The Gold Cup
Anyone looking to buy into the excitement of a Cheltenham Gold Cup bet will certainly be spoilt for choice when it comes to where to take their business. We can’t think of many – if any – bookmakers who don’t offer betting on one of the most famous horse races in the world. So how to choose between them? Well, there are a few things to consider:
- Read reviews: One of the key things to look for when weighing up your options is an excellent existing reputation. This is where review sites can come in particularly useful. Highlighting the pros and cons of a site, they will give a good idea as to the type of customer experience you can expect, as well as helping you steer clear of any providers who may have regulatory or security issues.
- Check odds: The main product of a bookmaker is the odds that they offer. Clearly as a customer you would like these odds to be amongst the best and most competitive available. Odds comparison websites are an excellent guide as to how the various firms measure up.
- Check Promotions: Choice and competition is nearly always a good thing for the customer, and one of the main resulting benefits in the betting world comes through the multitude of excellent promotions on offer. Whether it’s free bets or a deposit bonus you are looking for, be sure to shop around to find the offer which most suits your preferences. But remember you don’t have to stick to just the one bookie.
- Check live streaming options: Having placed those Cheltenham bets, you are most likely to want to watch the action unfold. There are many sportsbooks which offer a live streaming service on the Cheltenham Festival, so be sure your selected bookie ticks this box if this feature is high on your wish list.
Gold Cup Past Winners – 2018 & 2017
Each and every year the Cheltenham Gold Cup never fails to provide one of the most abiding memories of the whole Cheltenham Festival. Here we provide a Cheltenham Gold Cup review from the past two editions of the race.
Chelteham Gold Cup Results 2018
- 1st Native River, ridden by Richard Johnson
- 2nd Might Bite, ridden by Nico de Boinville
- 3rd Anibale Fly, ridden by Barry Geraghty
The 2018 edition saw one of the all-time classic head to head contests in this great race. Locked in battle almost from the word go, it soon became clear that the finish here would involve only Native River and Might Bite. The question was would it be the class of the smooth travelling Might Bite, or the sheer toughness of Native River which would win the day? In the end it was the latter, as given an equally determined ride by Champion Jockey Richard Johnson, Native River finally broke Might Bite’s resistance in the closing stages. Anibale Fly – who later went on to place in the Grand National – ran on for third.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Results 2017
- 1st Sizing John, ridden by Robbie Power
- 2nd Minella Rocco, ridden by Noel Fehily
- 3rd Native River, ridden by Richard Johnson
Having spent the majority of his outings in Grade 1 contests chasing after the superstar Douvan over two miles, it seemed that Sizing John was destined to be the bridesmaid and never the bride. He didn’t look the most obvious of future Gold Cup winners at that stage in his career. Trainer Jessica Harrington clearly saw something in him though and the step up to staying trips certainly worked the oracle. In addition to this race, he also took the Irish Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup in what was a stellar season.
Previously a winner over four miles at this meeting, Jonjo O’Neill’s Minella Rocco was unsurprisingly doing all his best work late and grabbed second. Colin Tizzard’s Native River filled third spot – but just twelve months later it would be his name which was up in lights at the end of this event.
Backing any winner at the Cheltenham Festival is undoubtedly a satisfying experience. Placing a bet on the winner of the biggest race of them all is nevertheless a little extra special, be it via an ante post punt or a bet on the day; with you own funds or via a free bet offer. Hopefully this guide will serve to assist those of you looking to get involved in all the thrills, spills and excitement of the Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup; undoubtedly one of the greatest horse racing spectacles in the world. So pencil that Cheltenham Gold Cup date in the diary and keep your eyes peeled for the likely Cheltenham Gold Cup runners and riders in the build up to the race.