2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips - Ante-post preview and top two value bets
- We take a look through the ante-post betting for the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup
- 41 top chasers were entered in the Championship race on day four of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival
- Al Boum Photo looks a good bet to make it three wins in a row
- Minella Indo and Delta Work are our ante-post tips
Delta Work (right) will return for another crack at Al Boum Photo in the 2021 Gold Cup. (Getty)
The showpiece event of the Cheltenham Festival, the Gold Cup attracted 41 high-quality entries last week. Al Boum Photo will bid to become just the fourth horse in the history of the race to claim a hat-trick, and he tops the current ante-post betting.
We've taken a look through the current Gold Cup odds and picked out two ante-post bets.
2021 Gold Cup Odds
*Odds taken on 16/1/21*
From what we've seen so far this season, I think it's fairly safe to say that Ireland plays by far the stronger hand in this year's Gold Cup.
Bristol De Mai won the Betfair Chase, and he never produces his best in the spring. Britain's other main trial, the King George was won a 20/1 shot in Frodon, and he was followed home by three horses who's probably won't even run in the Gold Cup.
While Frodon is both plucky and admirable, I don't think he's good enough to win a Gold Cup. The only British entrant I can make a slight case for is RSA Novices' Chase winner Champ, and his inactivity this season means he cannot be relied upon for an ante-post punt.
After Christmas, I put up Al Boum Photo as the best bet in the Gold Cup. Willie Mullins' star has won the last two renewals of this great race and, with very few rivals enforcing their claims over Christmas, I thought he was a solid bet to make it three in a row.
However, for the purposes of this ante-post punt article, I'm going to highlight two at double-figure prices who could throw down a stiff challenge.
2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips - Ante-Post Tip 1
Minella Indo2021 Gold Cup Ante-Post BetGET 8/1 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.
A Plus Tard proved he could stay three miles in the Savills Chase, and now heads to the Gold Cup fresh.
Henry De Bromhead's charge benefitted from patient tactics at Leopardstown, and pounced as Melon and Kemboy started to tie up on the run to the line. I also can't get last year's Ryanair out of my head, where A Plus Tard was level with Min jumping the second-last and looked perfectly placed to pounce, only to finish a two-length third.
I'd rather back A Plus Tard's stablemate and fellow Cheltenham Festival winner, MINELLA INDO, who made a novicey error at the start of the second circuit in the Savills Chase, and Rachael Blackmore's mount came crashing to the ground.
Prior to that, Minella Indo had jumped beautifully on all five of his starts over fences. Including in last year's RSA, where Henry De Bromhead's star saw off Allaho after a ding-dong battle throughout the whole three miles, only to get robbed on the line by the fast-finishing Champ.
I don't think either Minella Indo or Allaho would have wanted to make the running that day, and the fact they went flat-out for three miles really played into Champ's hands. Frodon, Native River and Bristol De Mai will ensure the field go a good gallop in the Gold Cup, and I think Minella Indo is one of the strongest stayers in the race.
2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips - Ante-Post Tip 2
Delta Work2021 Gold Cup Ante-Post BetGET 25/1 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply.
Before heading to Cheltenham, Minella Indo will clash with Kemboy and Melon in the Irish Gold Cup. DELTA WORK will also make an appearance at the Dublin Racing Festival, as he too bids to bounce back from an uncharacteristic mistake when attempting to defend his Savills Chase crown.
Maybe it was Minella Indo's fall at the previous fence which put Delta Work off his game, but Gordon Elliott's star put in a short stride, and his back legs buckled upon landing, leading to Sean Flanagan being flung from the saddle.
Considering he entered the 2020 Gold Cup as a five-time Grade One winner over fences, the round of jumping Delta Work produced was nothing short of atrocious. Mark Walsh's mount jumped the second fence big and stumbled on landing. From as far as six out, Walsh had to ride Delta Work away from every obstacle just to get involved, and Elliott's charge had no reserves to call upon to catch Al Boum Photo down the home straight.
Despite a shocking jumping display, Delta Work was only beaten six-lengths back in fifth. That should stand as a testament to how good this horse is. Gordon Elliott's charge is a year younger than the likes of Santini, Frodon, Champ and Lostintranslation, so who's to say Delta Work can't make it second-time lucky in the showpiece race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival.
A lot will depend on how Delta Work gets on in the Irish Gold Cup. Whether he wins there or not, there's no way a horse of his calibre should be 20/1 in what looks, Al Boum Photo aside, a wide-open renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.