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Gold Cup 2023 Tips - Can this 8/1 shot take down Galopin Des Champs?

jon-vine
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Last updated: 16 Mar 2023
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Jon Vine 16 Mar 2023
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  • Tips, odds and predictions for the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup
  • This Grade One is the feature race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Bravemansgame is our each-way selection at 8/1
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Gold Cup Tips Odds and Runners
Harry Cobden riding Bravemansgame clear the last to win The Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton Park. (Getty)

The most prestigious race in all of National Hunt racing will take place on day four of the Cheltenham Festival, as the best chasers in the sport fight for supremacy in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Legends like Golden Miller, Arkle, Best Mate and Kauto Star have won Gold Cup and this year's renewal promises to be a real showstopper.

Here's our free guide and tips for the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Cheltenham 2023 Tips - Gold Cup 2023 Guide


Gold Cup 2023 Odds


Name
Odds
Galopin Des Champs13/8
Noble Yeats15/2
A Plus Tard7/1
Bravemansgame8/1
Stattler8/1
Ahoy Senor12/1
Conflated12/1
Bar14/1

Gold Cup 2023 Favourite

Galopin Des Champs has sat happily atop the Gold Cup betting for the entirety of the season. Willie Mullins' star kicked off this season with an easy victory in the John Durkan, after which the former Martin Pipe winner was cut into 5/4 to win this historic race.

Paul Townend's mount seemed to be making hard work of things in the Irish Gold Cup and still trailed Fury Road jumping the last. A peck on landing from the leader opened the door for Galopin Des Champs and the odds-on favourite pounced, hitting the line hard some eight lengths ahead of stablemate Stattler.

Several bookmakers allowed Galopin Des Champs to drift out to 13/8 following that victory. Personally, I felt that performance enhanced his Gold Cup claims rather than harming them. Sure, Mullins' star has travelled and jumped better, but the way Galopin Des Champs finished off the race dispelled any concerns people had regarding his stamina.

Galopin Des Champs is, undoubtedly, the most talented horse in this race. I wouldn't put anyone off from backing the market leader. Yet, despite that drift after the Dublin Racing Festival, Galopin Des Champs' odds are still on the skinny side for me. I'd prefer to back a runner sitting at longer odds.

Gold Cup 2023 Runners

I've been lucky enough to back the last two Gold Cup winners and both will return to Cheltenham racecourse in 2023. A Plus Tard ran out a hugely impressive winner of this race 12 months ago, beating Minella Indo, who had claimed National Hunt racing's biggest prize the previous year. 

A Plus Tard hasn't been seen since a shocking run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the defending champion is impossible to back on this season's form. Despite his defeat of Stattler at Tramore and his excellent record in this race, Minella Indo is a ten-year-old now and I'd much rather side with a younger, improving rival.

Grand National hero, Noble Yeats would fit that profile. However, I wasn't impressed with his performance in the Cotswold Chase. Emmet Mullins' eight-year-old got badly outpaced that day and his late surge was only good enough for third. Ahoy Senor and Sounds Russian, who had both been up with the pace throughout, still had enough in the tank to finish ahead of Noble Yeats and Mullins' star will face several higher-quality rivals at the Cheltenham Festival. Noble Yeats doesn't do it for me.

I backed Ahoy Senor to win the Gold Cup at the start of the season, expecting Lucinda Russell's star to improve as the season went on. After a series of disappointing efforts, Ahoy Senor bounced back to winning ways in the Cotswold Chase, but his jumping was still erratic. Despite that massive engine and an enormous amount of natural ability, Ahoy Senor still cannot be relied upon to put in a blemish-free round of jumping.

Stattler ran on well to place second behind Galopin Des Champs at Leopardstown - a speed track that was never going to be to his liking. Willie Mullins' star is perfectly suited to the Gold Cup course and distance. Yet, in Grade One company, Stattler has never managed to finish within five lengths of the winner in four attempts over hurdles and fences. His quality has to be questioned.

While he's sure to improve for that outing in the Cotswold Chase, Protectorat is hard to tip on the back of that fourth-place finish. Conflated's stamina for this trip has to be questioned. Beyond those two, few in the market look up to Gold Cup standard. Royale Pagaille has run very well in this race twice and might appeal if the ground came up very soft - a highly unlikely occurrence, given that the going on day four of the Cheltenham Festival has only come up worse than good-to-soft twice this century.

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Trainer, Paul Nicholls poses with Bravemansgame during a stable visit ahead of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

Gold Cup 2023 Tips

Back in January, I made a strong case for BRAVEMANSGAME and I'm happy to stick with my ante-post selection.

Paul Nicholls' star produced a superb performance to win the King George VI Chase and managed to set a rapid time in the process - an impressive feat, considering he was posted wide throughout that entire contest. Victories in the King George and the Kauto Star have caused many to pigeon-hole Bravemansgame as a Kempton specialist, which I feel is extremely unfair, considering Harry Cobden's mount has produced faultless performances around Haydock, Newbury and Wetherby since his switch to chasing.

The RPR of 177 that Bravemansgame received for that victory in the King George is the highest mark any runner has managed to clock this season. Only Galopin Des Champs and A Plus Tard have won more Grade Ones than Paul Nicholls' runner (barring Shishkin and Envoi Allen, who are unlikely to run) and, if you were to rank this year's Gold Cup contenders on their jumping alone, Harry Cobden's mount would be at the head of that list.

Nicholls' has had two months to ready his star for a tilt at the Gold Cup and Britain's Champion Trainer has proven time and time again that he can win National Hunt racing's biggest races when given the right ammunition. 8/1 may only be slightly shorter than the 9/1 I took back when I published my ante-post Gold Cup tips in January, but I still feel that Bravemansgame is being underestimated in this year's Gold Cup.

*UPDATE*

The ground is now soft at Cheltenham and Paul Nicholls runners have struggled this week. I'm not going to give up on Bravemansgame. Harry Cobden has said that this horse actually wants cut in the ground, but I'd be more confident if we had the good ground that was expected when this preview went live!

Verdict

Galopin Des Champs is a worthy favourite for the 2023 Gold Cup. Bravemansgame, however, is a more than credible challenger and odds of 8/1 underestimate this talented horse's ability. He'll be my value bet.

2023 Gold Cup Tips: Bravemansgame Each-Way @8/1 at BetUK - 15 Units
Bravemansgame
Each-Way
@8/1 - 15 Units

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