Thirty horses are entered in the 2022 Gold Cup, as the Cheltenham Festival countdown continues. And after a hectic festive period of racing, the betting market for the biggest race of the Festival has taken a massive shakeup. We’ve taken a closer look at the current leading fancies for this season’s big race in what looks set to be a terrific renewal.
4 contenders for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2022
A Plus Tard
Trained by Henry de Bromhead, A Plus Tard was 2nd in last year’s Gold Cup and kicked off this season with a stunning success in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
He was then nailed on the line by Galvin in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, and on the back of stablemate Minella Indo misfiring in the King George, A Plus Tard is the current ante-post favourite for the Gold Cup.
And with Cheltenham form of 1st, 3rd, and 2nd, he’s a worthy favourite for many.
Galvin tasted success at last year’s Cheltenham Festival with an impressive victory in the National Hunt Chase. This season, he kicked off with victory at Punchestown before placing 2nd behind Frodon at Down Royal in the Champion Chase.
However, winning service was resumed when he flew home late under a strong Davy Russell ride to take the Savills Chase at Leopardstown from A Plus Tard. He’s now a solid 2nd-favourite for the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup and he also heads the betting for the Grand National in April. Connections have confirmed that he’s now set to head straight to the Festival in March.
Minella Indo landed last years’ Cheltenham Gold Cup for Henry de Bromhead and Jack Kennedy, but it’s been a tricky start to his campaign this time around.
He could only finish 3rd behind Frodon and Galvin in the Champion Chase at Down Royal on seasonal reappearance and was then pulled up in the King George after fading badly on the second circuit at Kempton.
However, Cheltenham seems to bring out the best in him, having won twice and placed 2nd on his three runs at the course. At around the 8/1 mark currently, he looks to offer some excellent each-way value as he tries to defend his Gold Cup crown.
Al Boum Photo
The winner of the Gold Cup in 2019 and 2020, Al Boum Photo, made a winning return at Tramore on New Year’s Day in his traditional season-opening race. The stats do look against him, though, as he looks to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the third time in 2022.
Kauto Star is the only horse in the Gold Cup’s 97-year history to lose his title before winning it back a year later and the last ten-year-old to win the race was Cool Dawn in 1998. If anyone can do it, though, trainer Willie Mullins can, and Al Boum Photo will undoubtedly have plenty of market support come race day as he chases history.
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