Gold Cup Day Betting Odds & Racecards

Friday - 18 March 2023
2023 Gold Cup Day Racecards - Day Four Tips

RACE 1: Triumph Hurdle

Zanahiyr is the market leader for the 2023 Triumph Hurdle and the Gordon Elliott-trained horse hasn’t put a foot wrong when scoring three victories thus far, with the runner landing the spoils in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle on Boxing Day which laid down a tight marker.

Elliott also has a leading contender in the form of Quilixios and he’s a more backable price despite the fact that he’s also landed a hat-trick of wins, with the four-year-old impressive when winning the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle.

However, we’re going to recommend the lightly-raced FRENCH ASEEL and there was everything to like when the horse won at odds of 7/2 in a Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown over the festive period.
PREDICTION: French Aseel

RACE 2: County Hurdle

We’re going to take a punt on SALDIER to win the County Hurdle although much depends on the confirmed entries ahead of the race starting.

The Willie Mullins-trained charge was the winner of the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle in November 2019, although he’s found life tough in Group 1 company this season and there is now a route planned for this race instead.

Drop The Anchor also looks a viable contender and there was plenty to like about the JP McManus horse when winning the Ladbrokes Hurdle, with You Raised Me Up running for trainer Martin Brassil and looking the part this season.

RACE 3: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Also known as the Potato Race, this is a stamina-sapping three mile encounter and the 2023 renewal looks to be a wide open affair, with Stattler and Fakiera trading as the favourites and they both have solid credentials.

Stattler runs for trainer Willie Mullins and recently finished third in a Grade One Novices’ Hurdle at Leopardstown, having previously won a Maiden Hurdle at the same track over the Christmas period.

Fakiera was just behind Stattler in that Novices’ Hurdle and looks to be the pick of the Gordon Elliott horses entered in this race, although preference is given to Barbados Buck’s at a bigger price.

Paul Nicholls could have a star on his hands and there have been three successive victories over the winter period including a Novices’ Hurdle triumph at Kempton in January.
PREDICTION: Barbados Buck’s

RACE 4: Gold Cup

Al Boum Photo is bidding to win a third consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cup and he would be the first horse since Best Mate to achieve that feat, although we’ve only seen the Willie Mullins horse on one occasion this season and it would take a lot for him to win yet again.

There was little to glean from a prep run at Tramore and much depends on whether the horse can put in another solid round of jumping, although we’ll take a punt on A PLUS TARD to become the new champion at a bigger price.

The seven-year-old finished third in the RSA Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and the Henry de Bromhead-trained runner produced the goods when winning the Savills Chase on yielding ground which should set him up well for the Gold Cup.

Royale Pagaille also deserves his chance after winning a Grade 2 race at Haydock off a big weight, although he would need to find further improvement to finish top of the pile here.

RACE 5: Foxhunters Chase

Billaway is the market leader for the Foxhunters and the Willie Mullins-trained charge has had a couple of tidy victories to see him trading at short odds for this race, including a victory in the Naas Hunters Chase at the end of January.

However, STAKER WALLACE wasn’t far behind in that race and the Enda Bolger horse could find that little bit of extra improvement at Cheltenham to oblige at a bigger price, with the horse keeping on well at Naas and that bodes well for this contest.

It Came To Pass has plenty to recommend it and the Eugene O’Sullivan-trained horse was the shock winner of the Foxhunters’ Chase last year at 66/1, although you won’t be able to get that sort of price this time around.
PREDICTION: Staker Wallace

RACE 6: Mares Chase

We’re simply going to plump for the best Willie Mullins chance in this Mares’ race, which is a new race at the Cheltenham Festival, with ELIMAY looking like a horse that could take all the beating based on her last effort.

The horse won a Listed Race at Naas fairly recently when being sent off at odds-on and previously pushed Allaho close in a Grade 2 encounter, so there is plenty to recommend a horse that could fend off other chasing mares.

Colreevy is her stable mate and has a string of victories to her name this season, having finished fifth in last year’s Mares Novices Hurdle before going over the bigger obstacles for the current campaign.

RACE 7: Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

Wouldn’t it be apt if PIPESMOKER was able to win the Martin Pipe race which happens to be the final encounter of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival?

The horse has a lively chance considering he ran well in the Thames Materials Novices' Hurdle when finishing second behind Sporting John last season although it has been a long wait since we’ve seen the runner make an appearance.

Make Me A Believer won a Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in December, with the horse then looking solid when running into a place in a Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.

Irascible runs for trainer Henry De Bromhead and there have been a couple of lively performances at Leopardstown Racecourse when Appreciate It landed the goods and the last of these races was a Grade 1 encounter.
PREDICTION: Pipesmoker

Cheltenham Day 4 Betting Trends

Aside from the main event, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which in most people’s eyes is the biggest race of the National Hunt season, Day 4 at the Festival includes several high class contests. Each of the seven races on the card presents real opportunity so let’s see what previous editions can teach us.

Triumph Hurdle

The Triumph Hurdle has long had a reputation as a tough race for punters to get their heads around. It remains a contest in which runner at longer betting odds can win (Countrywide Flame won at 33/1 in 2012) but three of the last four editions were won by the favourite.

The smaller fields since the introduction of the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle suggests we may see more winning favourites. We’re also likely to see more winners from the biggest yards. The last five winners were trained by Gordon Elliott (twice), Philip Hobbs, Aidan O’Brien and Nicky Henderson which is the standard of trainer we’re looking at here.

The Triumph Hurdle is not a race for horses who are without previous winning form. That win doesn’t have to be last time out nor does previous Cheltenham experience give much of a statistical edge but at least having a run inside the last 55 days is crucial.

County Handicap Hurdle

The County Handicap Hurdle is everything you would want from a highly competitive handicap at Cheltenham. The 2023 renewal carries a first prize of just over £56,000 which should ensure yet another exciting and unpredictable race following winners ranging from 8/1 to 50/1 in the last 11 years. This is certainly not a race where simply backing the favourite is a sensible option.

It is a race for younger horses though with just two horses over six winning in the last 12 years. It’s also a race in which punters should carefully consider the weights. Just three of those last 12 winners were carrying more than 11 stone.

Previous winning form over both hurdles and a trip of at least two miles is vital. Finally, Arctic Fire’s win in 2017 was a real rarity as Willie Mullins’ eight-year-old was making his first appearance of the season.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

The prestige of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle went up a notch in 2013 when Bobs Worth won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Bobs Worth was the 2011 winner of the Albert Bartlett and it saw trainers treat the race with even more importance.

Bobs Worth was a rare winning favourite of the Albert Bartlett (just three have won in 12 years) as it has tended to be won by longer odds options. Three horses went in at racing odds of 33/1 between 2010 and 2018 so punters are always on the lookout for tempting options at big prices.

All but three Albert Bartlett winners have been between six and seven years old and all of the last 12 winners already had at least one victory and three starts over hurdles to their name.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious National Hunt race of all and so it’s fitting that each of the last 12 winners had at least one Grade 1 win already under their belt. They all also had previous Cheltenham experience, at least two chase wins and had won over three miles or longer.

Plenty of stamina is vital as the Gold Cup is fast for a 3m2½f chase which is one reason why older horses have struggled. You have to go back to Cool Dawn in 1998 for the last time a horse over nine years of age won the Gold Cup. By the same token, Gold Cup champions under seven are rare with Long Run the last such winner in 2011.

Shocks are not out of the question as Lord Windermere proved when winning at 20/1 in 2014 but it usually pays to concentrate on the top three in the betting, a tactic which has provided more winners than not in the last 10 years. Four favourites have obliged punters in that time.

British trainers have had the better of it compared to their Irish counterparts and it’s worth noting that Willie Mullins is yet to saddle a winner of the Gold Cup, but he has had six horses finish runner up.

Foxhunter Chase

The Foxhunter Chase may be run over the same fences and trip as the Gold Cup but it is pure stamina that wins this rather than pace and top class jumping. That has helped to produce several older winners with 10 of the last 12 winners aged eight or older.

Incoming form is important with eight of the last 12 finishing in the place last time out. Having a run inside 41 days of the Foxhunter Chase has proven to be important but four recent winners had not even contested a race of this distance and only three of the eight who had, had winning form over 26 furlongs or longer.

Plenty of chasing experience is required to have a chance in the Foxhunter Chase as is an official rating of at least 134.

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

One of the newer additions to the Cheltenham Festival, the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle has only been won by one horse aged over six and that was the 2018 winner, Blow By Blow. He was also carrying more weight than all but one previous winner (Pause And Clause was also carrying 11st 10lb) and had the highest official rating of any winner at 144.

Blow By Blow was a little more typical in terms of his price. He went off at racing betting odds of 11/1 and the average price of all 10 winners is around 13/1. Only one favourite and one more from inside the top three in the betting have won so this is a race in which each way betting is very popular.

Grand Annual Chase

There’s been just one winning favourite in the last 10 renewals of the Grand Annual Chase so it’s not been a great race for punters looking to end Cheltenham week on a positive note. With winners priced as big as 40/1 there is often a big prize to be won though.

Analysing recent form has not been a great indicator as only one of the last 12 winners also won last time out. Previous course form is more instructive as the vast majority of recent winners had competed at Cheltenham before and seven of 12 had won at Prestbury Park before.

Winners can be aged anywhere between six and 10 but the majority have come in the seven to nine bracket.

Day Four Races Tips - Gold Cup Day Predictions

The final day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival is, of course, Gold Cup Day. We’ll have a full preview and betting tips for the big one but here we take an early look at the Gold Cup as well as the other six important races of the final day of the Festival. Many of the races still have unconfirmed fields, with several horses entered into various races across the Festival but we’ll still endeavour to predict who will win each race and offer up some betting tips at great value odds.

And where better to start than with the highlight of day four and indeed the whole Festival, the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup. There is some talk that this year’s renewal isn’t up to the class of years gone by and whilst there is no Kauto Star or Best Mate in the field, and certainly no Golden Miller, perhaps a new star will be born at this year’s Festival?

The betting odds men think that horse could be Silviniaco Conti and we have to agree with the prediction their odds imply. The chestnut gelding, aged nine and trained by Paul Nicholls, won two races at the end of last year and won’t compete again until Cheltenham. He looked good before falling in the 2013 Gold Cup and finished fourth last year in that memorably tight finish, but we’re convinced he can land the Gold Cup this time around and he is our betting tip here at betting odds of 10/3 with Betfair and others.

The final day of the Festival isn’t all about the big one though and the opening race, the Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle, should also be one to watch. Nicky Henderson has five previous winners in this one and his French horse Peace and Co, who won at Cheltenham in January, is the favourite here and hard to bet against. Odds of 9/4 with Coral look solid enough value, although look out for Top Notch too.

The 14.40 is another Grade One to help bring the 2023 Cheltenham Festival to a close and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle has been won by some brilliant horses, including Bobs Worth in 2011. Black Hercules heads the ante post betting and the Irish horse has a fine strike rate of 67% in his nascent career. He finished fourth in the Grade One Champion Bumper at last year’s Festival after leading three furlongs out and we are wholly convinced he can land our betting tip here at nice betting odds of 13/2 with William Hill.

Before the Albert Bartlett comes the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle and this is a tougher race to predict, with some good each way betting options and Ruby Walsh also worth thinking about given his fine record in this Cheltenham Grade Three handicap hurdle.

At 4pm we see the so-called “amateur Gold Cup” and whilst this is run over the same course and distance as the main event of Cheltenham’s final day, predicting the winner is somewhat more difficult. Another race the serious punters will skip, if you want to have a bet on this we would advise watching the market develop after the Gold Cup has been settled.

Following that one is another race that falls into the same betting category in many ways, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, open to apprentice jockeys only. The betting sees up to 10 horses at odds of around 14/1 and predicting who will emerge victorious after the two and half mile plus trip is anybody’s guess. Our prediction, for what it’s worth, is for Clean Sheet to romp to success.

Bringing the 2023 Cheltenham Festival to a close is the Grand Annual, or Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Steeple Chase Challenge Cup to use its somewhat longer title. Dating back to 1834, this contest is a shade over two miles and we fancy Eastlake, if confirmed, can land another Irish Cheltenham success at nice odds.

Day 4 - Cheltenham