It’s one of the biggest events on the horse racing calendar and one that leads to a great summer of top class meetings. The Cheltenham Festival crosses four days in March with a high density of important, Group One renewals along the way.
The biggest of all races on a packed card is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. For those that are unfamiliar with the event, here is a guide to how it works, along with a look at some of the top contenders for the 2023 edition.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup takes place on the final day of the four-day festival. The horse racing fraternity stops on Friday afternoon to witness one of the bigger spectacles in the sport, and many feel that this is a more important race than the Grand National, which follows in April.
The Gold Cup was first run in 1924 and it is a National Hunt race, over the jumps, for horses aged five years and over. It’s a stiff test of endurance over three miles, two furlongs and 70 yards of the Cheltenham course with a number of testing fences to negotiate along the way.
The race has produced some of the most memorable contests in the history of the sport. Great winners of the past include Arkle, L’Escargot, Desert Orchid and Best Mate, who won the Gold Cup for three consecutive years between 2002 and 2004.
It can also be a pointer for the Grand National that follows, but this is a prestigious race in its own right. As always, 2023 promises to be a classic.
In the Hat for 2023
Betting markets for big races such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup can usually be found across all 12 months of the year. There can be advantages to getting involved in the ante post betting as the odds will be longer some months in advance.
A potential downside is the fact that some horses will be withdrawn and the exact field will not be determined until a few days before the off. At the start of 2023, the best horse racing betting sites in the UK listed Galopin Des Champs as the clear favourite to win the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
A clutch of four horses followed as joint second favourites with A Plus Tard, Noble Yeats, Stattler and Bravemansgame all available at the same odds in certain places. Those that want to monitor the markets ahead of the 2023 race can check out the sbo.net website where over 275 bookmakers are linked.
Horse racing odds can be assessed throughout the year, while there will be supporting information which can include breaking news, opinion and useful betting guides.
Those who feel confident enough to put their knowledge into action can also stake in the markets. Each of those sportsbooks will accept eligible new customers who are ready to complete a secure registration form.
Once complete and verified, it should be possible to access a generous welcome promotion while most bookies have ongoing offers moving forward. A selection of funding operators can help with financial business, while customer services are on hand 24/7.
Those who play for the long term may also enjoy loyalty programmes while other potential benefits may include live streaming and the ability to stake via a mobile app.
It’s the perfect partner for all forms of horse racing betting, but has the market made the right call on the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Galopin Des Champs leads the way at the top of the Gold Cup betting and this Willie Mullins trained horse has a strong overall record. The seven-year-old has won six of his ten races to date and that record includes four wins from his last five.
Of the chasing pack, A Plus Tard may be the most likely challenger. This is the horse that won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2022 with Rachael Blackmore securing a historic moment for all female jockeys.
Like a number of races where a long series of jumps are involved, the Cheltenham Gold Cup can be a tough one to call. What is guaranteed is a dramatic race and one that leads to a classic summer of top class racing around the UK.