For four days each year, the greatest horses, trainers, and jockeys, converge in the English town of Cheltenham, to compete in some of the most prestigious jump races in the world at the Cheltenham Festival.
28 races are up for decision across the week, but one race stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to prestige, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Run over a distance of 3 miles and 2 furlongs, the Gold Cup represents the top of the jump racing tree.
In 2023 a new group of equine excellence will attempt to win the coveted chasing crown, so let’s have a look at this year’s main players and try to find the horse that will come out on top.
2023 Gold Cup Contenders
Gallopin Des Champs
He is the new superstar in the chasing division of jump racing, and Gallopin Des Champs currently sits at the head of the betting markets for the Gold Cup for 6/4.
Popular with fans and the racing public, the Irish-trained jumping star is also the most popular runner amongst racing experts and their gold cup tips. The beautiful-looking gelding is trained by the legendary Irish trainer, Willie Mullins, a man adept at preparing his horses to run the biggest races of their lives at just the right time.
Gallopin Des Champs is Ireland’s main hope of continuing their domination in the Gold Cup, but the mantle of the best British-trained chance falls upon, Bravemansgame. Trained by another trainer steeped in Gold Cup history, Paul Nicholls, Bravemansgame is another young pretender to the crown after a hugely impressive career over fences to date.
A winner of six of his seven starts over the larger obstacles, Bravemansgame has been in scintillating form this season and advertised his credentials for a big run in the Gold Cup when winning the prestigious King George VI Chase last time.
A Plus Tard
Last year’s Gold Cup winner, A Plus Tard, arrives at Cheltenham this year after a disappointing preparation for the race. He put in a huge performance in his victory 12 months ago but has only been seen on a racecourse on one occasion since that being a hugely disappointing performance which has cast his ability to retain his title into doubt.
Noble Yeats will be a name familiar to many sports fans. Another Irish-trained runner, he shot to prominence when winning last year’s world-famous Aintree Grand National. Since that memorable win, Noble Yeats has continued to improve his performances and now finds himself with a live chance of adding the Gold Cup to his impressive cv.
So Who Will Win the Gold Cup in 2023?
The betting markets suggest that Gallopin Des Champs should win easily, and it is hard to see past him getting his head in front this year. Bravemansgame is talented in his own right but lacks experience at this level, so the main danger to the favorite may come from the defending champion, A Plus Tard.
Yes, he must bounce back to his best form, but if he does, he proved 12 months ago that he is a very, very special horse.