Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips – Can Champ Really win the Cheltenham Festival Feature Race?
As far as recent trends are concerned, Champ ticks many of the boxes required for a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner but can he really win the Friday feature race and biggest race of the Cheltenham Festival?
He has run three times at Cheltenham, including twice at the Festival and, although falling at the second last on his sole start on the New Course – in the Dipper Novices’ Chase on New Year’s Day last year – he has, at least, proved his ability to act on the undulations of Prestbury Park.
Grade One Winner Over Fences
In fact, Champ is already a Grade One winner over fences at the Festival, having produced an extraordinary performance in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase last year when making up 8½ lengths on the run-in to overhaul Minella Indo close home and win by a length.
That was his first, and so far only, attempt at three miles but, in the words of Willie Mullins, ‘proved that he stayed all day’, so an extra quarter-of-a-mile or so should be well within his compass.
The Perfect Age
Champ is a 9-year-old, which puts him in the right age bracket for recent Gold Cup winners, so the main concern about him must be that he has made just five starts over fences. Of course, it’s not unheard of for a horse with such limited experience over fences to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
In 2015, Coneygree did so, as a novice, after just four starts over the larger obstacles, although it’s also worth noting that, before that, the last novice to win the Gold Cup was Captain Christy in 1974.
Champ’s Strange Prep
Following a wind operation in September, which delayed his return to action until February, Champ made his seasonal reappearance in the Game Spirit Chase, over 2 miles ½ furlong, at Newbury. Beforehand, trainer Nicky Henderson had reasoned that, on his first run for nearly a year, Champ, who is quite a keen-going sort, would be less likely to have an unnecessarily hard race over two miles than three.
What Henderson later described as a ‘ridiculous’ idea proved successful because, although ultimately proving no match for Sceau Royal, who was receiving 3lb, Champ travelled easily for most of the way and jumped better than ever.
Champ’s Gold Cup Odds
Indeed, bookmakers reacted by shortening Champ to 5/1 second favourite, from 12/1, for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and, with his ability to jump fluently, at pace, less of a worry than was once the case, it is easy to see why.
He was still not foot-perfect at Newbury, but he has clearly benefited from regular schooling sessions with Henrietta Knight over the winter and his jumping could, arguably, be better again off a slower pace in the Gold Cup.
Champ is blessed with the potent combination of tactical speed and stamina characteristic of a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner so, granted luck in running, there is little doubt that he can, really, win the ‘Blue Riband’ event
Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds
- Al Boum Photo – 11/4
- Champ – 5/1
- A Plus Tard – 6/1
- Royale Pagaille – 8/1
- Kemboy – 10/1
- Santini – 14/1
- Minella Indo – 14/1
- Frodon – 14/1
- Native River – 14/1
- 33/1 Bar
Cheltenham Gold Cup NRNB
Betfred are non-runner no bet on the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup so if you place a bet and your horse doesn’t run, you will get the cost of your bet refunded back to you.
If you are a new customer, you will also get their bet £10 get £30 sign-up bonus which means you can bet £10 on any horse and win or lose you will get a £30 free bet credited to your account. Follow the steps below to get the Betfred Cheltenham sign-up offer.
2 Bet £10 on a horse
3 When the bet settles, you get a £30 free bet
4 Get an additional 60 free casino spins
Bet £10 get a £30 free bet & 60 free casino spinsCLAIM!
More Cheltenham Festival Tips
Supreme Novices Hurdle each-way tips – can anything stop Appreciate It winning the opening race?
Cheltenham each-way lucky 15 tip – four each-way selections for a lucky 15.
bet365 Cheltenham tips and offers – bet365 take a detailed look at the Cheltenham Festival 2021.
Thursday’s ITV Racing Tips: Cheltenham and Newmarket Tips from the Craven Meeting
The Newmarket Craven meeting reaches its final day on Thursday and the feature race of…
Wednesday’s ITV Racing Tips: Newmarket and Cheltenham Feature for 6 Live Races
On Wednesday, ITV Racing cameras are at Newmarket, for the Craven Meeting, and at Cheltenham.…
Aintree Day 3 Tips – Race by Race Preview for Grand National Day at Aintree
The big race on Saturday is one of the best spectacles of the year and…
Grand National 2021 Betting Tip – 100/1 each-way bet and the main contenders for the National
After a one-year hiatus, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 'world's most famous steeplechase',…
Saturday’s ITV Racing Tips – 5 Selections for a Lucky 31 on Grand National Day
Day three of the Randox Grand National Festival marks the return of the world's most…
Aintree Day 2 Tips – Race by Race Preview and Betting Tips for Friday 9th April
The Grand National Festival continues on Friday 9th April with Ladies Day and Henry has…