|Cheltenham Gold Cup|
|A Plus Tard||10/3||10/3||10/3|
|Al Boum Photo||10/1||10/1||10/1|
Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup Race
- Friday, March 18th 2022
- 10:30 am EST
- Cheltenham Horse Track
- The main event of a four-day festival
What happened in the 2021 race?
Last year saw horse owner Henry de Bromhead cap off a stunning festival with a 1-2 finish in the blue riband race.
Favourite A Plus Tard was the heavily backed expected winner, but it was his stable-mate Minella Indo who managed to earn the victory and now the nine-year-old will look to make it a hat-trick of Cheltenham wins from 2020 to 2022 in the Gold Cup.
Indo managed to claim the victory by prioritizing his stamina and his track position before belting it down the home straight to get ahead of the favorite.
Breaking down the field
A Plus Tard
Last year's top horse earned a last gasp success during the 2020 Savills Chase and lost little in defeat to his stablemate en route to a runners-up position in the 2021 Gold Cup.
The Cheveley Park Stud owned eight-year-old couldn't have looked any better as he waltzed to victory in the Betfair Chase, and while he was beaten by Galvin at Leopardstown not long ago, he finished around the same distance ahead of Kemboy as he did back in 2020.
The son of Kapgarde has enjoyed the same level of preparation as he had last year heading into this event, having not raced since Christmas and the projected ground condition will be in his favor.
Native River recently claimed a victory in the Gold Cup in his second attempt, but he's one of few horses to have ever done it before. A Plus Tard will be looking to join that elusive list next week and will run well, so it's hard to bet against him.
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Last year's winner will be looking to secure a hat-trick when the tape rises to signify the start of the race. If he can find the same rhythm he found 12 months ago, it will be incredibly difficult to stop him from being victorious once again.
Since winning last year though, he has gone 0-3 in races and even pulled up early in the King George VI Chase after becoming embroiled in a big battle for the lead with Frodon, which eventually ended poorly for both horses.
Kempton isn't the type of ground to suit this horse though, and he showed his true form when he chased home Conflated in the Irish Gold Cup just last month to bounce back to his best.
This is a horse that undoubtedly saves his best for this festival in March and after the performance last month there will likely be a more game horse in the race this time around. It will be tough to see him retain his title based off the last year of form, but he's far too good to rule out.
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Easily one of the most improved horses in the world over the last 12 months is Galvin and this is a race that will seemingly suit him perfectly as he looks to win his first major ever.
Last year's National Hunt Chase hero conceded weight to the entire field when making a successful reappearance in Grade 3 company at Punchestown, and wasn't even a full length behind Frodon in a Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase back in October 2021.
That race in Down Royal saw Galvin finish ahead of both Minella Indo and Delta Work, while Frodon was at his absolute best in a race that trainer Paul Nicholls has historically targeted to get his horse primed for over the years.
There were a million and one things to like about his performance there and in the last year or so. The way he blasted past A Plus Tard just before Christmas in the Savills Chase showed how strong a finisher he is and that makes him a serious contender to the crown.
He's on an upward trajectory right now and the win over A Plus Tard just tips this pick over the edge. He will relish every yard of this trip and decent ground will only favor him even more, so back Galvin to be crowned Gold Cup champion for 2022.
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