I always feel that the week between Trials Day and the fairly recent Dublin Racing Festival is the perfect time to be proactive and get stuck into the ante-post Cheltenham Gold Cup market.

The Cheltenham races betting odds tend to be all over the place in this particular week so it’s best to strike whilst the iron is hot.

At the top of the pile is Galopin Des Champs who has already got the bookmakers in a tizzy for the Gold Cup and should he score at Leopardstown at the weekend, his price will be a far from punter friendly one.

Currently trading at 5/4 in our 888sports market, we could actually find ourselves with a Gold Cup favourite priced up around the even money mark. But the question still remains – is he really that superior to his rivals this year?

Trained by Willie Mullins, Galopin Des Champs came down after jumping the last fence at last year’s Festival, but this term he hasn’t put a hoof wrong.

Defending champion A Plus Tard gets an 8/1 antepost quote despite his only run to date this season resulting in a “pulled up – P” in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.

If he’s sound and his wellbeing is 100% again then that price may look big about the previous winner.

Many pundits and punters are saying the Paul Nicholls-trained Bravemansgame brings the best form of this NH campaign to the table. The Charlie Hall and King George Chase victor is a well deserved 8/1 poke in our betting for the race.

Last year’s Grand National hero Noble Yeats (8/1) has also blasted the Gold Cup ante-post market to smithereens in recent weeks after a top class performance in Aintree’s Many Clouds Chase, then a third place in the latest renewal of the Cotswold Chase.

At this juncture he currently looks like the most solid each-way option in the race.

Also popular in the betting is Willie Mullins’ Stattler (8/1) who almost led all the way in the Savills New Year Chase before just being nosed out of it by Minella Indo. 

Mullins has gone down that very same route to the Gold Cup before – namely with Al Boum Photo, and this tried and tested way could well herald another Gold Cup victory at Prestbury Park.

Conflated has been hovering around the 12/1 mark for the big one for a few weeks now and the gelding comes into the Festival on the back of a fine Savills Chase victory at Leopardstown.

Lucinda Russell’s Ahoy Senor is very much back in the game for Gold Cup after landing the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.

Once as big as 50/1 with us for the March spectacular, that recent victory has seen his price slashed right down to 14/1 for punters placing their horse race bets online.

I personally never got any of that 50/1 manna from heaven as I was already on him prior to his three moderate runs, but 14/1 is a very fair reflection of what I think his chances are.

Admittedly the likes of Galopin Des Champs and A Plus Tard are going to be difficult to beat if they turn up on their A-Game, but I do see quite a few chinks in their armour and I shall try and be the each-way thief here with Ahoy Senor.

Suggestion: Ahoy Senor @ 14/1 E/W

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*


Steven is a sports and horse racing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 30 renewals of the Grand National.