Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Free Bets, 3.30 at Cheltenham, Friday 15th March 2019, Cheltenham Festival Day Four
The Cheltenham Gold Cup needs little introduction. Read on for betting tips, history and the best odds and offers surrounding this greatest of races on the final day of the Festival.
This is it. The biggest and most prestigious race of the National Hunt season. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the race that every trainer, jockey and owner wants to win and the list of previous winners is a who’s who of the greatest staying horses of all time. The ante post betting for the 2019 Gold Cup suggests we’re in for one of the most competitive renewals for many a year.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019 Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
See below for the latest offers or check out our main Cheltenham Festival Offers page!
Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Offers and Free Bets
- PADDY POWER – 50/1 PRESENTING PERCY TO WIN GOLD CUP – New Customers can get Presenting Percy at an enhanced 50/1 to win Ryanair Chase. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
- PADDY POWER – 80/1 CLAN DES OBEAUX TO WIN GOLD CUP – New Customers can get Clan Des Obeaux at an enhanced 80/1 to win Ryanair Chase. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
- SPORTNATION: 50/1 ON PRESENTING PERCY TO WIN GOLD CUP – New customers only. Offer expires at the scheduled off time of the first race. Max stake £1 – on the #YourNation market. Bonus funds credited within 24 hours. Turnover requirement of 7x the bonus funds value within 30 days at the minimum odds of 1.6. 18+ only BeGambleaware.
- 888sport – 33/1 Presenting Percy to win Cheltenham Gold Cup – New customers only • £10 minimum deposit using promo code “BOOST” required • Qualifying bet must be placed at the normal odds • max bet £5 • Extra winnings paid in FREE BETS and added within 72 hrs of qualifying bet settlement • Free bet stakes not included in bet returns • Free bets expire 7 days after credit • This offer may not be combined with any other offer • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time • General deposit method,withdrawal restrictions & Full T&C’s apply
- More enhanced odds offers for the 2019 Gold Cup, plus free bets and other offers coming soon
Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips and 2019 Race Preview
Can Native River Double Up?
Presenting Percy’s position at the head of the betting market for the Gold Cup was always predicated on the idea that he would come into Cheltenham on the back of a performance of sufficient class and confidence. That has not happened as Willie Mullins just couldn’t find a race at a racecourse with enough cut in the ground to give Presenting Percy even one start over fences.
A single win over hurdles, no matter how convincing, is just not enough for a Gold Cup favourite so Presenting Percy has now been joined by Clan Des Obeaux at the top of the betting. Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden have already combined to win at this year’s Cheltenham and Clan Des Obeaux has most certainly proven his class this season with wins in both the King George VI at Kempton and the Denman Chase which took place at Ascot in February.
The top two in the Gold Cup became the big three as soon as the forecast for the week leading up to and including the four days of Cheltenham suggested some very wet weather in and the money started pouring in for last year’s winner, Native River.
Native River has been seen twice this season. He was beaten only by course specialist Bristol De Mai at Haydock before finding the track at Kempton too quick for him in the King George. His preparations were cut short by the postponement of the Denman Chase but that has not put the money off and nor should it.
Native River will relish the softer ground at Cheltenham once again and having overcome Might Bite in a thrilling race 12 months ago can see off different opposition in similarly impressive style at 4/1 with Coral.
Bellshill the Each Way Play
The betting for the Gold Cup suggests that it’s going to be a three horse race but we know how a similar looking race turned out in the Champion Hurdle. Anything can happen during the 3 miles 2½ furlongs of this race. If any of the leading fancies make mistakes which end their chances of winning, Bellshill and Ruby Walsh will be waiting to take full advantage.
The nine-year-old did not look a potential Gold Cup winner when finishing fourth in his seasonal reappearance in the Grade 1 Savills Chase but was much better in the Irish Gold Cup which he won from Road To Respect who is himself a quality performer. Bellshill will need luck in running but if he gets it the 11/1 that RaceBets are offering could prove a tasty price indeed.
Previous Race Winners
- 2018 – Native River – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2017 – Sizing John – jockey Robbie Power, trainer Jessica Harrington
- 2016 – Don Cossack – jockey Brian Cooper, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2015 – Coneygree – jockey Nico de Boinville, trainer Mark Bradstock
- 2014 – Lord Windermere – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Jim Culloty
- 2013 – Bobs Worth – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2012 – Synchronised – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Jonjo O’Neill
- 2011 – Long Run – jockey Mr Sam Waley-Cohen, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2010 – Imperial Commander – jockey Paddy Brennan, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies
- 2009 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2008 – Denman – jockey Sam Thomas, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2007 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2006 – War Of Attrition – jockey Conor O’Dwyer, trainer Mouse Morris
Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a race of the highest calibre and trainers must be sure their horse is of sufficient quality before entering them. Specifically, the combination of a previous win at Grade 1 level, multiple chase wins and wins over at least 3m is a good place to start.
Digging deeper into previous form shows there are some very important trial races to consider. The King George VI Chase has provided several recent winners even if the track at Kempton poses a rather different challenge to Cheltenham, the Denman Chase at Newbury is another to keep an eye on whilst Irish Gold Cup contenders will often take in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
It takes a certain amount of top class chasing form in order for trainers to be confident that their horse has a chance in the Gold Cup. Therefore, winners aged under six are very rare indeed but by the same token 10-year-olds have struggled to win in recent years. That speaks to the challenge of the Gold Cup which mandates both confidence over fences and the necessary stamina to travel at speed and finish strongly up the Cheltenham hill.
Be Wary of Backing Favourites
The Gold Cup is a race for the best chasers around and the level of competition means that there are few very strong favourites. Indeed, favourites have only a modest record but more recent winners went off as one of the top three in the betting.
It’s important that horses have had a couple of warm up performance before competing in the Gold Cup but those who have been worked too hard will lack the stamina required to win. Form immediately before Cheltenham is a useful indicator as the vast majority of recent winners went off at 8/1 or shorter in a Grade 1 or 2 contest last time out.
Cheltenham Gold Cup History
The first race referred to as the Cheltenham Gold Cup actually took place way back in 1819. At three miles that contest was similar in distance to the event we know and love today, however, whilst todays protagonists are required to negotiate a total of 22 fences, that initial event held on Cleeve Hill was a flat contest.
It wasn’t until over 100 years later that what is now Cheltenham’s showpiece event was first held as a jumps contest. The prize money on offer in 1924 for that inaugural Gold Cup over fences was £685. In terms of prestige it ranked behind both the National Hunt Chase and the County Hurdle in those early days.
The first real legend to appear in the records of this race is the remarkable Golden Miller. The Dorothy Paget owned gelding had three different jockeys and two different trainers between the years of 1932 and 1936, but the result was always the same. Nothing could touch Golden Miller as he racked up a record five consecutive wins in this race. Adding a win in the Grand National of 1934, Golden Miller was unquestionably the standout horse of his generation. Paget also took the Gold Cup home in 1940 with Roman Hackle and again in 1952 with Mont Tremblant. Her seven total wins make her the most successful owner in the history of the race.
The status of the Gold Cup was undoubtedly aided by the exploits Golden Miller. This status was further enhanced by events that came following the two year absence of the race in the war years of 1943-44. Firstly the three successes of Cottage Rake for Vincent O’Brien between the years of 1948 and 1950 helped to grab the attention of the Irish who had previously been slow to embrace the contest. The races subsequent ability to consistently attract the top Irish chasers added to its overall quality and appeal.
1959 saw a switch to the New Course for the first time. Not long after this the greatest chaser in history left his indelible hoof prints in the Gold Cup history books. Unsurpassed before or since, the imperious Arkle repeated the feats of Cottage Rake by taking the Gold Cup back to Ireland in 1964, 65 and 66. His dominance is perhaps best illustrated by his starting price for the final of those victories, being sent off at just 1/10 for what is traditionally the hottest race of the jumping year. The best chaser in history is unsurprisingly the Gold Cups shortest priced winner. The horse referred to as “himself” by his legions of Irish followers racked up 15 top class victories between 1963 and 1966, including two Hennessy Gold Cups, the King George VI Chase, Punchestown Gold Cup and an Irish Grand National.
The exploits of Arkle have also left a mark in the leading jockey and trainer table. His jockey Pat Taaffe also won on Fort Leney in 1968, his four wins put him out in front as the races most successful jockey. Trainer Tom Dreaper went one better, sending out Prince Regent to win in 1946 as well as Arkle and Fort Leney.
The next aid to the growth of the Gold Cup came with the advent of sponsorship in 1975, helping to boost prize money and profile. Piper Champagne were the first ever sponsors of the race, various betting companies have also backed the contest over the years with Internet firm Timico taking over in 2016.
One of the most popular winners of the 1980’s was the Paddy Mullins-trained, Dawn Run, who became only the fourth mare to take this prize. She is also the only horse to have won both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup.
The 1980’s also saw a training feat which is unlikely to ever be repeated. Michael Dickinson won the race with Bregawn and also saddled the second, third, fourth and fifth. Surely the greatest ever training performance over jumps or on the flat.
Then followed a period of ultra-competitive years. 1990 saw the biggest shock in the races history as Norton’s Coin prevailed at 100/1.
2003 brought us the first repeat winner of the race in over 30 years. The hugely popular Best Mate took this prize in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for Henrietta Knight.
Five men have both ridden and trained the winner of this prestigious event. The most recent of these is the jockey of Best Mate, Jim Culloty. Jim took the prize as a trainer in 2014 with Lord Windermere.
The requirements for success here appear to translate well to those needed for the King George VI chase at Kempton, despite the contrasting natures of the tracks. Numerous Gold Cup Winners have also conquered the Kempton showpiece, including the glorious grey, Desert Orchid who won the King George four times, and Kauto Star who went one better with five wins.
Paul Nicholls’ Kauto Star also holds the record as the only horse to have regained the Gold Cup having lost it. Having come home in front in 2007, he failed to conquer stablemate Denman in 2008, before roaring back to claim the 2009 edition.
Only three five-year-olds have won this toughest of high class chasing tests. Of the 87 renewals up to 2015, 72 had been won by runners aged between seven and 10 years of ages. Experience appears to count here with novices not faring particularly well. 2015 winner Coneygree was the first novice to prove successful in over 40 years. The 12-year-olds Silver Fame (1951) and What A Myth (1969) are the oldest ever winners.