Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 3.30 at Cheltenham, Friday 16th March 2018, 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.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is not just the feature race of the entire Cheltenham Festival, it is the most prestigious race in the National Hunt calendar. Run over three miles, two and a half furlongs on Cheltenham’s New Course, the Gold Cup is a test of stamina, jumping and sheer natural speed. Although the 2018 renewal has been weakened by some high profile withdrawals, we’re still left with a very interesting betting heat.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 Tips Betting 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
- Betfair – 70/1 Might Bite to win Gold Cup – New Customers can get Might Bite at an enhanced 70/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 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. (Check out our 70/1 Might Bite Gold Cup offer post for more info!)
- 888sport – 33/1 Might Bite to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup – Other Terms & Conditions apply.
- Coral – 25/1 Might Bite to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup – Other Terms & Conditions apply.
- More enhanced odds offers, free bets and other offers coming soon
Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips and 2018 Race Preview
Back to Back Successes for Harrington?
Nobody has trained more winners at the Cheltenham Festival than Nicky Henderson. His record has already improved this week and Henderson trains the current bookies’ favourite for the Gold Cup, Might Bite. At a best price of 4/1 with Paddy Power, you’d have to say that Might Bite looks good value. The only problem is the going at Cheltenham.
For the first time in a long time, the going at Cheltenham was soft, heavy in places at the start of the Festival. The spongey ground has already proven too much for some favourites and it may well be a similar story with Might Bite. Henderson’s charge will surely be a factor coming up the Cheltenham hill but the softer ground plays right into the hands of Our Duke.
Jessica Harrington, trainer of last year’s Gold Cup winner Sizing John, gave Our Duke two quick fire starts last month. After struggling in on soft ground in the Irish Gold Cup, the eight-year-old was a pretty comfortable winner on heavy ground at Gowran.
Questions remain about whether or not Our Duke has the outright pace to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup but with the race set to be even more stamina sapping than normal, he does looks a tempting price at 13/2 with Coral.
Edwulf Another Mudlark Worth Chancing
Despite the absence of some well fancied Gold Cup horses, there are plenty of quality horses remaining in the race. Native River and Road To Respect stand out as horses with real chances of winning should the going get closer to good but if, as expected, it stays soft, Edwulf will represent very good value at 20/1 with Ladbrokes.
The nine-year-old has been something of a handful for his young trainer, Joseph O’Brien. He’s fallen, unseated his rider and been pulled up over the last couple of seasons but showed just what he’s capable of when winning the Irish Gold Cup.
Edwulf beat some very good horses that day (including Our Duke) despite going off at 33/1. The way he finished on the soft ground at Leopardstown has given connections reason to be cautiously optimistic and Edwulf is another who looks overpriced given the conditions.
Weather Watching a Necessity
That the ground will be good to soft on the first day of Cheltenham is a racing certainty. It was, therefore, a shock to see heavy ground on Tuesday and the going will have a major impact on the Gold Cup.
On a better surface both Might Bite and Road To Respect should be fancied but as is, this open race is there for the taking for both Our Duke and Edwulf.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips Previous Winners
- 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 Tips 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.