2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Tips – Champ Can Claim Festival Feature

Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips · Friday, 19th Mar 2021 - 15:05

Henderson’s McManus mount up for Gold Cup

In the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the extended 3m 2f feature contest of the Festival on Friday (15:05), Champ remains unexposed as a stayer and thus appeals most. Trained by Nicky Henderson for owner JP McManus, this nine-year-old represents connections who know all about the blue riband event of steeplechases.

Champ was a gallant runner-up in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle two years ago. However, he was bred for excellence over fences, and won the old RSA Chase here last season from an unpromising position. Turning for home, Champ had it all to do but still got up and beat Minella Indo and Allaho.

The amount of speed and stamina on show then was impressive. Champ needed to brush up on his jumping, but looks to have done just that as he gave the speedier Sceau Royal a race in the Game Spirit on belated reappearance at Newbury.

That is an unusual prep for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but Henderson went down that route instead of the Denman Chase. Now going way back up in trip, this could be the making of Champ, who has only had five races over fences. He get the vote at odds of 9/2 with BetVictor for the big one.

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Al Boum Photo hoping for hat-trick

Dual winner Al Boum Photo seeks a hat-trick. Trained by Willie Mullins, this nine-year-old has been lightly-raced like Champ. That tender handling has paid off. Al Boum Photo took the familiar route to the Festival too, winning the New Year’s Day Chase at Tramore again.

Those re-opposing from last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup shouldn’t be any bother. Al Boum Photo had the beating of them 12 months ago, and those in-behind haven’t fired at all. Santini and Lostintranslation, those closest to him, have been particularly disappointing.

New challengers are thus his biggest danger for Al Boum Photo. The fact he is low mileage for his age is a plus. Whether he can emulate Best Mate and Arkle is another matter. Only the absolute best staying steeplechasers have won this three times or more.

Mullins also has Irish Gold Cup winner Kemboy, but he lacks the Cheltenham form of Al Boum Photo. Everything points to a big run in this bid for even more history. Al Boum Photo is an 11/4 chance with bet365 for the historic hat-trick.

Frodon the Cheltenham Gold Cup each-way wager

Many fancy their chances here. Frodon has won the King George at Kempton and many races here in his career, so gets the each-way vote. Trained by Paul Nicholls, who has four victories in this, he is a bold front-runner.

Frodon’s partnership with jockey Bryony Frost has captured public attention. They won the Cotswold and Ryanair Chase in 2019. The presence of Native River in the Cheltenham old Cup line-up again could set things up for a closer.

If these two cut each other’s throats, then the likes of A Plus Tard and Royale Pagaille enter calculations. The former, trained by Henry De Bromhead, showed superb stamina when winning the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and beat Kemboy.

Royale Pagaille is a rapid improver for Venetia Williams, meanwhile. Winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup as a novice isn’t impossible, as Coneygree proved. It could be worth chancing Frodon and his stamina lasting out, however, as there is each-way value in odds of 12/1 with Unibet for more Festival glory.

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