Gold Cup tips and runners for Cheltenham Festival 2021’s big race

Can Al Boum Photo complete the hat-trick?

Cheltenham Gold Cup

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This is it. The big one. The crown jewel of the Cheltenham Festival. The Blue Riband of jump racing. The best chasers in training will tackle 22 fences over 3m 2f and 70yds on the New Course at Prestbury Park for a shot at joining a host of legendary horses such as Kauto Star, Denman, L’Escargot and Arkle in the Gold Cup roll of honour.

The countdown to Cheltenham continues with Al Boum Photo seeking to become the first horse since Best Mate in 2004 to win the race three years in a row. The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old beat Santini by a neck in last year’s thrilling renewal and is the current favourite for glory in 2021.

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There’s another previous winner among the runners in the form of 2018 king Native River, who prepared for the big race in fine style by beating Santini in the Cotswold Chase at Sandown. While Paddy Power’s traders think A Plus Tard and Champ, the RSA Novices’ Chase winner who impressed on his seasonal reappearance in the Game Spirit Chase, pose a threat as they’re prominent in the betting.

A total of 41 entries were submitted for this year’s Gold Cup, although the field has been whittled down to 12 for the big day. And you’re in luck as Paddy Power are paying four places instead of three.

GOLD CUP RUNNERS AND ODDS

CHELTENHAM RACECARD: DAY 4 RUNNERS AND RIDERS FOR EVERY RACE

GOLD CUP RUNNER-BY-RUNNER GUIDE FOR FRIDAY’S CHELTENHAM FEATURE RACE

GOLD CUP TIPS

Timeform:ROYALE PAGAILLE may still be a novice but the level of form he showed at Haydock means that he won’t be out of place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which he was in the odds should connections choose to go down that route”

FULL PREVIEW: ROYALE PAGAILLE DESERVES TO BE IN THE GOLD CUP CONVERSATION

Ruby Walsh:AL BOUM PHOTO could be hard to beat and he could potentially join illustrious company and become a triple Gold Cup winner”

FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH’S GOLD CUP TOP TIP

Frank Hickey:AL BOUM PHOTO’s got versatility, he won a strongly-run Gold Cup in 2019 and a tactical one in 2020 so what beats him?”

FULL PREVIEW: FRANK HICKEY’S GOLD CUP BEST BET

Andrew Cunneen: “I can see AL BOUM PHOTO being slashed by the Friday, I really can”

FULL PREVIEW: 4 VALUE PLAYS TO CONSIDER IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACES

Tony Mullins: A PLUS TARD‘s a real class horse and he’s the biggest danger.”

Nina Carberry: “Al Boum Photo is rock solid at the top of the betting but I was impressed with how CHAMP jumped over two miles in the Game Spirit Chase.”

FULL PREVIEW: GOLD CUP TIPS FROM TONY MULLINS AND NINA CARBERRY

Matt Chapman: “We all know Al Boum Photo could win this for a third time, but with drying ground and a visor on I’m backing SANTINI each-way for Nicky Henderson and Aidan Coleman.”

FULL PREVIEW: MATT CHAPMAN’S 7 BEST BETS FOR DAY 4 AT THE FESTIVAL

Gina Bryce: “Two-time winner of the race Al Boum Photo has proved his versatility in winning back to back Gold Cups in contrasting style and has to be hugely respected in his bid to land a third success. However another horse who has proven Festival form albeit at a lower level is 2019 handicap chase winner A PLUS TARD who took his form to the next level up in trip this year when winning a very competitive renewal of the Savills Chase in eye catching fashion.”

FULL PREVIEW: GINA BRYCE’S BEST BETS FOR DAY 4 OF THE FESTIVAL

Mick Fitzgerald: “It’s hard to believe AL BOUM PHOTO is going for his third Gold Cup in-a-row. He has gone down a familiar route with one run at Tramore before a Gold Cup tilt and this year’s race should suit him more as Frodon and Native River will set a strong pace up front.”

FULL PREVIEW: MICK FITZGERALD’S BEST BETS FOR DAY 4 OF THE FESTIVAL

Willie Mullins Paul Townend

WHEN IS THE GOLD CUP?

The Gold Cup takes place on Friday March 19, on the fourth and final day of the Cheltenham Festival 2021. It’s scheduled to start at 15.05.

GOLD CUP WINNERS AT THE LAST FIVE FESTIVALS

2020 – Al Boum Photo (Horse), Paul Townend (Jockey), Willie Mullins (Trainer)

2019 – Al Boum Photo, Paul Townend, Willie Mullins

2018 – Native River, Richard Johnson, Colin Tizzard

2017 – Sizing John, Robbie Power, Jessica Harrington

2016 – Don Cossack, Bryan Cooper, Gordon Elliott

Native River

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CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL REMAINING BIG RACES

March 19 – 13.20 – Triumph Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips

March 19 – 15.05 – Gold Cup latest odds and tips

March 19 – 16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase latest odds and tips

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY FOUR SCHEDULE

13.20 – JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y

13.55 – County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y

14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y

15.05 – Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y

15.40 – St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup 3m 2f 70y

16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m 4f 127y

16.50 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 56y

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

Cheltenham Day 4 Tips

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