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Minella Indo has failed to score since landing last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup but could a return to Prestbury Park spark a return to the winner’s enclosure?
The gelding loves the track and led home a 1-2 for trainer Henry de Bromhead 12 months ago but stablemate A Plus Tard has some of our pundits believing the form can reversed in Friday’s Blue Riband.
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Gordon Elliott’s Galvin has proved popular with punters since chinning A Plus Tard to win the Savills Chase over Christmas, dual Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is back for another crack, while Protektorat and Royale Pagaille lead the home charge.
If you’re planning to have a punt on Friday’s feature at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival then you’re in luck as we’ve corralled our experts’ best bets in one handy place below.
Cheltenham Gold Cup tips
Gina Bryce: The forecast emphasis on finishing speed may then play into the hands of last year’s runner up A PLUS TARD who we know has enough boot to have put Chacun Pour Soi to the sword over two miles in his younger days, before proving he can also travel with the fluency required for this staying trip. The stable’s horses were under a cloud when he was beaten by Galvin in the Lexus Chase at Christmas with things not necessarily going his way on the day. But if the A Plus Tard that bounded around Haydock to annihilate Royal Pagaille by 22 lengths in the Betfair Chase turns up I think he’s got a good chance of going one better this year.
Matt Chapman: I’ve always been one for stamina over speed in the Gold Cup and on that basis will back both GALVIN for the win and AL BOUM PHOTO each-way. Galvin has improved with every race and did well to deny A Plus Tard last time. He has every chance for Gordon Elliott. Al Boum Photo has of course won two Gold Cups already and while he was meant to be raced more season comes here with strong claims of being in the frame again. If he scores he will do what Kauto Star did which is regain his crown.
Mick Fitzgerald: I hope the ground is drying out all the time because GALVIN is definitely better when the ground is slightly better. He is proven at the track having won at last year‘s Festival and previously being placed in a Festival handicap. He has been prepared with this race in mind all season and he could well be the answer.
Frank Hickey: TORNADO FLYER is still a big price. He seems to be priced on the basis that his King George win was a fluke but I don’t think it was. He had decent Grade 1 form in bumpers before that. Even last year in the Ryanair, he looked like he wanted the trip. I liked the way he jumped and travelled in the King George. If he does that again he’s got a great chance. He’s a big price and worth risking if you do think his King George win was a fluke. The ground won’t be too testing either which is a boost.
Timeform: It could be another 1-2 for Henry de Bromhead but in a different order, with A PLUS TARD, who should be in his prime at 8, taken to turn the tables on last year’s winner Minella Indo. The latter has yet to really fire this term but he’s always saved his best for this meeting (2 wins and a second) and can provide a bigger threat than Galvin, who pipped the selection at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Ruby Walsh: It should be relatively easy for A PLUS TARD to turn the Leopardstown form around with Galvin. A Plus Tard has more speed and will do me to go one better in the Gold Cup this year.
Cheltenham Gold Cup tips summary:
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