There isn’t a bigger race in the world of National Hunt racing than the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The big race will take place on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival in March 2022, as British-trained horses will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing showing at the Festival in 2021.
Last year’s Gold Cup saw a 1-2-3-4 for Irish-trained horses, with Minella Indo coming out on top against stablemate A Plus Tard. But, which horses could be among the favourites for the race in 2022?
Henry De Bromhead enjoyed an excellent Festival in 2021, as he had the first two past the post in the Gold Cup. His leading chance, according to the latest odds for the race in 2022, is once against Minella Indo.
The eight-year-old will come into the race in 2022 as the defending champion, having won the most recent renewal of the race by a length and a quarter from A Plus Tard.
Jack Kennedy was on board the winner on that occasion, which was his first run on the horse. Rachel Blackmore had taken all the rides previously, but she opted to ride A Plus Tard in the featured race.
That decision ultimately cost her the chance of creating history and becoming the first female winner of the Gold Cup.
Minella Indo’s form going into the Gold Cup wasn’t breathtaking, as he was beaten by six and three-quarter lengths by Kemboy at Leopardstown and was a faller at the same track at the end of December.
However, he seems to love going around Cheltenham, and his success in the Gold Cup was a second Festival winner, as he had previously won the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle back in 2019.
Willie Mullins-trained horses are never too far away from the top of the market, and his leading chance in the Gold Cup in 2022 could be Monkfish. It is still undecided whether the seven-year-old will target the featured race of the Festival, but his form is certainly pointing towards the Blue Riband race.
He enjoyed an excellent season last term, as he won four from five races. His only defeat came in his final start of the campaign as he was beaten by eight lengths at Punchestown in the G1 Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase.
However, he looks like a horse that will get the longer distance that is required in the Gold Cup, and that was evident when Monkfish won the G1 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Festival in 2021.
His dominance in that race was astounding, as he won by six and a half lengths from Fiddlerontheroof. Support was strong for Monkfish on the day, as he started the Grade 1 at odds of 1/4. Monkfish could be one of the biggest movers in the Gold Cup betting throughout the season, especially if he starts the campaign with a run of victories.
Finding a British-trained hopeful for the Gold Cup in 2022 may be testing, as the favourites are all Irish-trained. However, one that could be worth consideration should Nicky Henderson target the featured race is Chantry House. The seven-year-old enjoyed an excellent campaign in 2021, as he won on all three starts.
He was a Festival winner in 2021, as he won by three lengths from Fusil Raffles in the G1 Marsh Novices’ Chase.
The win was a rare bright spark for the British in a difficult week, and he continued his excellent campaign with a final victory of the season at the Grand National Festival over three miles and a furlong.
His final win of the season was in the G1 Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase, as he won by 32 lengths from Shan Blue.
You can bet on the Cheltenham Gold Cup even if you live in the USA. Check if you live in one of the states where online horse race betting is legal. For example if you live in Pennsylvania, you can check the current horse betting situation for the state here: https://www.twinspires.com/states/pennsylvania