The showpiece event of the Cheltenham Festival will be upon us this afternoon, in the form of the highly coveted Gold Cup (GC).
The most prestigious of National Hunt events will see 13 horses and jockeys of the highest calibre tackle 22 hurdles across a three-mile course for the grand prize of £625,000.
The Gold Cup line-up includes three horses that have been tipped to take on Aintree’s Grand National (GN) on Saturday, 9th April.
Golden Miller in 1934 was the only horse to win both the GC and GN titles in the same season.
That being said, it certainly provides a major boost in profile and confidence for the famous Merseyside Steeplechase.
Here are runners you should be keeping an eye on:
Trainer Gordon Elliott has made it known the GC is the priority for this eight-year-old.
He is making the step up to the GC this year, having won the National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase (CC) last year.
That victory bodes well for his Aintree chances, as it is known to be a race to develop future GN Champions.
In 2012, Teaforthree claimed the CC before winning the GN a year later, whilst Cause of Causes in 2016 & 2017, and Rathvinden – another of Elliott’s horses – in 2018 & 2019, repeated the same achievement.
Chantry House (16/1)
This Nicky Henderson-trained entry boasts a fine record of 12 runs, nine wins, and two placed finishes.
At 16/1 for the GC, many punters will fancy the outsider.
Chantry Houses’ last run was at Cheltenham at the end of January, comfortably winning the Cotswold Chase as a 5/6 favourite.
Nico de Boinville will take the reins once again on Friday.
He makes the step up to the GC, having won at both Cheltenham and Aintree last year.
He secured the Marsh Novices’ Chase in March and then the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase in April.
Santini will be aiming to return to GC greatness having come second in 2020, before pulling up in 2021.
As a result, the 10-year-old firmly sits as a 50/1 outsider for Friday’s GC.
He is a familiar opponent of Chantry House, having finished second in January’s Cotswold Chase.
The Polly Gundry-trained entry survived a late drop off to put the pressure on and clinch the runner-up spot.
(Featured image used under Creative Commons License. Credit – Limadezign)