Cheltenham Festival is a month away and excitement is building

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Last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is favourite to defend his title in a months’ time and a preparation run at Tramore on News Years Day went well as the horse won in style with Paul Townend on board. Trainer Willie Mullins would also have been impressed and confident the horse can head to Cheltenham Festival to look to retain the crown.

Al Boum Photo was the 100/30 favourite before the running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2020 and justified favouritism to win the race by a neck from Santini and Lostintranslation. Willie Mullins once again delivered a top horse to win the race and is the master of Cheltenham having won yet another group 1 race.

This year’s running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup will be one to savour with quite a few horses looking to knock Al Boum Photo of his crown, but the back to back winner will be hard to beat and the likely challengers are set to come from Ireland with Willie Mullins second string of horses the main dangers.

The current odds for this year’s 2021 running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup at sportsbookreview have Al Boum Photo at 7/2 (4.5) + 350 to win the race for a record three times in a row and you wouldn’t put it past the horse to deliver a hat-trick of wins given the two previous runnings have shown the hose loves Cheltenham and is very comfortably at the track, which is a huge plus, given the three mile circuit.
The current second favourite is Minella Indo at 17/2 (8.5) + 750 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and after finishing second in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham Festival in 2020, Minella Indo can make the step up to compete in the top chase race at the Festival. In 2019 Minella Indo won the Albert Bartlett Hurdle, so has proven course form and now heading for the Gold Cup, the horse can cause Al Boum Photo a lot of issues.

Two wins from Minella Indo this season at Navan and Wexford have further given the horse good claims that it can run well at Cheltenham this year and is a good each way selection for the race.
Another horse who has performed really well this season is Royale Pagaille. The Venetia Williams trained horse has won three out of three this season and will head to Cheltenham in top form. Wins this year have come at Kempton and twice over chase fences at Haydock.

The most impressing performance came at the Peter Marsh Chase where Royale Pagaille won the three mile chase by 16 lengths and looked very impressive as beat some tough horses along the way. Be sure to check the odds for Royale Pagaille as current price is 12/1 (13.0) + 1200 and should the horse take to the unique conditions of Cheltenham, especially the long hill and climb to the finish then the current price could look too big come race day.

Those who haven’t yet run at Cheltenham are likely to have bigger odds than others, but if you like the horses potential and that they will handle the course, then as a punter you are getting great value. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is tough race to win and durability is essential to jump well and then finish well.
Last years runner up Santini will likely want to avenge that defeat and hope to go one better. But will need to put in a greater performance to get past Al Boum Photo, but it is not out of the question, given history suggests runners up have gone onto win the race at a later date. At 14/1 (15.0) + 1400 Santini is definitely worth having on your short list for the race, especially as given the price is over 4 times that of Al Boum Photo who only narrowly beat Santini last year.

A horse from the UK trained by Paul Nicholls called Frodon is one who could run well at a big price. Be sure to check out all the odds of the Cheltenham Gold Cup at Sportsbookreviews.