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7 Mar 2016

Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup 2016 set to be most competitive to date

The Gold Cup is undoubtedly the highlight of the Cheltenham Festival, and with this years race expected to be as competitive as ever, horse racing fans are certainly in for a treat come race day, whatever the eventual outcome. Known for its unpredictability, with only six favourites having won the historic race since 2000, many of this years competitors will go into the race looking to cause an upset.

Despite the final line up not being revealed until 48 hours prior to the race itself, it is looking likely that 22 horses will make up this years race, held on the last day of the Cheltenham Festival. Still considerably behind the amount of runners when compared to the Grand National at Aintree, it is still safe to say that this years Gold Cup runners provide us with a mixed bag in terms of quality and form, with any number of horses in contention for glory.

With the iconic race held in such high regard in the racing community, this will be the big Cheltenham betting highlight for many. Coral bookmakers currently offer odds ranging between 4/1 and 150/1 to demonstrate the depth in the field. Don Cossack and Vautour are currently seen as the two favourites with the rest of the field seen largely as rank outsiders. Do not rule out an upset however, as we do not have to look too far back in the history books to 2014, when 20/1 outside bet Lord Windermere strode home for a famous and unexpected win.

With just eleven horses finishing the race last time around, as Coneygree rode to victory to upstage the retiring AP McCoy, race organisers will be hoping that this year’s event is much more competitive, with the decision to increase the number of runners being vindicated. Last year’s runner up Djakadam provides competition for the favourites with odds of 11/2, while Many Clouds who will look to find form at Cheltenham before competing at the Grand National next month, is seen as an outsider at 33/1.

Irish trainer Willie Mullins will be looking to beat his own record of eight Cheltenham Festival wins in one year, despite losing Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle to injury. Mullins has yet to win the Gold Cup however, and will be looking to Djakadam this year to cap of a potentially hugely successful week. Vauntour is another outside bet for Mullins, should be have confidence in the horse having the stamina to go the distance.