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March 1, 2024
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How the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup market has evolved since Galopin Des Champs was successful in March

Galopin Des Champs was a seven-length winner over Bravemansgame in last season’s Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup and is a best-price 6-5 favourite to gain back-to-back victories. Here we take a look at how the Gold Cup market has evolved since March . . .

April: Fastorslow upsets the big guns

Fastorslow finished a well-beaten fifth on his previous two runs in Grade 1s but lowered the colours of Gold Cup one-two Galopin Des Champs and Bravemansgame when landing the Punchestown Gold Cup at odds of 20-1.

The Martin Brassil-trained chaser was cut to 20-1 (from 66) to win the Cheltenham Festival showpiece. He finished second to Corach Rambler in the Ultima at the big meeting the previous month.

Fastorslow and J.J.Slevin after winning the Punchestown Gold Cup.

Fastorslow: won the Punchestown Gold Cup under JJ Slevin Credit: Patrick McCann

Shishkin was shortened to 12-1 (from 16) for the 2024 Gold Cup after winning the Bowl at Aintree, where Gerri Colombe landed the Mildmay Novices’ Chase in impressive fashion. His odds were reduced to 8-1 (from 12).

August: Hewick fails to fire in Galway Plate

You would not expect many Gold Cup clues in August, and in all honesty, we did not see any.

Hewick ran in the Galway Plate off 11st 12lb and failed to figure in the valuable handicap chase, racing prominently but weakening out of contention to finish 14th in the 22-runner race under Brian Hughes.

It was just the fifth time in 12 chase starts that Hewick failed to finish in the first two. He drifted to 50-1 (from 40) for the Gold Cup.

November: Slow confirms Punchestown form and a dark horse emerges

Fastorslow backed up his Punchestown Gold Cup win when sealing consecutive top-level victories in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at the same track on his return.

His Gold Cup odds were shortened to 5-1 (from 12) after his half-length success over Appreciate It. Galopin Des Champs was a further length and three-quarters behind in third and drifted to 2-1 favourite (from 6-4). He was a best-price 3-1 with Sky Bet.

Gentlemansgame emerged as a potential dark horse for the Gold Cup when beating Bravemansgame by a length and three-quarters in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

The Mouse Morris-trained grey was cut to 25-1 (from 66) with several firms and remains that price having not run since. Bravemansgame drifted to 12-1 (from 8).

Bravemansgame (right) makes a mistake at the last as Gentlemansgame makes his move

Gentlemansgame (grey): beat Bravemansgame at WetherbyCredit: John Grossick

Gerri Colombe justified odds of 4-7 when rallying well to get up in the final strides to beat Envoi Allen in the four-runner Down Royal Champion Chase. He posted a career-best Racing Post Rating of 168 – 2lb higher than his Aintree novice chase win – and was made a 5-1 Gold Cup chance (from 6).

Our Racing Post Ratings team felt it was a substandard Betfair Chase at Haydock with Royale Pagaille staying on relentlessly for a six-and-a-half-length success over Bravemansgame in the four-runner event.

Royale Pagaille has been beaten in the last three Gold Cups and is now 25-1 for the race having not run subsequently. Bravemansgame drifted to 14-1 (from 12), while third-placed Corach Rambler was out to 40-1 (from 33) – but has since been backed into a best-price 25-1 with connections targeting the Gold Cup before the Grand National.

Protektorat went out to 50-1 (from 33) for the Gold Cup after finishing last of four when trying to win consecutive Betfair Chases. He finished third on his next start in a handicap chase at Cheltenham and is now a 66-1 shot.

December: Galopin imperious in Savills Chase

Galopin Des Champs was back to his best when trouncing Gerri Colombe by 23 lengths in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas in a victory that saw his Gold Cup odds notably shorten.

The Willie Mullins-trained chaser equalled his Gold Cup-winning RPR of 184 and was cut to a general 5-4 favourite (from 3). He is now evens with most firms and a best-price 6-5 with bet365.

Gerri Colombe had been as short as 3-1 for the Gold Cup before the Savills Chase but went out to 9-1.

Hewick (Gavin Sheehan) wins the King George VI Chase

Hewick: won the King George VI Chase at KemptonCredit: Edward Whitaker

Hewick capitalised on the second-last exit of Shishkin to land the King George VI Chase at Kempton, resulting in his Gold Cup odds shortening to 16-1 (from 66).

Shishkin looked the likeliest winner before his unfortunate stumble and remains Britain’s shortest-priced Gold Cup hope. He is 9-1 having been 20-1 before the King George VI Chase.

Runner-up Bravemansgame was beaten a length and a half by Hewick and drifted to 20-1 (from 14).

Nassalam was introduced into the market at 40-1 following his impressive Welsh Grand National win at Chepstow.

Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (3.30 Cheltenham, March 15)

bet365: 6-5 Galopin Des Champs, 7-2 Fastorslow, 9 Gerri Colombe, Shishkin, 16 Bravemansgame, Hewick, L’Homme Presse, 25 Corach Rambler, Gentlemansgame, Royale Pagaille, 33 bar

Read more . . .

‘He put everything together out there’ – Galopin Des Champs back to his best with 23-length win over Gerri Colombe 

‘If it wasn’t the King George I probably would have pulled him up’ – Gavin Sheehan in shock as Hewick hits 550-1 before unlikely win 

Five years of profit in a row for Ante-Post Pricewise – subscribe to Members’ Club now with 50% off for Tom Segal’s Cheltenham tips! 

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