100 Years Of Pure Gold

Cheltenham Day 4 - starts at 15h30

The pinnacle of Jump Racing, the Cheltenham Festival concludes on Friday with the running of the Gr1 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The blue riband event celebrates its centenary this year, made famous by the greats of yesteryear.

Going back to the mighty Arkle in the 60’s, and followed by amongst others Desert Orchid, Best Mate and Kauto Star who all added to the spectacle and quality of the race.

Past Gold Cup winning jockeys congregate this week as part of the centennial celebrations (Pic – Cheltenham)

More recently Al Boum Photo secured back-to-back victories in 2019 and 2020, the first success in the Cup for the winning most Cheltenham Festival trainer Willie Mullins.

Galopin Des Champs was a spectacular winner last year and he could provide Mullins with another dual winner on Friday at 17h30.

With £351,688 and the Gold Cup up for grabs, the defending champ and current 5/4 favourite takes on twelve rivals, including stable companion Monkfish.

Galopin des Champs – star attraction (Pic – Cheltenham)

Galopin des Champs arrives in excellent order having followed his 23-length success in the Savills Chase at Christmas with a dominant victory in the Irish Gold Cup last month.

There’s no doubt he’s the one to beat, but he’ll be up against plenty of talented rivals, including Fastorslow, Shishkin and Gerri Colombe.

Add in last year’s runner-up Bravemansgame, Grand National winner Corach Rambler and L’Homme Presse and you have a high-quality renewal.

Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin would more than likely have won the King George over Christmas but for unluckily stumbling after the second last.

The magnificent trophy (Pic – Supplied)

He followed that up with a facile victory in the Denman Chase at Newbury last time. He has the form to be a threat to favourite.

With all the rain, fellow Irish raiders Gerri Colombe and Fastorslow are very much in the mix.

Gerri Colombe was unlucky when losing his unbeaten record by just a short head to The Real Whacker at last year’s Festival.

He soon made amends at Aintree and returned with another Group 1 win in the Champion Chase at Down Royal, rallying from third on the run-in to beat Envoi Allen and Conflated.

However, he suffered a heavy defeat to Galopin des Champs in the Savills Chase and will need to show that was a run best ignored.

Fastorslow has quickly developed into a top-class chaser, following his second to Corach Rambler in the Ultima with a surprise defeat of Galopin Des Champs and Bravemansgame in the Punchestown Gold Cup.

He also had Galopin des Champs behind him when making a successful return in the John Durkan Memorial at Punchestown but was then no match for a back-to-form Galopin des Champs in the Irish Gold Cup last time when four and a half lengths adrift.

Galopin Des Champs holds excellent claims of becoming stable’s second dual Gold Cup winner and is selected to see off his nemesis Fastorslow and Bravemansgame in the run to the line.

 

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