Who will win the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup?

| September 8, 2019
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most sort after prize in national hunt racing

There isn’t anything more prestigious in the world of national hunt racing than the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and though we may still be over six months from the legendary race getting underway, that hasn’t stopped online sportsbooks from setting up their stall early.

The Gold Cup is the last Grade One action of the best jumps festival in the world at Cheltenham and performances from horses down the years such as Arkle, Best Mate and Kauto Star have taken the top honours in the race down the years. The 22 fences over three miles and two furlongs make it an extremely difficult race to win, but the early ante-post betting may offer some tips into how it may play out.

Kemboy has the right credentials

Willie Mullins wasn’t afraid to claim that his best chance of winning this race in 2019 was with Kemboy, but that dream quickly died when the seven-year-old unseated his rider on the very first fence.

However, he has bounced back well since that mishap and has proved his credentials by winning the Betway Bowl at Aintree, before adding the Punchestown Gold Cup in his final run of the previous season. 

His credentials for the Gold Cup are better than most, and should he start the season in fine form then punters should expect his price to drop even further. A win in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup would be the perfect way to eradicate the memory from 2019.

Al Boum Photo to back up in 2020

Kemboy’s stablemate was the big winner in last year’s event as he seized his chance to win the Gold Cup. With all the attention on Kemboy before the race, Al Boum Photo quietly went about his business. 

He was raced lightly throughout the 2018 season, and this meant that he went into the showpiece event at Cheltenham as one of the outsiders. 

However, Mullins knew that there was a big run on the horizon for Al Boum Photo, and it, fortunately, came in this race as he broke the Mullins hoodoo of never winning the Gold Cup.

He raced again after the Gold Cup, and it once again saw him come up against his stablemate at the Punchestown Gold Cup. It was a gruelling battle between the pair, but Kemboy holds the advantage heading into the new season. 

Having lasted the distance last year he will remain among the favourites for the 2020 race, and it would be difficult to overlook him.

TopOfTheGame a serious contender

Away from the Irish contenders, Paul Nicholls could claim to have one of the best priced early runners in the race. The Cheltenham Festival saw everything come together perfectly for TopOfTheGame as he won the RSA Chase over Santini and Delta Work. 

His performance in this race was one of the best of the week and highlighted his Cheltenham credentials. His beaten opponents in this race will also likely land in the Gold Cup, and all three of the RSA runners could have a credible chance.

His performance at the home of jump racing came after consecutive second-place finishes at Exeter and Kempton, while he followed up his Cheltenham success with another valiant run at Aintree as he was eventually edged out by Lostintranslation. 

However, it is impossible to look past the precedent that comes with the RSA Chase and future Gold Cup champions. It seems like the Gold Cup will be his landing place for the coming season, and although he is prone to underperforming; his RSA run means that he has to be taken seriously when considering the runners in the race. He seems capable of making the step up, but only time will tell if he can keep pace with the best.

Written by Alex Dudley.

Category: International

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