The Feature Race of the Festival is of course the Cheltenham Gold Cup and we are likely to have a very clear favourite as Galopin Des Champs is expected to go off shorter than 2/1 in the markets. We take a look at the betting market according to Betfred…

A year ago Galopin was cruising to victory in the Turners Novices’ before falling at the last and causing a rare upset of an odds-on favourite in what was a very top heavy festival. He won’t go odds-on this time around but three Grade I victories on the spin including a stonking run in the Irish Gold Cup in February has certainly ensured that he’ll be the one to beat. As of Thursday morning we are 15/8.

Trainer Paul Nicholls has a wonderful history with the Cheltenham Gold Cup having won it four times and between 007 and 2009 it was the Kauto Star and Denman show. The race hasn’t been as find in recent years but Bravemansgame gives him a real opportunity to get back into the Winner’s Circle. Looked excellent when winning the King George VI at Kempton Park. We go 13/2.

A Plus Tard went close two years ago finishing second to Minella Indo in this race but of course a year later he got his revenge with a sublime 15 length victory over the same horse. The Henry De Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore combination is an extremely popular one with the punters. He has only raced once since that win and the nine-year-old was pulled up. 13/2 is a big price for the defending champion who has a chance to become one of the greats here.

It was Protektorat who won that race and then went off as the 5/4 favourite for the Cotswold Chase but just didn’t have the speed. That might just be a one-off and if so, the 14/1 on offer might be massive. Minella Indo is coming back for a third crack at the race but as the oldest horse in the field, those backing him at 20/1 might be doing so for more sentimental reasons.

Noble Yeats (8/1) and Stattler (9/1) for Emmet and Willie Mullins respectively will also attract support as the fourth and five favourites although if I were looking at a longer shot, Protekorat looks a good price.

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