Cheltenham Festival 2023 Ante-Post Tips: Bravemansgame and Protektorat for the Gold Cup

Protektorat is tipped to win the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Protektorat is tipped to win the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup

Our top tipster Ed Quigley has already started focusing on next season's Cheltenham Festival, and 'Longshot Ted' has picked out three ante-post selections that can sparkle at the 2023 festival...

A lot of fuss was made about Constitution Hill, and rightfully so on the back of his Supreme Novices' Hurdle demolition. He is now a 5/2 poke for the 2023 Champion Hurdle with defending Champion, and two-time winner Honeysuckle available at 7/2. Priced up at 8/1, is this year's Ballymore winner SIR GERHARD who I think could easily play a major part in the Champion Hurdle scene over the coming year or so. His win in the Ballymore perhaps didn't set the world alight compared to some of the other blockbuster performances we saw at the Festival, but he did it grand style.

On soft ground, he jumped superbly, and tanked round before putting the race to bed with the minimum of fuss. He clearly isn't devoid of toe, as we saw on his emphatic victory in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown over 2m on his penultimate start, and having that eclectic blend of speed and stamina is always a lovely asset to have. We have seen that with the likes of Faugheen, Istabraq and Hardy Eustace all won the Ballymore and then showed the required gears back at the minimum trip the following season. There is of course, the possibility he could go chasing, but Richard Thompson of Cheveley Park Stud said 'he feels he could be a Champion Hurdle type' and Willie Mullins has echoed similar sentiments in the aftermath. I would love to see him head that route, as he looks a class act who appears to have it all.

2023 Champion Hurdle
Sir Gerhard silk

Sir Gerhard

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Cheltenham Tips

There is a feeling of unfinished business and frustration as far as the Paul Nicholls camp and BRAVEMANSGAME are concerned, and there is no reason yet to suggest that he can't be a staying chaser who heads right to the top of the tree. Pulled out of the Brown Advisory at the eleventh hour because the ground had become very deep, there is still this element of him being handled with 'kid gloves' with next season very much in mind. It sounds like he will run at Aintree, then all will be geared up for a tilt at the King George next season. 20/1 looks more than fair for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with another year of experience and to strengthen up. He is one of the slickest and best jumpers of a fence we have seen for ages and I have every faith he could easily the best novice chaser around - we just didn't see him at Prestbury Park.

2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Bravemansgame silk

Bravemansgame

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PROTEKTORAT ran a screamer in this year's Gold Cup. On his first attempt, the seven-year-old jumped and travelled nicely, and despite making an absolute mess of the last, showed amazing resolve to knuckle down and power on back up the hill, to see off Galvin for third place. That performance offers plenty of encouragement from the youngster, who plotted a wider path than ideal to get into contention under Harry Skelton. On softer ground, and with the another year to strengthen and gain experience, he could get closer to run away winner A Plus Tard next year.

2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Protektorat silk

Protektorat

Ante-Post Selections:

  • Champion Hurdle, Sir Gerhard, 1pt win, 8/1 generally
  • Cheltenham Gold Cup, Bravemansgame, 1pt win 20/1 generally
  • Cheltenham Gold Cup, Protektorat, 1pt win 33/1 
Cheltenham Festival 2023
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