Cheltenham Gold Cup Ante-Post Odds: Check out the latest betting for the Cheltenham Festival showpiece

Minella Indo is a leading fancy to retain his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown on March 18.
Minella Indo is a leading fancy to retain his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown on March 18.

We are set for a wide open renewal of the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is the feature race on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival on March 18, and we take a look at the latest ante-post odds for the showpiece event of the National Hunt extravaganza...

Currently heading the betting, at the time of writing, is last year's runner-up A Plus Tard, who is the 3/1 favourite for the Gold Cup, but Henry De Bromhead's charge will need to bounce back from a defeat to Galvin in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown back in December. An emphatic 22 length winner of the Betfair Chase at Haydock at the start of the season, A Plus Tard rocketed to the head of the Gold Cup betting in the aftermath of that romp and has remained there throughout the winter, but the Irish raider will face some notable opposition in the blue riband event.

The aforementioned Galvin is vying for favouritism at the head of the betting, and is a shade bigger at 7/2, but he showed when winning the Savills Chase earlier in the campaign that he will line up in red-hot form and is a major player. A fine winner of the National Hunt Chase at last season's Cheltenham Festival, Gordon Elliott's charge is aiming to emulate the legendary Native River, who tasted victory in the National Hunt Chase before going on to claim Cheltenham Gold Cup glory later in his career.

Despite having not tasted victory since his win in the Gold Cup 12 months ago, Minella Indo has proven popular in recent weeks in the betting, and is now a best-priced 9/2 to retain the crown. Pulled up in the King George VI Chase, De Bromhead's other star chaser bounced back to form with a decent second placed finish in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, and with the spring now hitting then he's set to produce his best, and duly try and claim a third festival win.

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Dual Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo warmed up for this year's event with his customary stroll to victory at Tramore on New Year's Day, as he claimed victory in that Grade 3 race for the fourth year on the bounce, and the Willie Mullins-trained ten-year-old will take his chance in his fourth Gold Cup on Friday week. A beaten third in a race he won in 2019 and 2020, Al Boum Photo is a 10/1 shot to emulate Kauto Star by recapturing the coveted prize.

Leading the British charge in the 2022 renewal is Dan Skelton's Protektorat, who was a gallant runner-up off top weight in the Paddy Power Gold Cup back in November, while he kicked on from that effort with a runaway win in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree. Widely available at 8/1, Skelton's seven-year-old will face his stiffest test in the Gold Cup, but with more improvement to come he will fancy downing the tried and tested Irish raiders at the head of the betting.

Surprise King George VI Chase winner Tornado Flyer (12/1) will attempt to show his Kempton success was no fluke, and he adds more depth to the Mullins charge, while the classy grey Asterion Forlonge (25/1) could be the third shot fired by the Mullins gun, and he will be hoping to produce a clear round of jumping in this year's event.

Of the others, Irish Gold Cup hero Conflated is a 12/1 chance, but he's been touted as a potential Ryanair Chase contender instead of the Gold Cup, so it will be interesting to see what the Elliott team do with him, while Nicky Henderson's Chantry House (16/1) was a workmanlike winner of the Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day beating Santini (50/1), and that pair add yet more depth to a fascinating betting heat.

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