Cheltenham Gold Cup 2022 Horse Profile: Protektorat

Dan Skelton's Protektorat is a leading contender for the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Dan Skelton's Protektorat is a leading contender for the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Dan Skelton's Protektorat is the young pretender heading into the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the seven-year-old is one of the premier British-trained raiders for the blue riband event at the Cheltenham Festival, which takes place on March 18...


Age: 7

Trainer: Dan Skelton

Chase Runs: 7

Chase Wins: 4

Notable Race Wins: 2021 Manifesto Novices' Chase, 2021 Many Clouds Chase

A smart hurdler that contested the 2020 Coral Cup (finished 10th), Protektorat has relished the switch to the chasing game and during his novice chase campaign last season he bounded to a three-and-three-quarter length victory in the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices' Chase at Aintree's Grand National meeting.

Dan Skelton's seven-year-old has since blossomed over the larger obstacles during the 2021/2022 campaign, and he was handed the huge task of attempting to carry top weight to victory in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham back in November. Running a huge race under a notable weight burden, Protektorat finished a gallant runner-up to the ill-fated Midnight Shadow, and it was the manner in which he rocketed up the Cheltenham hill that would've had the Skelton team dreaming of a possible Gold Cup tilt.

Looking to see whether they had a potential top notch chaser within their ranks, Skelton sent Protektorat to Aintree for the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase over three miles, and the classy performer knocked in a huge career best as he obliterated his rivals by a staggering 25 lengths on Merseyside. Well beaten that day was the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River, so the form is certainly top notch, and while Colin Tizzard's legendary performer may not have been the force of old, he was still a top notch performer, so the display from Protektorat was noteworthy.

Now ready to embark on his first Grade 1 contest out of the novice sphere, Protektorat will lock horns with a number of excellent Irish-trained raiders including the likes of reigning champion Minella Indo and A Plus Tard, but the youngster is entitled to continue on an upward curve, and he has to be given the utmost respect, and adds a huge intriguing angle to the event.

Odds correct as of 2022-02-17 14:20 Odds subject to change.
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