With the New Year upon us, the eyes of the horse racing world are starting to turn towards the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The most prestigious prize in jump racing, not only does a victory in the Gold Cup guarantee the victor a place in history but it also nets the winning owner a cool £350,000.
With preparations already underway for the big race, let’s take a look at all of the likely contenders.
2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup Major Contenders
Galopin Des Champs – Evens
Heading into the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the horse that many pundits believe will take all of the beating is the Willie Mullins trained Galopin Des Champs.
A winner of seven of his ten career chase starts, he routed the field in last year’s race and there isn’t anything to indicate that there will be a different result this time around.
Eyebrows were raised when he was defeated in the 2023 Punchestown Chase but he reaffirmed all of his class when dominating the 2023 Savils Chase.
Likely to only run once before the big race, you can be assured that he will arrive fresh and ready to land his second Gold Cup and net his master trainer a fourth success in the race.
Fastorslow – 7/2
If you are looking to take on Galopin Des Champs, the next best alternative looks to be the Martin Brassil trained Fastorslow.
Fastorslow announced himself as a real Gold Cup contender when easily beating Galopin Des Champs in the 2023 Punchestown Chase. It was the second time that he had got the better of his rival as he also beat him handily in the 2023 Punchestown Gold Cup.
A late developer, he has just had one run at Cheltenham where he was only just denied in the 2023 Ultima Handicap.
Whilst the step up to the Gold Cup is huge, he has shown he is a classy operator that can beat Galopin Des Champs on numerous occasions. Whether he can defeat his great rival for a third time when it truly matters remains to be seen.
Gerri Colombe – 8/1
Likely to complete the top three for the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup across most horse race betting sites will be Gerri Colombe.
Trained by Gordon Elliott, he looked a real superstar when easily winning his first eight races.
His first taste of defeat would come at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival when he was narrowly beaten in the 2023 Brown Advisory Chase.
Putting that defeat quickly behind him, he was a good winner of the 2023 Ladbrokes Champion Chase but proved to be no match for Galopin Des Champs in the Savils Chase.
A hugely talented horse, he does arrive with something to prove, however, if he can piece it altogether he could be a real contender at a decent price.
2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup – Outside bets
If you fancy taking on the top three in the betting, there are plenty of horses that should give you a decent run for your money.
Shishkin – 8/1
Rewind to 2020 and Shishkin looked to be a horse for the ages when winning the 2020 Supreme Novices Hurdle.
He would continue his upward trajectory when coming back to Cheltenham a year later and winning the 2021 Arkle, looking set to be an all time racing great, things haven’t gone to plan since.
A no show in the 2022 Gold Cup, he was also defeated in the 2023 Ryanair Chase. Since that last defeat he has shown his quirkier side, refusing to jump off in the 2023 Nirvana Chase before unseating his jockey in the 2023 King George.
Clearly talented and with a decent record around Cheltenham, if you can catch Shishkin on a going day he is more than capable of serving it up to his rivals, but backing him requires a real leap of faith! He certainly makes for an intriguing each-way bet.
Hewick – 14/1
Heading into this season, very few racing pundits would have believed that Hewick stood a chance in the Gold Cup, but his stunning performance in the 2023 King George turned that narrative on its head.
Hailing from the relatively small JJ Hanlon yard, Hewick is a true staying type and certainly won’t be uncomfortable with the 3 mile and 2 furlong journey that the Gold Cup presents.
He has already had one crack at the Gold Cup and found himself right up with the leading contenders until a brutal fall five from home ruined his chances. If he had stayed on his feet there was a good chance he could have finished inside the top three.
Guaranteed to give his running, Hewick is likely to rate as a huge danger to all in the field.