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Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
BETDAQ
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£625,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 2f 110y, Class 1  
Friday 13th March 2020

The G1 highlight carries a total prize fund of at least £625,000 and takes place over an extended three and a quarter miles of the New Course on the fourth and final day of The Festival™ presented by Magners.

Al Boum Photo ended Willie Mullins' long and agonising wait for a first victory in Jump racing's Blue Riband, with Ireland's multiple champion Jump trainer having saddled the runner-up on six occasions.

The great Best Mate (2002, 2003, 2004) is the most recent horse to successfully defend the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and Al Boum Photo is likely to head straight to Cheltenham following a convincing victory in a G3 chase at Tramore on 1 January, just as he did in 2019.

Mullins accounts for four of the 16 Irish-trained entries in total, with Al Boum Photo joined by his G1 Punchestown Gold Cup conqueror KemboyBellshill and Real Steel.

Two other winners of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup are engaged - 2018 victor Native River (Colin Tizzard) and 2017 scorer Sizing John (Jessica Harrington IRE). They are aiming to emulate Kauto Star (2007 & 2009), who is the only horse to regain the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Trainers Quotes

Ireland's challenge also includes multiple G1 winners Delta Work (Gordon Elliott) and Road To Respect (Noel Meade), who are among six entries for ownership powerhouse Gigginstown House Stud, as well as 2018 G1 RSA Insurance Novices' Chase victor Presenting Percy (Pat Kelly), who started the 100/30 favourite in 2019 when finishing eighth.

No current trainer has enjoyed more success in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup than Paul Nicholls, thanks to the triumphs of See More Business (1999), Kauto Star and Denman (2008). The Ditcheat handler has two entries in 2020 - last year's fifth Clan Des Obeaux, who captured the G1 King George VI Chase for a second time at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, and Frodon, who scored a memorable success in the 2019 G1 Ryanair Chase under Bryony Frost.

Lostintranslation (Colin Tizzard) was pulled up behind Clan Des Obeaux at Kempton Park and has since undergone a wind operation, but had impressed previously when narrowly outgunning Bristol de Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies) in the G1 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November.

Bristol de Mai, who finished third in last year's Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, has been kept fresh since the Betfair Chase and is likely to run next in the £100,000 G2 Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day, 25 January, the final meeting at Cheltenham before The Festival.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager for owners Simon Munir & Isaac Souede, said: "Bristol de Mai has been pleasing Nigel and is on schedule for the Cotswold Chase at the end of the month, in preparation hopefully for another tilt at the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.

"The idea after the Betfair Chase was to always go Cotswold Chase and then Gold Cup, and Nigel has been particularly happy with him of late. There wasn't really a race for him over Christmas, as we did not want to take him to Kempton because he hasn't really fired there for the last couple of years.

"He finished third in the Gold Cup last year and, although he is fairly big odds as things stand, we are looking forward to having another crack at it. Maybe his odds are a touch too big, but we are not kidding ourselves because it is going to be a tough ask. I suppose if he goes and wins the Cotswold Chase, he will shorten, won't he?

"We have put him in the Ryanair Chase as well, just to give us that option, but it is more than likely that he goes for the Gold Cup."

In the Cotswold Chase, Bristol de Mai is likely to clash with Santini (Nicky Henderson), runner-up last season at The Festival in what looked a strong renewal of the G1 RSA Insurance Novices' Chase, and Ladbrokes Trophy hero De Rasher Counter (Emma Lavelle).

Other Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup entries to note are the in-form Henry de Bromhead-trained pair of Monalee and Chris's Dream. Monalee finished second behind Delta Work in the G1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, while Chris's Dream captured the Troytown Handicap Chase impressively at Navan when last seen out in November.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
£625,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 2f 70y, Class 1
31 entries
Scratchings deadline noon on Tuesday, 11 February. Six-day confirmation and £31,250 supplementary entry stage takes place on Saturday, March 7
.

Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
Al Boum Photo (FR)
8
Marie Donnelly
Willie Mullins IRE 
Alpha des Obeaux (FR)
10
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
Balko des Flos (FR)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Henry de Bromhead IRE
Bellshill (IRE)
10
Andrea & Graham Wylie
Willie Mullins IRE 
Bristol de Mai (FR)
9
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies  
Cepage (FR)
8
The Bellamy Partnership
Venetia Williams  
Chris's Dream (IRE)
8
Robcour
Henry de Bromhead IRE
Clan des Obeaux (FR)
8
Mr & Mrs P Barber, G Mason, Sir A Ferguson
Paul Nicholls  
De Rasher Counter
8
Makin' Bacon Partnership
Emma Lavelle  
Death Duty (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
Delta Work (FR)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
Discorama (FR)
7
Andrew Gemmell/Thomas Friel
Paul Nolan IRE
Elegant Escape (IRE)
8
J P Romans
Colin Tizzard  
Frodon (FR)
8
Paul Vogt
Paul Nicholls  
Jett (IRE)
9
G M McGrath
Jessica Harrington IRE  
Kauto Riko (FR)
9
Mr and Mrs J Dale and Partners
Tom Gretton  
Kemboy (FR)
8
Kemboy/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp Syndicate
Willie Mullins IRE 
La Bague Au Roi (FR)
9
Mrs Julien Turner & Andrew Merriam
Warren Greatrex  
Lostintranslation (IRE)
8
Taylor & O'Dwyer
Colin Tizzard  
Mister Whitaker (IRE)
8
Tim Radford
Mick Channon  
Monalee (IRE)
9
Barry Maloney
Henry de Bromhead IRE
Native River (IRE)
10
Brocade Racing
Colin Tizzard  
Presenting Percy
9
Philip Reynolds
Patrick Kelly IRE  
Real Steel (FR)
7
Sullivan Bloodstock Limited
Willie Mullins IRE 
Road To Respect (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Noel Meade IRE
Saint Calvados (FR)
7
Kate & Andrew Brooks
Harry Whittington  
Santini
8
Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
Nicky Henderson  
Shattered Love (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
Sizing John
10
Ann & Alan Potts Limited
Jessica Harrington IRE 
The Conditional (IRE)
8
P J Cave
David Bridgwater  
Top Ville Ben (IRE)
8
Harbour Rose Partnership
Philip Kirby 

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