With the flat-racing fixtures now behind us, attention turns to the first flagship event of the jumps season which will be centre stage at Cheltenham for The November Meeting. Taking place over three days, the meet will feature a stacked race card that will attract some of the best horses, trainers and jockeys the UK & Ireland jumps racing scene has to offer.
The preeminent race of the meeting is the Gold Cup, a Premier Handicap National Hunt chase open to horses aged four years or older. Run over 2m4f and consisting of 16 fences, this year’s race appears as though it will be an incredibly competitive affair when looking at the 36 entries that were unveiled in late October.
With that in mind, for those looking to bet on Cheltenham, read on as we dissect the three joint favourites to reign supreme in the Gold Cup.
Ga Law – 7/1
Since his sensational 2020 that saw him win three of his four outings, the Jamie Snowden-trained Ga Law has had a quiet couple of years. After taking part in just one race in 2021 at Kempton, in which he came second, the now six-year-old made his comeback after 603 days out of action at Aintree in late October and was good for third. It was an inspired performance from Ga Law provided his considerable layoff – beaten by just a length-and-a-quarter.
If Ga Law can build on that performance and find a better run in the Gold Cup, he could very well justify the bookies’ odds and notch up his first triumph in more than two years.
French Dynamite – 7/1
Unlike Ga Law, the Mouse Morris-trained French Dynamite has had an exceptionally busy 2022 campaign – running at Leopardstown, Thurles and Punchestown earlier in the year before winning again at Thurles just last month. The seven-year-old’s victory in October was particularly impressive, blowing away his opposition to finish three lengths ahead of the second-placed Ballyshannon Rose.
Morris was ecstatic with his horse’s performance, noting it was a great way for French Dynamite to kick off his jumps campaign. He did quell expectations a little however, identifying that he still mightn’t be ready to take on graded horses.
“You couldn’t fault him,” he said. “I’m happy, the horse is happy, and hopefully the owners are happy. I’m not sure where he’ll go as he’s hard enough to place. He mightn’t beat graded horses, he might be a bit short (of that level), so we’ll probably look for a handicap. He’ll go back over fences, and I think we’ll end up going further at the end of the season.”
Fan De Blues – 7/1
This French gelding is in a rich vein of form, finishing third in the Galway Blazers Handicap Chase in July, before winning back-to-back races at Ballinrobe and Cork. His two wins were done so in dominant fashion, romping home to triumph by seven and ten lengths respectively. If the seven-year-old can exhibit the kind of finishing speed he did in his most recent outing – Fan De Blues is certainly a chance to take home the £160,000 in prizemoney for his connections.
The November Meeting’s Gold Cup will be live on Saturday, November 12th at 2:20pm GMT.Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.