Owen Goulding’s ante-post tip for a mouth-watering 2022 Gold Cup

2021 Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Festival once again treated us to some scintillating performances and big-price winning horse racing tips! From exhilarating handicap finishes, to incredible graded performances, we had it all at the 2021 Festival.

Ireland’s domination is another key talking point, with the Irish taking all four Championship races. The Gold Cup saw the first-three home trained on that side of the Irish Sea and I’ll be focusing on the 2022 Gold Cup here. It looks set to be one of the most exciting and competitive renewals in recent memory, with top novices taking on their established elders.

Scanning through the antepost market, I’ll pin my colours to one horse early. You can find my 2022 antepost selection for the Cheltenham Gold Cup below!

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Top novices’ join the party

One of the reasons next year’s Gold Cup will be so special, is a certain pair of novices taking on the older generation. Those horses are, of course, Envoi Allen and Monkfish, who endured polar-opposite festivals.

Envoi Allen, who was 11/11 prior to his tilt at the Marsh, fell early on in a race that looked set to crown him as antepost favourite. It wasn’t plain sailing for Monkfish either, who put in a very shaky round on his way to Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase glory.

Monkfish is a general 5/1 favourite for the 2022 showpiece, while Envoi Allen sits at 8/1. It’s no surprise they’re so prominent, but both have questions to answer next season. Monkfish will have to jump better to win the blue riband, while Envoi Allen does have stamina to prove and the Ryanair could be a better option for him. At those prices, I’m happy to take them on with a more established performer.

Back to back?

Minella Indo (8/1) 

At the same price as Envoi Allen, at this stage, Minella Indo looks the play for Henry De Bromhead. He was simply a class above on Friday and could be called the winner over the third-last. He travelled and jumped supremely well, fending off stablemate A Plus Tard in game fashion.

That success maintained his fantastic Festival record, having won the 2019 Albert Bartlett and been pipped to the 2020 RSA by Champ. He was sent off 9/1 on the day after a fairly disappointing first campaign out of novice company, but bounced back in no uncertain terms.

One thing is clear to see, he loves Cheltenham. All his best RPRs have come at the venue, including a massive 179 in winning the Gold Cup. At the age of just eight, the sky really is the limit for De Bromhead’s star stayer.

To my eye, even better can be expected in twelve months time. In terms of physique, he had strengthened immeasurably in the time between the 2020 RSA and Friday’s Gold Cup. He clearly thrives on spring ground and if producing a similar performance in his bid for back to back victories, then both the aforementioned novices will have to post an RPR of above 179.

To put that in context, Al Boum Photo’s peak Gold Cup RPR is 178. The only horses since 2010 to post an RPRs higher than Minella Indo are Don Cossack (182), Long Run (181) and Imperial Commander (182). That shows you the level those novices will need to improve too and granted, they could do just that.

For me, however, I’m more than happy to stick with the proven, established performer. Minella Indo could turn up in 2022 as an even more frightening prospect.

If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.

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