The Paddy Power Gold Cup; A Look at The Meeting’s Most Prestigious Offering

Sponsorship changes, a comparison it may never win, yet the Paddy Power Gold Cup continues to be a cornerstone event on the horse racing calendar and at the Cheltenham racecourse.


Formerly the BetVictor Gold Cup after Paddy Power pulled its sponsorship in 2015, before returning, the Paddy Power Gold Cup stands atop the features of The November Meeting held at Cheltenham. A foretaste of the bigger and more acclaimed Gold Cup run in March, at The Festival, the Paddy Power Gold Cup is the perfect opportunity for young riders to put the world and the rest of the pack on notice, as veterans look to hit their stride as the jump race season kicks off. For those of us looking for some flutter and action, the betting halls of Cheltenham may not be open due to the health pandemic, but finding the best offers for online horse betting has never been easier. Now, back to that Paddy Power Gold Cup.


A Grade 3 race, with a distance of 2m4f and heavy going, the Paddy Power Gold Cup lets 18 riders push through the chase for a 160,000 GBP prize money that is the biggest purse of the event and quite the jackpot for a Grade 3 outing. Around, since 1965, the Paddy Power Gold Cup precedes The November Meeting event, which only started in the year 2000. It is run on the second day of the event, known as Paddy Power Day, and is the star attraction of the tournament. Over the years, favourites have not really fared all that well, with horses outside the top three odds winning a majority of the races since 2002. But if you think this means the big names do not stamp their authority, then you thought wrong, as the top trainers flock in and almost always have their hands on the prize. Naunton trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, and his son and rider Sam Twiston-Davies, have both won twice in the last ten years, doing it in 2010 as a father-son trainer-rider duo, with Little Josh. National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls OBE, has also done it twice recently in 2012 and 2014, while David Pipe is still looking to emulate the kind of success his father Martin had.


At last year’s race, Happy Diva, jockeyed by Richard Patrick and trained by Kerry Lee, took the race at odds 14/1. While the official participants’ list is yet to be declared, punters can still expect a decent return on the offers and should not be against making bold picks, as this is not really a kind race to favourites. Looking past any return winners should not out of place, as history does not really favour them and is not even a common occurrence. A good look at the trainers is a good gauge of how well a horse will do, however, and of course a fair bit of luck.

Horses You Should Consider Betting on at Cheltenham in 2020

Steeplechase scene black whitePart of the thrill of being at Cheltenham and placing a bet on your favourite horse is that you never really know how it might perform on the day. Most people bet on horses with the most favourable odds or most promising tips as outlined in Cheltenham betting offers. While this is a good strategy for success, it doesn’t always work. It is surprising just how many times the underdog has come out on top at Cheltenham, particularly the younger up and coming horses.


Horses by Trainer 

Willie Mullins. Willie Mullins remains the trainer to keep your eye on this year. He is, of course, the all-time leading trainer with 65 total wins. This year is set to be equally impressive, with two out of 31 entries for the 2020 Champion Hurdle with Aramon and Sharjah. There’s also the chance he could be supplementing Benie des Dieux.

Gordon Elliott. Producing three winners last year, he’s supposed to achieve great things once again. Keep your eyes peeled for Abacadabras (supreme) and Champagne Classic in the National Hunt Chase.

Nicky Henderson. As usual, Nicky has several up and coming horses such as Shishkin (supreme), Champ (RSA) and other contenders for the Championship Hurdle and Gold Cup. Other horses to look out for include Epatante (10/3) which featured a great boxing day win at Kempton. Santini also got back on track at the previous Blue Ribans chase so could be another horse worth watching in 2020.


Horses by Jockey 

Ruby Walsh. In the history of Cheltenham, Ruby Walsh still remains number one, despite being retired since May. He’s achieved an astounding 59 total wins thanks to superb horses like Klassical Dream in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and again in the 1998 Champion Bumper. Further wins were also achieved in 2009 and 2016.

Paul Townend. There are many horses to consider betting on this year for Paul. These include Asterion Forlonge (supreme), Benie des Dieux, Chacun Pour Sol, Faugheen and Min. All these horses are predicted to be heading towards grade one events. Desert Hero has been particularly impressive, achieving several back to back wins.

Davy Russell. Achieving a total of nine wins since 2015 from 66 rides, this isn’t expected to stop any time soon. The novice Envoi Allen has performed fantastically and is now heading to grade one this time around.

Nico de Boinville. Since 2005, Nico has won nine races from forty-nine rides in total. Who knows whether he will win the second Gold Cup with Santini this year.


Promising Horses at the 2020 Trials 

Galahad Quest. JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2). This 6/1 horse from Nicky Williams and Harry Cobden played a great position just behind the lead. An inexperienced horse that will only get better and better as long as he runs on the right ground.

Simply the Betts. Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase. The odds are 11/2 with this horse by Harry Whittington and Gavin Sheenan. Despite not having a precise rhythm last time around Kempton, he finished the second day with great form. Depending on the ground he’s travelling on, he should be able to jump well but needs to improve if he’s to rise in the rankings.

Cepage. Paddy Power 45 Sleeps to Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase (Grade 3). Cepage played an excellent performance despite his smaller size. Although the ground slowed him down last time, he’s also displayed impressive performances for Ryanair and is definitely a reliable jumper.

Bristol de Mai & Santini. Paddy Power Cotswold Chase (Grade 2). Santini is dubbed 13/8 in the 2020 renewal whereas Bristol de Mai did over three lengths with an impressive effort. It is a powerful horse which is still learning and has every chance in the Gold Cup.

Harry Senior. Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2). This horse, by Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power at odds of 4/1, is a high performing six-year-old which stays strong throughout and is on peak form. This horse fits perfectly into the Albert Bartlett race, despite struggling slightly at the bottom of the hill. Potential improvements may be seen on the day if the ground is suited to Harry Senior.

Paisley Park. Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2). It is very much business as usual for Paisley Park with a 4/6 odds of it being a favourite. This eight-year-old achieved success for a second time, winning the G2 Galliard Cleeve Hurdle. It will be interesting to see how he does for the G1 Paddy Power Stayer Hurdle. He tends to approach fast and is a great jumper. This could be due to his break from Ascot.

Back on the Lash. This horse has achieved local success recently with 13/2 odds for Jonathan Burke. This six-year-old horse was able to surpass Lust for Glory by 3.25 lengths.