Galopin Des Champs joins Gold Cup greats by retaining Cheltenham crown

Paul Townend - Galopin Des Champs joins Gold Cup greats by retaining Cheltenham crown
Paul Townend on Galopin Des Champs celebrates victory in the Gold Cup - PA/David Davies

Galopin Des Champs became only the eighth horse in the 100 years of the Boodles Gold Cup to win jump racing’s blue riband more than once when he came home three and half lengths clear of Gerri Colombe in stamina-sapping conditions at Cheltenham yesterday.

If the centenary Gold Cup deserved a brilliant winner, it got one’ Still only eight, the outstanding French-bred gelding could come back next year and gain entry into an even more elite group of Gold Cup greats, Cottage Rake, Arkle and Best Mate, who all won it three times.

Anyone on a sugar-free diet would be well advised to stay clear of Willie Mullins’s celebration cake this March but a fourth Gold Cup for the trainer, a fourth for jockey Paul Townend and a second for Audrey Turley’s outstanding Galopin Des Champs put a final layer of icing on their week.

Paul Townend (R) Willie Mullins (L) - Galopin des Champs wins back-to-back Gold Cups to become true Cheltenham great
Paul Townend (left) and Willie Mullins celebrate their second Gold Cup victory with Galopin Des Champs - PA/Steven Paston

Earlier in the day Townend, who is now equal with the legendary Pat Taaffe as the race’s most successful rider, had won the County Hurdle on Absurde coming from last off the last bend to weave his way to the front three quarters of the way up the hill to win Mullins’s vote for ride of the week.

But the genius of this Gold Cup-winning ride for Mullins’s horse was its simplicity; never worse than third behind pace-setting The Real Whacker, plenty of daylight, jumping superbly and always in control of the outcome in what was, even for the winner, a real slog in probably the softest ground the race has been run on this century.

A mile out the race’s main drama occurred when one of Galopin Des Champs’ principal rivals, Fastorslow, the only horse to have beaten him since last year’s Gold Cup, belted the fence and unseated JJ Slevin and from then on his only threat was to make a nuisance of himself running loose. In the end he was probably more of a help than a hindrance as he escorted Galopin Des Champs up the run-in.

Though L’Homme Presse led them into the home straight and the National winner Corach Rambler was creeping into it, for a brief moment ominously well, Townend was poised and it was Gerri Colombe who looked the biggest threat to his superiority. But the runner-up, who had been off the bridle from the top of the hill, might have matched the winner for resolution and never gave up but he never quite had the legs of him.

Corach Rambler ran a terrific Grand National trial in third with L’Homme Press a game fourth, Bravemansgame fifth with Jungle Boogie sixth and last. Gentlemansgame, Monkfish, Nassalam and The Real Whacker were all pulled up.

Townend, leading jockey of the week, was too diplomatic to put Galopin Des Champs above Al Boum Photo, his and Mullins’ other two-time winner, even though to the neutral observer this one looks better – by some margin. But the jockey did single out this Gold Cup as a stand-out.

“It was different to the other three, to be honest,” he said. “I can’t really believe it, I’m a bit lost for words. He pulled out every stop – we went for reserves in that last furlong that only the really, really good ones have. He was brave the whole way round for me.

“The loose one was interfering with us a bit and it was messy but what he found up the straight from the back of the last – you see so many horses get to the last and don’t get up the hill. He got up there last year but that was a different type of ride.”

Mullins shipped 80 horses across the Irish Sea this week. Galopin Des Champs was the best of them when they set off and he returns even better and the only horse to defend a major title at this year’s Festival.

Galopin Des Champs - Galopin Des Champs joins Gold Cup greats by retaining Cheltenham crown
Galopin Des Champs did not disappoint on his short odds for the Gold Cup - PA/Adam Davy

“I think he just put himself in the ‘superstar’ category, to what he did, the way he did it,” Mullins said. “Paul was just so positive on him. We’ll have to think about coming back next year and trying for a third win. He has the ability, he just has to stay sound.

“The loose horse was the only concern. Did he hit one fence early on? After that it was very easy. Paul was in the position he wanted to be and he seemed to be travelling easily on him all the time. He’s doing everything right and he’s certainly achieving more than I thought he could.”

In a scarlet coat, Turley stood out among a jubilant gang of friends and family in the paddock. “I can’t believe it,” she exclaimed. “I know he was favourite but you never know. To win the Centenary Gold Cup is very special, I’m humbled to be here and part of the magnificent team of Willie, Paul and Galopin.

Audrey Turley - Galopin des Champs wins back-to-back Gold Cups to become true Cheltenham great
Audrey Turley admitted that she still finds it 'terrifying' to watch Galopin Des Champs on the biggest days - Getty Images/Harry Murphy

“This horse is so special to us. We love him. He’s so kind and so lovely when we go and see him in his stable. I just want to snuggle and cuddle him all day.”

His stablelad, Adam Connelly, 24, went to Mullins for a summer holiday six years ago and never left. It does not look like he will be leaving anytime soon while he has Galopin Des Champs in his care. “It was more pressure a second time because we were the ones being shot at,” he said. “I didn’t sleep last night. I put it down the rain lashing on the roof. I won’t be sleeping tonight either.”

Galopin Des Champs lights up final day of the meeting: as it happened

05:40 PM GMT

Free Bets

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05:39 PM GMT

Martin Pipe result

  1. Better Days Ahead 5/1

  2. Waterford Whispers 10/3F

  3. Quai De Bourbon 4/1

  4. Answer To Kayf 10/1

05:38 PM GMT


Superb ride from Danny Gilligan.

05:36 PM GMT

No Ordinary Joe..

...travels nicely as they move towards the top of the hill.

05:35 PM GMT

Waterford Whispers has...

...pulled his way into the lead now. He’ll really have to stay this trip after being so keen.

05:34 PM GMT

Up the home straight...

...Waterford Whispers is pulling a touch in third.

05:33 PM GMT

Ocastle Des Motte leads...

...Waterford Whispers and Quai De Bourbon are both handy early. Mel Monroe is up with the pace early.

05:32 PM GMT


...ARE OFF! As the sun shines down on Prestbury Park.

05:30 PM GMT

No...’s a false start.

05:30 PM GMT

AND THEY’RE OFF... the Martin Pipe.

05:27 PM GMT

Five minutes to the off...

...I fancy Waterford Whispers in this but so do a lot of people seemingly hence his tumbling price. He’s 100/30 favourite now. Quai De Bourbon is 9/2 next-best in the market.

05:17 PM GMT

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05:16 PM GMT

Our finale... we go then. The final chance to find a festival winner. Waterford Whispers is warm order to give Henry de Bromhead an end to remember but Quai De Bourbon also has a good chance for the all-conquering Wille Mullins.

05:07 PM GMT

Race 7 stat

05:02 PM GMT

In the family...

Limerick Lace is full sister to the winner of yesterday’s Kim Muir, Inothewayurethinkin. Can’t be many other occasions where full siblings have won races at the same meeting.

04:57 PM GMT

Mares’ Chase result

  1. Limerick Lace 3/1

  2. Dinoblue 15/8F

  3. Marsh Wren 28/1

04:56 PM GMT


It turned into a test of stamina and that suited Limerick Lace more than runner-up Dinoblue.

04:55 PM GMT

Top of the hill...

...Marsh Wren takes them off the top of the hill. They’re stacking up in behind.

04:53 PM GMT


...just making a slight move forward down the back straight.

04:53 PM GMT

The runners stream... front of the stands. The favoured Mullins pair are last. Waterford Whispers is fourth.

04:51 PM GMT

At the top of the hill...

...the first time. Marsh Wren and Instit lead. Dinoblue is held up.

04:50 PM GMT

AND THEY’RE OFF... the Mares’ Chase. Marsh Wren is the early leader.

04:48 PM GMT

The runners gather in the gloom...

...we’re moments away from the off in the festival’s penultimate race.

04:47 PM GMT

The heavens have opened at Cheltenham...

...a little more give in the ground for Limerick Lace?

04:43 PM GMT

Limerick Lace...

...was very well backed this morning but has drifted out a touch in the pre-race market. Dinoblue is also a shade weak in the market.

04:35 PM GMT

Next up...

Dinoblue has been banker material in the Mares’ Chase for many in the run-up to this meeting but has the ground gone against her? For my money, no. She is the best mare in this race and with some of the others having questions to answer I think she’s pretty solid atop the market.

04:30 PM GMT

The winning rider...

04:24 PM GMT

Race 6 stat

04:21 PM GMT

Hunters’ Chase result

  1. Sine Nomine 8/1

  2. Its On The Line 11/8F

  3. Time Leader 50/1

04:19 PM GMT

Another great ride

John Dawson should be very proud of that. The mare was blocked off coming up the inside with one to jump and was switched out late on.

04:18 PM GMT


She travlled beautifully throughout and stayed on well after the last flight.

04:16 PM GMT

Four to jump

Sine Nomine creeps closer. Its On The Line is struggling.

04:16 PM GMT

Seven fences to go

Its On The Line gets a shake of the reins for the first time.

04:15 PM GMT

11 fences to go

Ferns Lock still leads as they leap in front of the stands. Samcro travels smartly on the inside in midfield.

04:13 PM GMT

14 fences to go

Shantou Flyer, the 14-year-old, tracks Ferns Lock as they reach the top of the hill.

04:12 PM GMT

17 fences to go

Ferns Lock makes a bad error. The rest of the jumping is solid.

04:12 PM GMT

20 fences to go

Its On The Line, Billaway and Ferns Lock lead the field away from the stands. Samcro just in behind the pace.

04:11 PM GMT


...Its On The Line straight into the lead.

04:09 PM GMT

They are circling...

...the off is moments away. Ferns Lock just misbehaving a touch. Actually misbehaving alot.

04:06 PM GMT

One for the elders

Some proper old-timers in this.

Shantou Flyer, aged 14; Billaway, aged 12; last year’s winner Premier Magic, aged 11; Samcro, aged 12.

04:04 PM GMT

This favourite... being backed again here. He’s now 11/8 and punters have clearly got a taste for backing a short-priced favourite. Can this JP McManus hot-pot oblige?

04:02 PM GMT

We move on...

We have 10 minutes to the Huinters’ Chase and we have a warm favourite in Its On The Line, trained by another of Mullins clan, Emmet – the nephew of Willie.

03:58 PM GMT

Your Gold Cup winner

Paul Townend riding Galopin Des Champs win The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase during day four of the Cheltenham Festival 2024 at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2024 in Cheltenham, England
Paul Townend riding Galopin Des Champs win The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase during day four of the Cheltenham Festival 2024 at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2024 in Cheltenham, England

03:56 PM GMT

Cheltenham betting offers

It’s On The Line for a tight field ahead of the Hunters’ Chase. Take a look at these Cheltenham betting offers if you’re sizing up a wager on the race.

03:53 PM GMT

‘He’s in the superstar category’

03:51 PM GMT

Race 6 stat

03:51 PM GMT

What a reception...

03:50 PM GMT

Corach Rambler’s price halves...

He was 14/1 at the start of the he’s 7/1. A back-to-back winner of something else (the Grand National) might be impending.

03:48 PM GMT

A word for the placed horses...

Gerri Colombe might just feel he was a little hard done by by the loose horse going over the second last. He just had to check his progress and that gave Galopin Des Champs the lead he needed between the last couple.

Corach Rambler has run a mighty race...anyone had a look at his price for the Grand National now?

03:45 PM GMT

The winning rider speaks...

03:45 PM GMT

What a winner

Paul Townend put his hands up to the heavens after crossing the line there. That was some reaction after the sort of week he and Mullins have had. If you ever needed confirmation how big a race the Gold Cup is...

Galopin Des Champs ridden by Paul Townend cross to line to win the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase during day four of the Cheltenham Festival 2024 at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2024 in Cheltenham, England
Galopin Des Champs ridden by Paul Townend cross to line to win the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase during day four of the Cheltenham Festival 2024 at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2024 in Cheltenham, England

03:39 PM GMT

Gold Cup result

  1. Galopin Des Champs 5/6F

  2. Gerri Colombe 13/2

  3. Corach Rambler 14/1

03:39 PM GMT

100 years since the first Gold Cup

And we have a fitting winner. The loose horse looked to hinder Galopin Des Champs a touch but he had more than enough in the closing stages to put the race to bed.

03:37 PM GMT


Superb display. One of the greats. Gerri Colombe is second.

03:36 PM GMT

Three to jump

This looks Galopin Des Champs’ to lose.

03:36 PM GMT

Five fences to go

Galopin Des Champs pings the fence at the top of the hill.

03:35 PM GMT

Seven to go


03:34 PM GMT

Nine fences to go

Bravemangame moved forward by Harry Cobden.

03:34 PM GMT

11 fences to go

Beautiful jumps from Galopin Des Champs and Gerri Colombe in front of the stands. Huge cheers.

03:33 PM GMT

13 fences to go

Down the hill for the first time. The main challengers are all in the front bunch trailing The Real Whacker.

03:32 PM GMT

16 fences to go

The pace has settled. The Real Whacker still leads. Mistake from Monkfish back in the field.

03:31 PM GMT

19 fences to go

Grand National winner Corach Rambler is at the back. Galopin Des Champs is just third.

03:31 PM GMT

21 fences to go

Mistake from Nassalam at the second. Decent pace early on.

03:30 PM GMT

AND THEY’RE OFF... the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Real Whacker will lead us over the first.

03:28 PM GMT

The runners are at the start...

...a hush falls over the packed enclosures. The calm before the storm.

03:26 PM GMT

The horses parade in front of the stands...

...thousands of eyes transfixed on the runners. Bravemansgame has gone down to the start early.

03:25 PM GMT

Galopin Des Champs... 5/6. He’s only getting shorter.

03:21 PM GMT

Bookies sweating you feel...

Galopin Des Champs is carrying a huge amount of money for punters here. A win would surely bring the house down.

03:17 PM GMT

No words needed...

03:16 PM GMT

Gold Cup tip

We did not see the best of Gerri Colombe when he underperformed at Leopardstown at Christmas. Gordon Elliott thinks he’s got him in much better shape today and with the trainer having picked up a couple winners in the last two days, things are looking up. Galopin Des Champs will be tough to beat but winning back-to-back Gold Cups is no mean feat and at the prices I prefer Gerri Colombe.

03:13 PM GMT

15 minutes...

The anticipation is growing now. Biggest race of the week.

Let’s. Go...

03:10 PM GMT

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03:10 PM GMT

Market check...

Galopin Des Champs remains very strong atop the market at 10/11. The money really has come for him today. Gerri Colombe is next best at 13/2 but Fastorslow is seemingly friendless, having drifted out to as big as 9/1 with some firms.

03:07 PM GMT

Runners and riders

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is up next and there is still time for you to consult our dedicated runners and riders file to find the winner of the big race.

03:05 PM GMT

Gold Cup stat

03:04 PM GMT

The thoughts of winning rider Sam Ewing

03:04 PM GMT

Just seen a replay...

...of The Jukebox Man’s owner Harry Redknapp watching the closing stages of that race. I feel your pain ‘Arry.

03:01 PM GMT

Albert Bartlett result

  1. Stellar Story 33/1

  2. The Jukebox Man 18/1

  3. Dancing City 8/1

03:00 PM GMT

Tough luck

The Jukebox Man did all the hard work there but just ran out of gas in the final 100 yards. Tough if you backed him (me) but it was always going to be tough to win a race from the front on ground like that.

02:58 PM GMT


Oh how agonising for The Jukebox Man! Chinned on the line.

02:56 PM GMT

Four to jump

Readin Tommy Wrng and Gidleigh Park are just starting to pick a couple of rivals off.

02:55 PM GMT

Five to jump

The Jukebox Man still leads as the pace just lifts a little.

02:54 PM GMT

Seven to jump

The field amble past the stands for the first time. The pace is low here. The ground is going to be sapping by the time they come up the hill towards the finish.

02:53 PM GMT

Eight to jump

All the market principles are in the second half of the field. Gidleigh Park only has one ahead of him at present.

02:52 PM GMT

10 to jump..

The Jukebox Man has a five-length lead over Stellar Story. Readin Tommy Wrong is in midfield.

02:51 PM GMT

AND THEY’RE OFF... the Albert Bartlett. Stellar Story and The Jukebox Man jump off in front, with Dancing City also pressing the pace.

02:48 PM GMT

The runners are gathering at the start...

...this is going to be a proper grind for these young horses.

02:46 PM GMT

Your favourite...

Readin Tommy Wrong is favourite for this at 15/8. A win for him would be three in a row for Willie Mullins on the day. Gidleigh Park and Captain Teague are well-fancied to give Britain a first winner of the day.

02:38 PM GMT

Albert Bartlett tip

A winner of the board, so let’s find another one. I’ve liked the chances of Gidleigh Park in this for some time and I don’t intend to walk away from him at this point. He stayed on strongly when winning here last time and should only benefit from the step up to three miles. However, the Albert Bartlett is a race where big prices normally come to the fore, so if that’s more your flavour, I wouldn’t put you off The Jukebox Man at a big price.

02:34 PM GMT

No luck this time..

Sir Alex Ferguson and the owners of L’Eau Du Sud watched their horse finish second in the County Hurdle.

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, second left reacts during The County Hurdle race as his horse L'Eau Du Sud came in second place behind Absurde, during the final day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, England, Friday, March 15, 2024
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, second left reacts during The County Hurdle race as his horse L'Eau Du Sud came in second place behind Absurde, during the final day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, England, Friday, March 15, 2024

02:33 PM GMT

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02:27 PM GMT

Absurde performance...

This horse is quite remarkable...wins an Ebor at York last summer, heads to Australia to run in the Melbourne Cup (finished seventh) and then comes back to the northern hemisphere to win a County Hurdle.

There will not be many horses who ever repeat that sort of race programme with such distinction.

02:24 PM GMT

Race 3 stat

02:23 PM GMT

Here are the thoughts of the winning rider

02:22 PM GMT

‘Ride of the week’

Willie Mullins says he’ll be surprised if we get to the end of the week seeing a better ride than that by Paul Townend. Superb stuff...

02:20 PM GMT

County Hurdle result

  1. Absurde 12/1

  2. L’Eau Du Sud 7/2F

  3. Pied Piper 14/1

  4. Magical Zoe 8/1

02:17 PM GMT

What a delightful ride...

...from Paul Townend. He had to be so patient coming off the home turn, waiting for a gap to open up. He was delivered at the final flight and stayed on better than L’Eau Du Sud.

02:16 PM GMT


He’s won an Ebor and now a County Hurdle! Hope you followed the selection...

02:14 PM GMT

Two to jump...

Afadil leads them donw the hill. L’Eau Du Sud travelling well in about fiftt place.

02:14 PM GMT

Three to jump

Afadil leads them up the hill. Little change in the order thus far. Pace not that strong.

02:12 PM GMT

Six to jump...

Afadil has been given an easy lead as they pop over the third. Zentra travels well in second along with Media Naranja.

02:11 PM GMT

AND THEY’RE OFF... the County Hurdle. Afadil is up with the pace early on as are a host of McManus horses, including Zenta.

02:08 PM GMT

This big field...

...are gathering rapdily down at the two-mile start.

02:06 PM GMT

Smashed up...

L’Eau Du Sud has been seriously well-supported. You’d never dream about taking 3/1 about a horse in a race like this but the masses have spoken...

02:00 PM GMT

County Hurdle tip

Absurde is very well handicapped on the best of his Flat form and he should have a great chance is he handles the testing ground. Ran well behind Ballyburn and Slade Steel at Leopardstown last month and he’s worth chancing each-way at decent price.

01:58 PM GMT

Eight of the last nine...

...runnings of the County Hurdle have gone to trainers named either Skelton or Mullins. Might be worth having a second look at both of their horses for this race before landing on a selection.

01:50 PM GMT

Next up...

...we have the County Hurdle. A big-field handicap hurdle run on ground Mark Walsh has just described as “a proper test”.

L’Eau Du Sud has been well-backed to give Dan Skelton and Sir Alex Ferguson another winner after Protektorat’s success in the Ryanair yesterday. So Scottish and King Of Kingsfield are also well-fancied.

01:47 PM GMT

Cheltenham offers

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01:43 PM GMT

County Hurdle stat

01:43 PM GMT

The thoughts of Wille Mullins

01:37 PM GMT

‘He’s a big chaser’

Winning rider Mark Walsh, speaks to ITV: “Not your typical juvenile hurdle. He’s a big chaser. He was a little bit keen early but I was happy just to sit on him as long as I could. He had something to aim at at the last, which helped.”

01:36 PM GMT

Triumph Hurdle result

  1. Majborough 6/1

  2. Kargese 4/1F

  3. Salver 10/1

01:35 PM GMT


Mullins is back on the board! Winner number 101 at the festival.

01:34 PM GMT

One to jump...

Kargese takes the lead into the home straight...Majborough staying on.

01:32 PM GMT

Four to jump...

Pace just lifting a touch as Storm Heart makes a positive move on the outside.

01:32 PM GMT

Six to jump...

Favourite Storm Heart is just worse that midfield at present alongside Bunting. Nurburgring is the back marker.

Mark Walsh riding Majborough in action with jockeys before winning the 13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle
Mark Walsh riding Majborough in action with jockeys before winning the 13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle

01:30 PM GMT

THEY’RE OFF... the Triumph Hurdle. Salver, Kargese and Fratas set the early pace.

01:29 PM GMT

The runners are circling at the start...

...real anticipation as Gold Cup day gets underway.

01:28 PM GMT

Packed house...

Tom Stanley on Racing TV says it’s noticeably busier at Cheltenham today. That’s often the case on Gold Cup day and can mean a tough atmosphere for these younger horses to handle. On all evidence so far, they have all taken the preliminaries pretty well.

01:23 PM GMT

The horses are exiting the paddock...

...Storm Heart was just hanging on to favouritism by has now been joined at 4/1 by stablemate Kargese.

01:18 PM GMT

Prestbury Cup latest

Well, at the end of day two, you would get no prizes for saying that Ireland was a dead cert to have the most winners. However, after a bumper day three for Britain, there might be a little bit of life in this contest yet.

Ireland currently lead 12 to eight...

01:12 PM GMT

Cheltenham money back specials

Make sure you’re across the best Cheltenham money-back specials before you decide who to back in today’s Triumph Hurdle.

01:11 PM GMT

‘Willie has a strong hand here’

Jockey Paul Townend on his Triumph Hurdle ride: “With Sir Gino coming out of this race, it has opened right up. Willie has a strong hand here and it was a huge headache for me.

“I have gone with Storm Heart who was runner-up to Kargese at the Dublin Racing Festival. I thought he ran a little bit green that day and I think he can improve for it. His jumping has been a lot slicker at home and I just think he has the right temperament for the race and he seems to stay well. I hope I can improve past Danny on Kargese and I think I can.

“Bunting comes into the reckoning as well; he ran a cracker behind Kargese in Dublin as well and stayed very well to win at Limerick at Christmas. Salvator Mundi is the talking horse but I thought it would be very hard for him to come here and win first time, but his form does tie in with Sir Gino in France and he goes nicely at home.

“I hope I am on the right one but there is not a lot between some of these.”

01:01 PM GMT

30 minutes until the off...

Storm Heart is the 7/2 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle, with Wille Mullins stablemates Kargese, Bunting and Majborough next-best in the market.

The lowest-priced British runner is the unbeaten Salver, who represents the Gary Moore yard.

12:57 PM GMT

Farage at the festival

Something tells me he’s rather used to sporting the tweed jacket/wax jacket combination...

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage

12:53 PM GMT

Race 1 stat

12:48 PM GMT

Henderson latest...

The great trainer’s miserable week continues. He has withdrawn his best two chances of the day in Albert Bartlett hopeful Shanagh Bob and long-time Triumph Hurdle favourite Sir Gino. Henderson just wants to get this week over and done with so he can focus on getting his string right for Aintree next month and possibly even Punchestown. He does have two runners this afternoon, with Russian Ruler and No Ordinary Joe set to run in the meeting’s closing race, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson during the Cheltenham legends ceremony
Nicky Henderson during the Cheltenham legends ceremony

12:42 PM GMT

The Paul Nicholls team...

...celebrating the win of Monmiral in yesterday’s Pertemps Final.

12:41 PM GMT

Triumph Hurdle tip

Right then, let’s get the day started with a winner. The Mullins quartet are dominating the marker and it’s easy to see why. However, despite the money coming for the Tony Bloom-owned Bunting, I like the chances of Nurburgring in the first. He is certain to enjoy the sapping test of stamina that this fast-run race over two miles presents and he’s drifted out to a lovely each-way price of 7/1 this morning.

12:33 PM GMT

Pictured: The A-list roll in on Gold Cup day...

Zara and Mike Tindall
Zara and Mike Tindall
The Princess Royal on day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse
The Princess Royal on day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse
Nick Knowles and Katie Dadzie arrive for day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse
Nick Knowles and Katie Dadzie arrive for day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse
Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Talulah Riley arrive for day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse
Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Talulah Riley arrive for day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse

12:29 PM GMT

The Brits punch back

Much of the talk after the opening two days focussed on the poor displays of British-trained horses but Thursday’s action suggested there is life yet. Five out of the seven winners yesterday were trained on this side of the Irish Sea and Willie Mullins was even blocked out of the picture entirely. That said, he has three favourites on this afternoon’s card and is mob-handed in the Triumph Hurdle at 1.30 – at present the top four in the market are all trained at Closutton.

12:23 PM GMT

Gold Cup runners and riders

For an in-depth breakdown of all the horses running in this afternoon’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, consult our dedicated runners and riders file. You can access the latest prices as well as free bets to back the horse of your choice.

12:21 PM GMT

Market movers

The change in the ground has seen money come for a handful of horses this morning but none more so than Limerick Lace, who is now the 5/4 favourite (from 9/4) for the Mares’ Chase (4.50), supplanting long-time favourite Dinoblue at the head of the market.

Elsewhere, money has also come for Bunting in the opening Triumph Hurdle. Tony Bloom’s juvenile is now as short as 13/2 (from 10/1) in some places to give trainer Willie Mullins a winning start to the day. Majborough, the favourite for that race this morning, is on the drift and now available at as big as 5/1 (from 7/2).

12:17 PM GMT

Ground latest

After overnight rain we are looking at soft, heavy in places on the chase course and heavy on the hurdles course.

Speaking at around 7.45am, clerk of the course Jon Pullin said: “We’ve had 9mm of rain during racing yesterday and overnight, so now we’ve had to update the going to heavy on the hurdles course, and soft, heavy in places on the chase track.

“We’re celebrating 100 years of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and we’re looking forward to hopefully a great running today.”

12:13 PM GMT

Audio briefing

12:09 PM GMT

Cheltenham Gold Cup Day betting offers

Cheltenham Gold Cup day is one of the biggest betting events in the British sporting calendar. Check out our rundown of the best Gold Cup betting offers.

12:08 PM GMT

Today’s race programme

  • 1.30: JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • 2.10: County Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap)

  • 2.50: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

  • 3.30: Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)

  • 4.10: St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

  • 4.50: Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2)

  • 5.30: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

12:07 PM GMT

The champ...

Galopin Des Champs was out on the racecourse early this morning as Willie Mullins put the final touches to his string ahead of the final day of the meeting.

Willie Mullins trained horse, Galopin Des Champs, on the gallops on day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse
Willie Mullins trained horse, Galopin Des Champs, on the gallops on day four of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse

12:04 PM GMT

Today’s best bets

For best bets as well as selections for every race on this afternoon’s card, consult Telegraph Sport’s full guide to Gold Cup day at Cheltenham.

12:02 PM GMT

Betting offers

11:59 AM GMT

Gold Cup day

It is a strange reality of the Cheltenham Festival that one can spend months pouring over potential angles only for it to feel like the actual event flies past in the blink of an eye.

Well, it’s that time again. We are on the home straight for the 2024 festival, with just seven races left to enjoy before the re-load for 2025 begins.

However, we do have the small matter of the Cheltenham Gold Cup to deal with this afternoon as the meeting reaches its glorious crescendo at 3.30.

Last year’s winner Galopin Des Champs has been well-backed this morning and is now the 10/11 odds-on favourite for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend, having opened this morning a shade of odds-against.

“My owner and I are on the same wavelength,” said Mullins. “We say no matter whatever happens this year, we have one Galopin Des Champs Gold Cup on the mantelpiece already. Winning this year would be a bonus.”

Mullins added: “He was very good in the two Leopardstown races this winter but El Fabiolo in the Champion Chase showed that anything can happen.”

Mullins’ reached the astonishing total of 100 career festival winners on Wednesday when James De Vaux took the Champion Bumper under the trainer’s son, Patrick.

However he drew a blank on Thursday, with not a single of his runners finishing inside the first three in any of the seven races. Does that represent a real downturn in form or should we expect a reprisal this afternoon? You’d be brave to count on the former.

Gordon Elliott got his first winner of the week yesterday when Teahupoo took the Stayers’ Hurdle and he’ll be hoping for the same outcome from Gold Cup hope Gerri Colombe, who also runs in the colours of Robcour racing.

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