The Cheltenham Gold Cup is arguably the biggest race of the national hunt season and the highlight of an action-packed four days of top quality sport.
The Prestbury Park showpiece is due off at 3.30 on Friday 15th March, and amongst the key contenders is the defending champion Galopin Des Champs for trainer Willie Mullins, who is seeking his fourth win in the race since 2019.
Irish winners in the Gold Cup has become a regular occurrence in recent times, with the cup heading back to the Emerald Isle the last five years on the bounce, and the Irish are favourites to land the spoils again in 2024.
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Last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup was thought to be of serious quality at the time and Galopin Des Champs justified his favourite's tag when storming up the hill to victory by seven lengths.
Willie Mullins' star chaser was turned over in the Punchestown Gold Cup and the John Durkan Memorial subsequently, but bounced back to his very best when demolishing his rivals in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
Despite the form of last year's Gold Cup not working out well, he deserves to be at the head of the market and will next head to the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February.
Fastorslow has a surprising Dublin Chase entry over 2m1f at the Dublin Racing Festival next month along with an entry for the Irish Gold Cup.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup will be his main target and he looks the biggest threat to taking Galopin Des Champs' crown.
Trainer Martin Brassil decided against running his star chaser in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas due to the ground.
Connections have every right to believe Fastorslow can win the Gold Cup because he has beaten Galopin Des Champs the last two times they have met.
There was huge drama in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day as with the race at his mercy, Shishkin slipped on landing after jumping the second-last and sent Nico de Boinville flying out of the saddle.
Shark Hanlon's Hewick stormed home to cause a massive upset, so what next for Shishkin?
It has been a luckless season thus far for Nicky Henderson's 10-year-old as he also refused to race at Ascot on his seasonal reappearance.
All roads lead to the Gold Cup now where he undoubtedly has the class to win if he's at his very best, but which Shishkin will show up?
Gordon Elliott is confident that Gerri Colombe was not at his best when trailing 23 lengths behind Galopin Des Champs in the Savills Chase and there's every reason to believe him.
He didn't run to his full potential on bottomless ground on the day, but he might come to life again on fresh spring ground.
A desperately unlucky loser in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase last season when beaten narrowly by The Real Whacker, the four-time Grade 1 winner is still only eight and could have his best days ahead of him.
There's a possibility that Gerri Colombe could run in the Irish Gold Cup next month.
Trained by Venetia Williams, L’Homme Presse is another horse who carries British hopes in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Sidelined for 13 months through injury, the nine-year-old was triumphant in the Fleur De Lys Chase at Lingfield's Winter Million Festival this month.
Solid rehab and a lot of patience has worked the oracle after his fall in the 2022 King George VI Chase and, if Williams gets him back to his very best, then he has to enter the race as one of the leading contenders.
Second to Galopin Des Champs in last season’s Gold Cup, Bravemansgame has failed to win any of his four subsequent starts and now major questions have to be asked of him.
Paul Nicholls' nine-year-old finished a respectable second to Hewick in the King George VI Chase, but he looks nothing like the horse he was a season prior. He has it all to prove.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.