Zanahiyr is the obvious selection. 3 out of 3 winning impressively each time, he is the worthy favourite, but he faces a quality select field and can be opposed.
Quilixios can give Rachael Blackmore a 6th winner of the week. He’s won on all his 4 starts including a Grade 1 last time and that’s the strongest form in the race.
Of the English runners, Tritonic can claim a 2nd Triumph Hurdle for his trainer Alan King. He won the Adonis Hurdle, a good trial for this race.
Willie Mullins has 4 runners with the most fancied of those being Ganapathi who is very lightly raced and potentially very well handicapped. The only one to look at is Buildmeabuttercup who was 4th in the race last year, a similar effort can be expected.
Dan Skelton runs Third Time Lucki who was 4th in the Champion Bumper last season but will need to improve substantially on his last run.
The other horse to note is Petit Mouchoir. He is the classy horse in the race but is giving weight away to all his rivals.
In most years you need a horse that has seen a lot of racing and for that reason we are opposing Stattler.
The Cob is an interesting outsider. He has raced 6 times over hurdles winning 3 including the trial for this race in January.
The main event of The Cheltenham Festival and Al Boum Photo can win a 3rd Gold Cup. Arguably this is a weaker race than his two wins in the race.
A Plus Tard is the main danger but would probably still need a career best run to win.
Champ looks the best of the English; he made a pleasing return after a long time off and will certainly stay the distance. His jumping is a worry and you can’t afford to make mistakes in a Gold Cup.
Last years 2nd, Billaway is the favourite and there’s no reason why he won’t be there at the finish. Another with previous form in the race is the 2019 winner Hazel Hill. He is now 13 which is a big negative but is very lightly raced and won his last race also. We also see It Came To Pass back to defend his crown. He was a shock winner last year but ran badly before falling when last season and for that reason we can’t see him winning.
Red Indian is our each way selection. He was a useful horse a few years ago and comes here in good form after 2 wins in Hunter Chases.
A new race for the Cheltenham Festival and Elimay should win this and win this very well.
If you are against the favourite, then look at Shattered Love. She won the Ryanair in 2018 but was beat 5 ½ lengths by Elimay so will need to turn the tables on her younger rival. Its possible she could do that as she is classy but might find one too good.
A competitive Handicap to end a fantastic weeks racing. Gentleman De Mee looks very well Handicapped and could be far too good for these. He’s up in trip, won his only Irish run and this race must have been the plan for a long time.
Should the favourite not live up to his reputation then Langer Dan can take advantage. He won the Imperial Cup last weekend, should enjoy the ground and distance and is 5lb ahead of his Handicap mark.