What time is the Gold Cup 2022? Cheltenham Festival horse race UK start time - and where to watch live on TV

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Minella Indo set to race for second victory at Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday

The most prestigious National Hunt race is set to take place this Friday (18 March 2022) at the Cheltenham Festival where crowds have returned for the first time in two years.

Tickets for the southwest festival sold in record time and around 60,000 people are expected to attend each of the four days.

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The Gold Cup is the most highly anticipated race with horses such as Arkle, Best Mate, Golden Miller and Mill House all featuring on the steeplechase’s roll of honour.

This year, while Minella Indo will look to take a second win, Al Boum Photo will hope to come back and take a third victory at this prestigious event.

Cheltenham was the last of the major sporting events to be held with spectators before the country shut down into lockdown in 2020 - for which it faced severe criticism.

In 2021, those horses crossing the line received applause only from the few stable staff present but now 28 races will take place over the four day period with bookmakers expected to wager around £500 million.

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Al Boum Photo, left, won the 2019 and 2020 Gold Cup raceAl Boum Photo, left, won the 2019 and 2020 Gold Cup race
Al Boum Photo, left, won the 2019 and 2020 Gold Cup race | Getty Images

This year, races will include the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the Champion Hurdle, The Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Cross Country Chase but fans, jockeys, trainers and owners will all wait with excitement for the famous Gold Cup on the final day of the festival.

Here is everything you need to know about the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup

What is the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

The Cheltenham Gold Cup, often referred to as the Blue Riband of jump-racing, is a Grade 1 National Hunt run over a distance of about 3 miles 2 ½ furlongs with 22 fences to be jumped.

The race is open to horses aged five and over with a weight of 11st 9lb for five year-olds and 11st 10lb for those six and over.

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It is one of the longest races to take place at the festival with others having a distance of around 2 miles 2 furlongs.

The most successful horse at the event is Golden Miller who has secured five wins between 1932 and 1936.

What is the purse for the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

This race is the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain and last year it offered a total prize fund of £468,750 with first place winning £263,766.

The first ever winner of the Gold Cup was Red Splash who won his owner £685.

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Rachael Blackmore rides runner-up A Plus Tard, centre.Rachael Blackmore rides runner-up A Plus Tard, centre.
Rachael Blackmore rides runner-up A Plus Tard, centre. | POOL/AFP via Getty Images

When is the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

This prestigious race is set to take place on Friday 18 March 2022 at 3.30pm GMT.

How to follow the Cheltenham Gold Cup

ITV is offering coverage of the Cheltenham Gold Cup steeplechase. Fans will be able to keep up to date with the majority of races through ITV both on TV and through their streaming service ITVHub.

BBC 5 Live will offer radio coverage of the event as well for those unable to watch.

Who is set to participate in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Eight of the thirteen confirmed horses are trained in Ireland and the line-up will be finalised on Wednesday.

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2021 Champion Minella Indo as well as the 2020 and 2019 winner Al Boum Photo are set to feature with last year’s runner-up A Plus Tard also on the list.

Approximate odds: 3-1 A Plus Tard; 7-2 Galvin; 9-2 Minella Indo; 8-1 Al Boum Photo; 10-1 Protektorat, Tornado Flyer, Conflated; 16-1 Chantry House, Royal Pagaille; 20-1 Asterion Forlonge; 33-1 Santini, Melon; 50-1 Aye Right

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