We’ve made it. After three glorious days of thrills, spills, boil overs and hotpot favourites going in, our attention now turns to Al Boum Photo’s defence of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Can the 2019 winner become the first horse since Best Mate to win the blue-riband event back-to-back? Or will he have his crown snatched away by a field deeper than the English Channel?
We’ve previewed the Gold Cup and every race on Day Four with our Cheltenham Betting Tips.
13:30 – Triumph Hurdle – Aspire Tower
With Solo, Goshen, Allmankind and Aspire Tower all involved in this year’s Triumph Hurdle, we’re guaranteed a rip-roaring start to Gold Cup Day. And it’s the latter of the quartet who could come out on top.
Rachael Blackmore’s ride won by a combined 31l on his first two races over obstacles, obliterating the field in a decent looking Grade 2 before falling at 1/3 on his latest start at Leopardstown when in with every chance.
That fall has arguably inflated his price here. And while Henry De Bromhead’s runner has something to prove after that minor setback, if can dictate the pace at the front, then he could prove difficult to stop.
14:10 – County Hurdle – Ciel De Neige (NAP)
Our man Dan Skelton has won three out of the last four runnings of this contest and will fancy his chances with 2018 winner Mohaayed. However, it’s impossible to ignore the impressive Handicap form of Ciel De Neige.
The five-year-old has been on the cusp of winning a big pot for a while, coming home third in the Fred Winter here last season before subsequently finishing runner-up in the competitive Betfair Hurdle last month.
He only lost out by 3/4l that day which suggests a 4lb rise shouldn’t hinder his chances too much. Owner J.P. McManus has been rattling in the winners this week and he may get another here with Mark Walsh on board.
14:50 – Albert Bartlett – Ramses De Teillee (Lively Longshot)
You need a good honest plugger in a race like this. And Ramses De Teillee may just fit the bill. The eight-year-old has been in fine fettle this season and will take his chance here before heading to the National at 25/1.
David Pipe’s inmate has won all three of his hurdles starts this term and looked better than ever when recording back-to-back victories in a pair of Grade 2 contests after Christmas following wind surgery.
There’s no doubting his ability to stay and with his jumping as sound as it gets, we reckon he should be able to hit the frame in a race that doesn’t contain a great deal of experience.
15:30 – Cheltenham Gold Cup – Kemboy (NB)
After running the rule over all of the main contenders in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup, it’s Kemboy who we’ve eventually fallen down on in the Festival showpiece.
The eight-year-old has shown gradual improvement this season after a delayed start and followed up a promising reappearance in the Savills Chase with an improved runner-up berth in the Irish Gold Cup.
He was behind Delta Work that day, so he’ll need to reverse the form. But Kemboy is a horse who usually saves his best work for the Spring, evidenced by his emphatic 9l win in the Aintree Bowl last term.
Take into account that he’s arguably a run behind where connections hoped he would be at this stage of the season, and we think he has every chance after being hampered at the first in the Gold Cup 12 months ago.
16:10 – Foxhunter Chase – Staker Wallace
The green and hold of J.P. McManus has been in clover all week and he could add another winner to an already impressively long list with Staker Wallace in the Foxhunter.
Enda Bolger’s returned from a near three year lay-off to finish second at Naas in January before continuing that progression when justifying favouritism in a point-to-point over 3m last month.
That should be the perfect prep for a race like this, and with so few miles on the clock, it could be dangerous to overlook the King’s Theatre gelding. Top amateur Jamie Codd further enhances our selection’s claims.
16:50 – Grand Annual – Lisp
Lisp has Festival form after finishing fifth in the County Hurdle 12 months ago and after three strong runs over fences this term he makes for an interesting proposition dropped into Handicap company for the first time.
The six-year-old made all of the running when third at Doncaster last time which means jockey Tom Cannon may have to ride him more conservatively here. If he can do that then he looks to have solid each-way claims.
17:30 – Martin Pipe – Five Oclock
The Irish have plundered the Martin Pipe in five of the last six years and it could return to the Emerald Isle once again courtesy of Five O’Clock for Willie Mullins.
Our selection was a Grade 3 winner at Thurles last month, while his rating suggests he should be in with a live chance on his Handicap debut. Promising youngster Conor McNamara gets the ride.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication