Cheltenham Day Four Betting Tips And Preview
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Cheltenham Day Four Betting Tips And Preview

The fourth and final day of what has been another outstanding Cheltenham Festival and the big highlight of the week looms with the feature Magners Cheltenham Cup (3.30) the glittering centrepiece on a superb card. Paul Alster from the Racing Post guides you to where the value might lie with his betting preview and tips for the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, while we have more with our boosted odds and our new customer welcome offer which you can claim below.






13:30 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)

This is a fine renewal of the traditional curtain raiser on the last day of the meeting. On official ratings Paul Nicholls Solo is the one to beat after a scintillating British debut when hacking up in Grade 2 company at Kempton last month. He could be anything, but this is a very different challenge and he may find one or two too good this time.

GOSHEN has put up three spectacular displays since going hurdling and revels in testing ground. His wins have not come in graded company so it isn’t hard to pick holes in the form, but the manner of his successes, including last time at Ascot when he lost both front shoes, suggests he is well up to coping at this level and he just gets the nod. Gary Moore’s charge has been a persistent Cheltenham tip since landing the first of his hattrick of wins.

Allmankind is a massive danger and is another unbeaten in three runs over timber. He did it very well indeed when winning the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle in the mud at Chepstow in December and comes here a relatively fresh horse having been saved for this race ever since.

Best of the Irish challengers may be Aspire Tower who won his first two races over hurdles in great style then held every chance when falling at the last in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown last month. If none the worse for that spill he is certainly not out of the reckoning. But the dark horse in the race could be another Irish challenger, Burning Victory, thrown in at this level on the back of a win on hurdling bow in Grade 3 company at Fairyhouse recently and open to any amount of improvement.

Joseph O’Brien’s A Wave Of The Sea is another with good credentials having won the race in which Aspire Tower fell at Fairyhouse last time.

Selection: Goshen @ 3/1

Next best: Allmankind @ 4/1


14:10 - Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

One of the toughest handicaps of the week and, as ever, there are any number of horses for whom a good case can be made.

Dan Skelton has remarkably won this three times in the last four years, including with Mohaayed who triumphed in 2018 off 139 and was seventh to stable companion Ch’tibello off nearly a stone higher 12 months ago. He is now down to just 3lb above his 2018 winning mark and should go well despite uninspiring form figures.

Ciel De Neige only just missed out in the valuable Betfair Trophy at Newbury last month again showing he relishes the hurly-burly of these big handicaps. He was third in the juvenile handicap hurdle at this meeting last year and has been well supported in recent days. His stable companion Aramon was second in two Grade 1’s in 2019 so this drop down to handicap company could be a breath of fresh air for him. A bold show looks on the cards.

Another lively Mullins candidate is Buildmeupbeuttercup who didn’t get the best of runs when a close fifth in the hot Ladbrokes Hurdle at Leopardstown last time and has been very consistent. This mare looks good value and she could go close under Danny Mullns.

Among a host of other horses with sound chances Mullins Tramore maiden hurdle winner Saint Roi could be anything and it looks significant that his master trainer throws him in at the deep end here on the back of that success at a much lower level, but Nicky Henderson’s ELUSIVE BELLE was a fine third to subsequent Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante in Listed company at Newbury in November and that form must give her a serious chance here off a mark of 136.

The talented Adjali, back from a wind operation, and the under-the-radar Pakens Rock are also worth a few moments consideration.

Selection: Elusive Belle @ 20/1

Next Best: Buildmeupbuttercup @ 12/1


14:50 - Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (Grade 1)

A race that has produced plenty of shocks in recent years with two 33/1 winners and another at 50’s from just the last seven renewals.

Thyme Hill has long been a leading fancy in the Cheltenham betting since beating The Cashel Man in the Grade 1 Challow Novices Hurdle at Newbury just after Christmas. He’s been rested since and looks likely to see out the extra three furlongs, but the runner-up hasn’t done much for that form (awarded a three-runner minor race at Bangor after finishing second) and he might find one or two too good.

LATEST EXHIBITION looked all about stamina when winning a Grade 1 in Ireland over 2m6f last time where he proved two lengths too good for the talented Henry de Bromhead-trained Cobbler’s Way (who reopposes here) and he could prove best of the raiders from the Emerald Isle. His only defeat in four starts over timber came when second to the high-class Supreme Novices Hurdle runne-rup Abracadabras, so he has to be one for the shortlist.

Gordon Elliott’s Fury Road, a winner in Grade 2 company on his previous start, was just over five lengths fourth to Latest Exhibition, and Willie Mullins Monkfish has run away with two minor events but gave the impression he has a proper engine.

The most intriguing runner is David Pipe’s Ramses de Teillee who established himself as a talented staying handicap chase when second in the 2018 Welsh National and he was second again in last season’s Grand National Trial at Haydock over 3m4f. He has carved out a new niche for himself over hurdles this term and has stormed to two Grade 2 successes in his last two starts. He won’t be found wanting for stamina and is the second-highest rated in the field on official figures.

Selection: Latest Exhibition @ 5/1

Next best: Ramses De Teillee @ 11/1




15:30 - Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)

The cherry on top of the Cheltenham Festival cake. Willie Mullins took this 12 months ago with Al Boum Photo and the defending champion will have plenty of supporters after his convincing reappearance win at Tramore on New Year’s Day. He arrives here a relatively fresh horse, he stays well and obviously handles the track so it isn’t at all hard to make a strong case for Paul Townend’s mount following up.

KEMBOY beat Al Boum Photo at Punchestown last season, gaining his revenge having unseated early in the Gold Cup the time before when well fancied. He’s shaped well enough in two starts this term - both won by Delta Work - and appears to have been trained solely with today’s race in mind. On his day he is high class and looks the value in an open renewal.

Delta Work got the better of Kemboy and Presenting Percy last time in the Irish Gold Cup having beaten Monalee the time before, and was a close third in last term’s RSA Chase. He should give another good account of himself. Presenting Percy, favourite for this race 12 months ago when his saddle slipped and he eventually finished lame, has been targeted at a recovery mission since that day. He could be very dangerous if he gets the luck this time.

Nicky Henderson has had a superb meeting and his Santini, a smart novice last term, is improving fast and was impressive in beating the classy Bristol De Mai in the Cotswold Chase here in January. He could be anything, but his lack of experience at senior championship level may just find him out.

Dual King George VI Chase hero Clan Des Obeaux comes here relatively fresh after the Boxing Day defence of his mid-winter crown, but although he has been placed in very good company at this track on a number of occasions he has never won here and the feeling is he is a better horse on a flatter track.

One horse who has a fine Cheltenham Festival record without winning is Monalee and he looks over-priced having gone very close to beating Delta Work last time. A close fourth in last year’s Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, he was second in the 2018 RSA Chase, and third in the 2017 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. Lostintranslation looked exciting when winning the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock in November but pulled up in the King George VI Chase and hasn’t been seen since.

Selection: Kemboy @ 8/1

Next best: Al Boum Photo @ 7/2


16:10 - St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters Chase

Hazel Hill should make a bold bid to land this for the second successive year but his stamina will be tested more thoroughly on ground much softer than 12 months ago when he beat Shantou Flyer by four lengths. The runner-up that day handles deep ground well and may get closer having won in good style at Fakenham last time.

Hazel Hill had to settle for second place to Minella Rocco at Wetherby six weeks ago, but his campaign will have been geared around defending his title. Minella Rocco is a former Festival winner and on his day has been high class, running second to Sizing John in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup. He’s not that good these days but at this level should still prove very competitive.

Patrick Mullins rides the progressive BILLAWAY for his father and this horse appears to be held in some regard by the Irish champion jumps trainer. He beat Enda Bolger’s Staker Wallace (who reopposes) by eight lengths at Naas in January and it will be interesting to see if the eight-year-old has the requisite stamina to get home up the steep hill over the extra two furlongs and more.

The formerly decent handicap chaser Alcala represents British champion trainer Paul Nicholls who has won this twice in recent years with Pacha Du Polder, so he knows what’s required, while last year’s third, Top Wood, went on to win the Foxhunters at the Aintree Festival and again has claims. Along with old favourite Don Poli, third to Don Cossack in the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the mud-loving ex-staying handicapper Bishops Road, he cannot be ruled out of the equation.

Selection: Billaway @ 6/1

Next best: Shantou Flyer @ 9/1



16:50 - Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

A fast and furious pace is always guaranteed in this hot two-mile handicap chase and that should suit the Henry de Bromhead-trained Jan Maat who hasn’t been seen since winning a Grade 3 novice event at Punchestown in October. He seems to have been saved specifically for this race but his best form is on good ground, so if the going is soft or worse his chance would be compromised.

Croco Bay stunned punters 12 months ago when winning this at horse racing betting odds of a massive 66/1. The 13-year-old showed he’s coming back to form when beaten just a length at Doncaster last time. It’s hard to imagine him following up though at his ripe old age but it’s great to see him having another go.

Paul Nicholls has won this twice in the last four years and his GREANETEEN has been a persistent tip for this race since he won easily at Musselburgh in February. He has won since at Fakenham and while this is a much tougher task, the feeling is that connections hold this six-year-old in quite high regard. The Dutcheat-based handler is also represented by Capeland whose last outing in a handicap saw him scoot in by 12 lengths at Ascot in November off a 10lb lower mark.

Gino Trail looks set to take them along from the front and will love the testing underfoot conditions, He carries a 5lb penalty for an all-the-way win at Doncaster last week and should give supporters a decent run for their money, while Gordon Elliott has a number of chances including Leopardstown winner Eclair De Beaufeu and Chosen Mate. The latter is having only his fourth start over fences but won easily in a beginners chase recently. His extremely shrewd handler obviously believes him capable of much better to be throwing him in here at the deep end.

Selection: Greaneteen @ 4/1

Next best: Chosen Mate @15/2


17:30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle

Five of the last six renewals of this race have gone to Ireland. Willie Mullins has won it three times in the last decade and saddles the hattrick-seeking Five O’Clock, Great White Shark, and MY SISTER SARA, the latter fancied to give a very good account of herself.

The mare landed a hot 23-runner handicap hurdle at the Punchestown Festival last May then failed by just half a length on her seasonal reappearance to beat Elfil, who ran a fine third in the Grade 1 mares hurdles here earlier this week. Fourth in a decent event after that, she was in mid-division when falling 3 out at Leopardstown in a hot race last time and might well have been in the shake-up had she stood up. She looks good each-way value in this brain buster of a finale.

Plenty of good judges noted the late burst produced by Ilikedwayurthinkin who finished into a close fifth of 25 in a good event at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. Trained by Gavin Cromwell, this gelding landed two handicaps in the space of five days at least season’s Galway Festival and although much higher in the weights now the feeling is that he remains very competitive and will be one of the most popular horse racing tips.

Joseph O’Brien won this last year with the very well backed 5/1 shot Early Doors and he looks to have another serious contender this time around in Front View, never out of the first two in four starts so far over timber. His second to Envoi Allen at Down Royal in November looks better and better given the achievements of the high-class winner, including at this meeting on Wednesday.

Philip Hobbs saddles Pileon, a facile 20-length scorer last time in testing ground at Ffos Las and he will certainly be suited by conditions, assuming the track hasn’t dried out, while Gordon Elliott’s Column Of Fire was a very close third in a hot handicap hurdle at Leopardstown last time and the drop back to what will surely be a strongly run two-and-a-half miles could be right up his street.

Selection: My Sister Sara @ 20/1

Next Best: Front View @ 5/1









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