It’s day 4: Gold Cup Day and winners are badly needed!
Triumph Hurdle – 1.30pm
This looks to be between the big two Irish trainers, with Elliot’s two taking on the favourite from the Mullins stable. Knight Salute looks to be the best of the British. While really liking Pied Piper, who Jamie Codd says has more class than Fil Dor, Rich Ricci told friends on Monday night that this is the race he is looking forward all week and so Vauban is the selection.
County Hurdle – 2.10pm
Two against the field here. West Cork from the Skelton stable, who Dan says has as good a chance as any handicapper he has sent to Cheltenham, and Surprse Package, who was so impressive in winning the Imperial Cup in Sandown last weekend, looking like he just joined in at the second last.
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – 2.50pm
Of the Irish, Ginto looks to hold the most appeal, but Hillcrest has been most impressive to date, his unseat at Cheltenham not of his own doing. He was most impressive last time out. His times are good and the track and ground hold no fears, so Hillcrest is a confident selection.
Gold Cup – 3.30pm
A great Gold Cup that looks like being dominated by the Irish to compete the grand slam of championship races at the festival. Minello Indo is the defending champion and has to merit respect while A Plus Tard looked so convincing in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. However, he was mugged at Leopardstown in the Savill’s chase by a rapid improver in Galvin, who looks like he stays longer than the mother-in-law. Galvin is the selection.
Festival Hunters’ Chase – 4.10pm
Billaway will be all the rage here but has disappointed his backers in the past and is too short at the prices. Bob and Co came down three out last year when travelling well and subsequently claimed the Punchestown Champion Hunter’s Chase. He looks like he’s been laid out for this and is a confident selection. Winged Leader will go well also.
Mares’ Chase – 4.50pm
Elimay was second to the classy Colreevy in this last year and doesn’t look to face anything of that calibre here. She hasn’t been as impressive this year but should still have enough to get the job done on a track that suits her.
Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle – 5.30pm
This should be easy! Langer Dan is only 2lbs higher than when he finished just over 2l second to Gallopin de Champs in this last year, with 9l back to the third. He has been kept for this and had a pipe opener at Taunton 24 days ago to warm up. There may be an Irish machine lurking in there but whether there is or not, Langer Dan must be the each way bet of the meeting.