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Cheltenham Festival Day Four: Preview and tips for Gold Cup, Triumph Hurdle and more

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Cheltenham Festival 2021 continues on Friday, but which horses should you back on the final day? Ireland’s Jamie Codd has won at Prestbury Park multiple times and gives Sky Sports Racing his preview of the Gold Cup, the Triumph Hurdle and the rest of Friday’s card

Al Boum Photo ridden by Jockey Paul Townend wins the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase in 2020

Get expert tips for the final day of the Cheltenham Festival from 10-time Festival-winning rider Jamie Codd, who has tipped 10 winners over the first three days, including Mrs Milner and Mount Ida on Thursday.

1.20 JCB Triumph Hurdle

Another small but select field for the Triumph with loads of quality provided by the likes of Zanahiyr, Tritonic, Quilixios and Adagio. Zanahiyr won his maiden hurdle in Ballinrobe and has impressed when progressing onto graded company. His performance at Fairyhouse was really, really strong. We think he is good enough for this but it’s not going to be easy.

Tritonic looked very good in Kempton which is an easier track than Cheltenham, it’s right-handed and a faster track. He has a lot of speed, whereas Zanahiyr looks as if he stays very well.

Quilixios has also been very impressive, trotting up at the Dublin Racing Festival. He is a horse we really liked at home. So Zanahiyr is not going to have it easy, but I do fancy him to win.


    Cheltenham racecardsLatest racing results

Jockey Jamie Codd celebrates victory in the National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase on Ravenhill on day one of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 10, 2020. See PA story RACING Cheltenham. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, commercial use is subject to prior permission from The Jockey Club/Cheltenham Racecourse.

1.55 McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle

There are plenty of runners in the County Hurdle. Petit Mouchoir has top weight and is another ride for Jordan Gainford whose 7lb claim is very valuable. He has proper Grade 1 form coming into this and with the weight off him it wouldn’t surprise me to see him run very well. He was third in a Champion Hurdle and third in an Arkle here. He has a lot of class.

Another one I like is Saint D’Oroux. He is at the other end of the handicap. He has had some very solid runs including the last day behind Drop The Anchor in Leopardstown. He should be able to step up as he will love a strong gallop and improving ground.

Martin Brassil’s You Raised Me Up seems to be improving. He won well in Naas, beating Petitbonome. He’ll love the ground and the helter skelter of the race. They are my two picks at a price.


2.30 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

‘Sneezy’ Foster sends out both Fakiera and Torygraph. Torygraph hasn’t stepped up from maiden company yet. His win at Thurles was quite good but he has to step up again. I think the trip will really suit him and he is definitely on the upgrade.

Fakiera has been running in graded races all along, performing really well and just knocking on the door. The trip will suit him, the better ground will help him too but he might just find one or two too good.

Barbados Buck's ridden by Harry Cobden clear the last to win The Play Ladbrokes 1-2-Free On Football Novices' Hurdle at Kempton

The one I really like is Barbados Buck’s from the Big Buck’s pedigree. He was second in a point-to-point in Dromahane and he is a big maturing horse. He could be stepping up here.


3.05 WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase

Time for the big one, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. My heart is with Al Boum Photo to win a third Gold Cup and emulate the likes of Best Mate. When a horse has a chance to do this it should be celebrated so I really am in the Al Boum Photo camp here.

Last year he won it off a slow pace, the year before he won it off a nice gallop. He’s had a similar prep. He went to Tramore and did what he had to do. It’s hard to knock his form and I am sure Willie (Mullins) will have him in tip-top shape.


Al Boum Photo is not going to have it his own way. You’d imagine Frodon and Native River will take them along at a nice gallop. I don’t think that will be a problem for Al Boum Photo.

Al Boum Photo and Paul Townend jumping to win for owners Joe & Marie Donnelly and trainer Willie Mullins in The Savills New Year's Day Chase for the 3rd time at Tramore

The one that is up and coming is A Plus Tard, a previous Cheltenham winner, and Champ is very interesting off his prep, a run over two miles. His jumping is a little bit of an issue and he can be keen in snatches. He doesn’t look an easy ride but has a lot of ability. For a Gold Cup you need a more straightforward horse and Al Boum Photo is that.


3.40 St James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

I think Billaway is a worthy favourite for the Foxhunters. He was second behind It Came To Pass last year.

When I watched the race back, Billaway made a lot of mistakes and was very novicey last year. In Naas this year he did miss a few fences so I would be a little worried his jumping could get him a bit far back, although the experience of last year should stand him in good stead.

I just have a sneaky suspicion that It Came To Pass could be running into a bit of form. He ran an okayish race in Thurles. He is going to appreciate a bit of better ground. His form last year wasn’t too dissimilar and look what he did. He could be coming under the radar for this, so I am going to give him a tentative vote to back up and win it again for the O’Sullivans.


4.15 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

It’s hard to get past Elimay here. She ran behind Allaho then had a walk in the park against Shattered Love in Naas. I do think that Shattered Love, on the back of that last run, could be coming into a bit of form. She seems in fantastic nick at home. She is a mare who can be very good on her day but on all known form Elimay is the mare to beat.


Elimay and jockey Rachel Robins during the visit to Willie Mullins' stables in Closutton,

4.50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

This is not an easy race, but I am going to go for Gavin Cromwell’s Gabynako.

He was third behind Bob Olinger in the Grade 1 Lawlors Novice in Naas and he stepped up to his first handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival where I thought he ran quite well behind Drop The Anchor, finishing 11th.

I thought he ran better than the bare form suggests. He is a placed Grade 1 horse running in a handicap and if he is ridden for a bit of luck, he could run a massive race. Frontal Assault has been improving and at Leopardstown he was a bit keen. If he was dropped in and manages to settle, he could run really well off a low weight.


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