Cheltenham festival day 4

Cheltenham festival 2015

Cheltenham festival day 4 is the last day of the festival. The races start at 13:30 on Friday 18th March, with the last race starting at 17:30. This day sees the most anticipated race of all the festival; The Cheltenham Gold cup. there are seven races in total on this day. There is a nice mix of races on, giving you the chance to see well established horses as well as the up and coming ones. You will hopefully pick up a few pointers from our guide here, that will help influence your bets to make them winners!

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Cheltenham festival day 4 races

Triumph Hurdle

The Triumph hurdle is the first race of the Cheltenham festival day 4 proceedings and is for novice hurdlers aged 4 years. The length is 2 miles and 1 Furlong. This is one race within the festival where the Irish have struggled to see a lot of success, but Barry Geraghty has had four previous winners here, including last year with Peace And Co. One trainer you will want to keep your eye on here is Nicky Henderson who has seen 6 victories here previously. His victories here span over thirty years, but three wins have been fairly recent with Geraghty being the Jockey pushing the horses to victory.

This race sees three horses leading the odds field early on and offering less than 10/1. these are Ivanovich Gorbatov, Zubayr and Sceau Royal. Sceau Royal has a nice amount of early experience and has the best current form out of these three horses by winning it’s last three races back to back. This is my early punt and is cuurently out as far as 9/1 with some bookies

County Hurdle

The County Hurdle is also 2 miles 1 Furlong but is for horses aged 5 years and over. There are 8 hurdles in this race and it is run on the new course at Cheltenham. If history is anything to go by you will be looking for a younger horse for the group (7 of the last 8 winners have been 5 or 6 years of age) with an Irish connection. This is one race that the Irish do seem to dominate.

Mullins took the title last year with Wicklow brave and has a good chance this year with Great field. The only disadvantage to this selection maybe the fact that experience is not on the horse’s side with only one lifetime jump to its name.

This is another race with a wide open field, with nobody yet dipping below 10/1. Desoto county seems to be the bookies favourite at the moment out at 10/1 but recent form has let this horse down somewhat. Should be a very close finish and one i certainly wont be lumping on. Each way bets and a few selections may be needed here to see a return from it, or just good old lady luck!

Albert Bartlett novice hurdle

This hurdle race is over 3 miles and is for horses aged 4 years and over. This is one of the races that was introduced in 2005. Out  of the 11 races run so far, Tony McCoy has won three of them and only him and Robert Thornton have won this race more than once. Early pickings have shown that this year’s favourite for the victory is Barters Hill. A solid unbeaten horse after 7 runs, looking to make it 8 out of 8 here.

Barters Hill will have my backing if the conditions reflect good or soft, but may differ if ground shows yielding or heavy as this will be unknown territory for this horse. Shantou Village and Gangster are also close by in the odds pecking order for this race.

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Gold cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious event of the national hunt calendar. the race consists of 22 jumps over 3 miles and 2 and a half Furlongs. This race is a non-handicap race and the prize fund last year was £550,000. Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have both seen multiple victories here in the last 10 years and will be looking to add another to their list here. But after last year’s race holding a novice chaser in first place for the first time in over 40 years, who knows what this year will bring.

There are 5 horses currently all clumped together in the odds market for this race. These are Don Cossack, Vautour, Cue Card, Djakadam and Don Poli, who are all between 4/1 and 6/1. The first three mentioned had a very good battle back in boxing day with Cue Card winning by a nose. Will history repeat itself or will another surprise be on the cards? May be worthwhile having a favourite as the ‘on the nose’ choice and a long odds each way bet. You never know!

Foxhunter chase

The Foxhunter race is a race for amateur riders, racing horses that are 5 years or over. This race is over 3 miles and 2 and a half Furlongs and  has 22 jumps. In order to keep the quality a decent standard there are some qualification stipulations put in place, meaning the horses must win two open point to point races or finish 1st/2nd in two hunter chases.

Nine year old horses seem have performed well historically and last years winner On The Fringe burst in to second gear second from home to win comfortably, aged ten. This year’s favourite is on the fringe despite having a poor run out at Leopardstown in the Inn Hunters Chase back in early February. Mendip Express, AupCharlie, Paint The Clouds and Marito are all currently priced at less than 10/1.

Conditionals handicap hurdle

This race is open to jockeys who have not won more than 75 races. It is open to horses aged 4 years and over and is ran over 2 miles 4 and a half furlongs. It is a handicap race and consists of 9 hurdles. The race is very new, only being established in 2009. There have been 7 races so far, 5 of which went to a six year old. The other two years went to a 5 year old. Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls have both had wins here, with Mullins seeing victory  in the last two years with Don Poli in 2014 and Killultagh Vic last year.

Grand Annual

The Grand Annual is the last race of the  Cheltenham festival day 4 and indeed the last race of the entire festival. It is also the oldest race. it is 2 miles and half a furlong in length. It is a handicap race with 14 jumps to overcome. The race is now known as the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual chase and is named after Nicky Henderson’s father.

Recent years suggest you should be looking at a 8/9 year old horse. Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have both seen 2 wins here in the last 10 years and with the race being named after Nicky’s father, we feel he will be putting in maximum effort here to get the victory. The last time a trainer won this race 2 years on the bounce was back in 1980-81, so we think Michael Scudamore, Jr. (last years winning trainer with Tom Scudamore and Next Sensation) has his work cut out here if he wants to win again this year.