Cheltenham Tips | Gold Cup Tips | Cheltenham Festival Predictions

15th Mar 2019

Day 3 Review:
 
We had Voix De Reve and Mengli Khan each way in the first. Voix De Reve was traveling nicely but fell 3 out. Mengli Khan had every chance but finished 3rd at 16/1. We really fancied Sire De Berlais in the 2nd race quoting myself "all Barry would have to do is steer him". It wasn't that easy but he won and that's all that matters. The horse didn't jump too well and was under pressure for most of the race but he was carried home for the win at odds of 11/2 advised. Our outsider A Toi Phil placed at 20/1. Monalee was disappointing in the Ryanair, he jumped really well but just did not get home. Frodon who was 1 of 3 horses that I liked in the race won the race. Supasundae was also disappointing in the Stayers Hurdle. The Jessica Harrington horse have been running poor all week and maybe their not right. Paisley Park out stayed them all and could well follow up in the race next year. A mighty run by Faugheen in 3rd. He'll be one to follow at Punchestown next. One of our 2 outsider in the Brown Advisory placed and it was Didero Vallis who was 5th at 25/1. The Mare Novice Hurdle was the next race and it was one hell of a finish. Our 50/1 selection Eglantine Du Seuil passed 11 horses in the last 2 furlongs to get up on the line to win from his stablemate and our other selection in the race who was Tintangle 3rd at 50/1. The winner wasn't a large staked selection of ours but heck I'd take a 50/1 winner anyday of the week! We hope most of you were on. Both the winner and 2nd are two mares to take from this race. I wouldn't be surprised if both win at Punchestown. One of our selections placed in the last race. No Comment was given a poor ride but finished very strongly to get 5th. We liked the chances of the winner Any Second Now, we thought he would place due to his string of placed efforts but we didn't see that win coming. We had 2 selections that let us down today but with 2 winners and several places it's a profitable day again which makes it 3 out of 3. Hopefully we can finish strong today! 
 
Total Points Staked: 26
Total Points Return: 64.7
 
Profit Loss Over 3 Days: + 51.1 points
 
Day 4:
 
Race 1: Triumph Hurdle - 1:30 PM
 
This race has been on of the best races for favourites in recent years at the festival with 3 of the last 4 winners going off as favourite. The trends suggest Irish and French bred horses must be followed. Horses with proven grade 1 form and horses who ran within the last 55 days. Nicky Henderson and Gordon Elliott have had the best records in this race of late. Joesph O'Brien has won this race once from 2 runners. The most prominent trial in the past 20 years for this race has been Leopardstown's Spring Juvenile Hurdle, a Grade 1 event staged at the Dublin Festival meeting in early February. Six winners have emerged from this race including the first two home in last years race filling the same two spots. The 2019 renewal was a Joseph O'Brien trained 1-2 with Sir Erec winning impressively from Gardens of Babylon. Sir Erec was a formerly very smart Flat horse when trained by Joseph's father Aidan. This horse finished 3rd in the Group 2 Long Distance cup over 2 miles at Ascot on soft ground. He was only beaten 2L by multiple Group 1 winner Stradivarius. He was rated 109 on the flat. At the end of the Flat season Aidan sent this horse and 100 more to Joseph's yard to go hurdling. Joseph said recently that his father told him Sir Erec would be the best of the lot. This horse was strongly fancied on hurdle debut. 
 
He didn't jump too well in the race but always travelled like a good thing. Tiger Tap Tap came at him jumping the last and was upsides but Sir Erec outstayed him and won doing enough. Sir Erec was then stepped up to Grade 1 level and won the key trial for this race at Leopardstown. His jumping early wasn't the best but the faster the horse went the better it's jumping got. He made all the running that day unlike on hurdling debut. He stacked them up rounding the final bend and put in a very quick jump at the last. He was asked to pick up by Mark Walsh and the horse sprinted away from the field. It was a great performance. Both of his hurdles win have come on good ground but he has won on heavy on the flat and has no ground concerns. Istabraq is my favourite horse of all time and this horse from the same connections reminds me so much of that one. The horse just oozes class and has the potential to go right to the top over hurdles. This horse is still a colt, he's actually the only colt running at the festival. Due to this horses Group form he could have a future at stud. There is only 1 filly in the race, of course he's trained by Willie Mullins. Before betting on this horse I suggest you wait until after they come out of the parade ring. Just on the off chance this horse gets "too excited". Otherwise I believe this horse is bombproof and should win with a clear run. 
 
Tiger Tap Tap had every chance to beat Sir Erec in their 2 meetings, I can't see that one even getting close to Sir Erec today. The Paul Nicholls trained Quel Destin has won 5 races in a row but the form of those does not look up to this level. Horses who have had more than 4 hurdle runs don't do well in this race. Horses with only 1 or 2 runs usually win this. Pic D'orhy another Paul Nicholls horse, has shown a good level of form in France but he's only won 1 from 7 races. This is his first run for Nicholls too. He could well place but I don't think he has the class to win this. Gardens Of Babylon is another Joseph O'Brien trained horse. He is another former flat horse. He actually finished 6L behind stablemate Sir Erec in a Flat Maiden. He won on hurdles debut beating Surin. That horse beat him on its next start. He then ran a decent 2nd behind Sir Erec last time out and he had Surin in behind. It's clear Sir Erec is the better horse. The stiffer finish here is sure to suit this horse but it will also suit Sir Erec. I believe Sir Erec can win this race and his stablemate Gardens of Babylon can into 2nd. Pentland Hills won nicely on hurdles debut for Nicky Henderson. His horses have to be noted in this race. Pentland Hill's was only rated 70 on the flat, a whopping 39lb less than Sir Erec. I do believe he will be a better hurdler an could well place at a big price. This race though is all about Sir Erec.
 
Selection: Sir Erec 10/11 ★★★★★ ( Win - Skybet - William Hill )
 
Race 2: County Hurdle 2:10
 
This race run over 2 miles and 1 furlong is usually run at a very fast pace. It can pay to follow hold up horses in this race. Wicklow Brave, Artic Fire, Ted Veale and Alderwood were all held up for a late run in this race in recent years and were winners. The classier horses at the top half of the handicap usually do best in this rather than the ones down the bottom of the weights. This is not a good race for favourites and the winners in the last ten years range from 8/1 to 33/1. Willie Mullins has won the race 4 times in the last 10 years and usually won it with his 2nd or 3rd fancy. Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls are other trained with a good record in this. Gordon Elliott has had 12 runners, no winners and only 2 placed horses but that may change today. Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott both have 3 runners. Mohaayed won this race last year beating todays rival Whiskey Sour into 3rd. Mohaayed is a stone higher this year though and that may prove a stopping block today. Whisky Sour is 11lb better off with that rival today. This horse was kept on the go after Cheltenham last year and placed twice in 3 days at the Punchestown Festival. He ran 5th at Royal Ascot and then ran a somewhat disappointing 7th in the Galway Hurdle. He was also well beaten on its next 2 flat starts. Possibly the horse had a long season and he lost his form. He's been off since November so comes here fresh. This race has been the main aim all season and I can see him running well again. I just get the feeling he might get out classed by a few of these. Willie Mullins record with favourites is also very poor in this race. I really like the chances of 3 horses in this race, they are Western Ryder, Mr Adjudicator and Eclair De Beaufeu. 
 
Western Ryder is a horse with a touch of class. He was a very good novice and finished 6th in the Supreme Novices and then 5th in another Grade 1 novice at Aintree. This horse was 5th in the Greatwood at this track on seasonal appearance. He was then 3rd in the grade 2 International Hurdle. He had Champion Hurdle 3rd Silver Streak just in front of him then 3rd in a decent handicap at Ascot in December behind Mohaayed and Lisp. He is better off with those two today. He was then 3rd in the Champion Hurdle Trial again finished not too far behind Champion Hurdle 3rd Silver Streak. This horse has been running off big weights in handicaps this year and running well in graded races. He has a big weight again today but they have a 5lb claimer riding which will help. He also has 1st time blinkers which may do the trick. 
 
Mr Adjudicator was a very good novice hurdler and is possibly the best horse in the race. He beat Farclas at Leopardstown before running 2nd in the Triumph Hurdle on this day last year. He was then 2nd in a grade 1 at Punchestown. The horse has just had the 1 run this season, mainly due to the lack of soft ground in Ireland. He did run a great race to be 2nd to subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D'allen. This horse could well be better than this mark even though he is high up the weights. Willie Mullins usually wins this with his 2nd choice. I believe this is his main hope in the race and Paul Townend knows the horse well. The other one I like is the Gordon Elliott trained Eclair De Beaufeu. This horse to me looks like the least exposed horse in the race. This horse was placed in a few maiden hurdles including behind the talented Sams Profile. It took this horse a good few runs before winning but Elliott said the horse was backward but is slowly turning into a good horse. He won a maiden hurdle and then a rated hurdle from 2 decent yardsticks. He was then 4th in a very hotly contested handicap at Leopardstown on his most recent run. That race has been the best trial for this race in recent years. This horse was a never nearer fast finishing 4th over 2 miles. He had former Triumph Hurdle winner Ivan Gorbachev and former Champion Hurdle winner Jezki in front of him that day. The step up in trip and stiffer track will definitely suit this horse today. At 12/1 I think this horse is a cracking bet. 
 
Selections:
 
Eclair De Beaufeu 10/1 ★/ (5 Places Each Way - Will Hill)
Mr Adjudicator 12/1 ★/(6 Places Each Way - Coral )
 
Outsider:
 
Western Ryder 16/1  (0.5 Each Way 6 Places - Coral )
 
Race 3: Albert Bartlett 2:50 PM
 
Of all the races at the festival this race, the Supreme and the Ballymore are the ones in which you can predict the winner the easiest. We tipped the winners of those races so lets hope we keep that streak alive. Willie Mullins won this with Penhill 2 years back but his record in this beforehand was abysmal. Noel Meade has had 1 winner and 1 place from 2 starts. Colin Tizzard is another trainer with a decent record in it. There will be a tendency for trainers to run horses who are seen as having a big future over fences but that does not necessarily mean all similar types will have what is required to be competitive in this race, Unowhatimeanharry's (2016 winner) career path remained over the smaller obstacles and went on to further Grade 1 success. Previous good form in a Graded Hurdle appears to be a prerequisite for success in the Albert Bartlett, the betting market has also provided a fairly accurate guide with six of the first nine Albert Bartlett winners going off at single figure odds but more recently we have seen the last five winners go off at odds varying from 11/1 to 33/1 so fancying an outsider in this is a good thing and we sure do like a big outsider in this. The most successful trial has been Cheltenham's Classic Novices Hurdle run on Festival Trials Day towards the end of January, three Albert Bartlett winners had their prep here and this year was won by Nicky Henderson's Birchdale. Four winners came from either Haydock's Prestige Novices Hurdle (won by Lisnagar Oscar) at the end of February or Leopardstown's Grade 2 Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Festival meeting in early February, won by Gordon Elliott's Commander Of Fleet. 
 
Some interesting trends are already developing in the Albert Bartlett for some of the leading national hunt sires, Oscar is leading the way with 3 wins and a place from just 13 runners. Lisnagar Oscar is the only offspring of Oscar in this and has to be noted. Birchdale is favourite for this at 5/1. He's unbeaten in 3 runs, 1 in a point and 2 in novice hurdles. He won nicely on rules debut on good ground and was very impressive last time out when stepped up in grade. The form of that race in recent weeks has not looked good. Birchdale is will be ridden by Barry Geraghty today. He's picking this one over potential improver Dickie Diver. Both of these horse don't have the experience of some of the others in this race. Experience counts for an awful lot in this race. Theres not question that both of these two horses are top prospects for the future but I just think they'll lack the experience to win today. Allaho is another one who may lack experience. He won a poor race at Clonmel last time out. I couldn't have him. Commander of Fleet is trained by Gordon Elliott, he has yet to win this race. This horse has more experience than the most of these. Commander Of Fleet won a point and won the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at Fairyhouse on rules debut. The horse then won on hurdles debut. He disappointed on its next run when upped to graded level. The trip was deemed to be too short then. The horse was then stepped up 6f in trip from 2 mile and won a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle beating todays rivals Rhinestone and First Approach. While he won well and looks like a stayer in the making I question the form of the race. 
 
The ones I like are Derrinross, Lisnagar Oscar and Aye Aye Charlie who all have loads of experience. Derrinross has won twice over this trip unlike most in this field. He beat Sams Profile by 4L 2 starts back in a Grade 3 on heavy ground and then won a grade 2 on soft ground over this trip beating todays rival Cap York. This horse stays very well and will love the ground. 10/1 looks good value. Lisnagar Oscar won a point to point on heavy ground and then placed in a bumper and two novice hurdles. The horse was backward and ran green in those races. He then beat todays rival Dickie Diver when winning for the first time at Chepstow over 2 mile and 3f. Followed that win up with a runaway win over 3 miles at Haydock in a Grade 2 which is a key trial for this race. He destroyed a decent field including today's rival Ask Ben. He looks like a very good prospect and should give Birchdale, Derrinross and Commander of Fleet a good run for their money. 
 
I've liked the chances of Aye Aye Charlie for this race ever since it's last run. I'm shocked by the price of this horse ever since. This horse has by far the most experience of any in this race. This horse is a 2nd season novice. He was a good 7th at 100/1 in last years Ballymore and finished 4th in a Grade 1 at Ainree. He was 2nd to Stoney Mountain on season debut and then won over 2 mile 6f at Kelso. He disappointed on its next run in a race that Lisnagar Oscar finished 2nd in. Aye Aye Charlie's most recent run came in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle over this course and distance. He was 40/1 that day taking on top Grade 1 performers. He was out the back for most of the race but ran through the field late to be 6th. He finished in front of 4 Grade 1 winners that day and was only a few lengths behind yesterdays Stayers Hurdle Sam Spinner. Aye Aye Charlie was beaten a long way that day by Paisley Park but as seen yesterday that horse is a beast. I thought that run as a novice was very good. I managed to get 661 on this horse for the race afterwards and is still available at 40/1. He's had a wind op since. I think he's a live outsider who will be finishing strong. This is a very wide open event but we're hopeful of our selections. 
 
Selections: 
 
Lisnagar Oscar 13/2 ★/( 5 Places Each Way - Coral )
Aye Aye Charlie 40/1 ★/( 5 Places Each Way - Coral )
 
Race 4: Gold Cup - 3:30 PM
 
The Gold Cup is the feature race of the week if not the year in the National Hunt calendar. Trends suggest you need a horse aged between 6 and 9. The winning trainers in this is very spread out, Henderson won 2 in last 10 and several other trainers have won it once in the past 10 years such as Nicholls and Elliott. Willie Mullins has yet to win this race but he's got a lot of horses in the race. Mullins said he is trying a different approach this year, saving most of his horses for the race. Most of his most recent runners ran at the Dublin Festival and performed poor in this. He only has Bellshill from that race this year. Kemboy, Al Boum Photo and Invitational Only have not run since January. That may pay off this year who knows but I don't particularly fancy any of his runners. Al Boum Photo has his jumping issues, fell in the RSA last year. He will like the ground but I don't think he's good enough to win the race. Invitational Only ran a nice race in the Thyestes but he looks more like a National horse than a Gold Cup Horse. Kemboy was very impressive winning the Savilles Chase and looks to be his best chance. The form of that race hasn't panned out as top notch form though. Monalee, Road to Respect, The Storyteller, Coney Island and Balko Des Flos all ran in the Ryanair and were mostly poor. Bellshill barely beat Road to Respect last time too which suggests that form isn't good enough to win a Gold Cup. 
 
I believe last years Gold Cup was a poor renewal. Road to Respect was 4th Anibale Fly 3rd and Mite Bite 2nd to Native River. That form doesn't match up too well with some of this years contenders. Native River has his preferred ground again this year but I just think he'll find one or two too good. I can see him placing for sure though. Bristol De Mai is a great horse around Haydock but he just isn't the same horse at this track. I'd give Thislecrack a good chance, he missed last years Gold Cup and may well have won it. He's ran pretty well in all the trials this year too. His age is against him though, the last time a horse older than 10 won this race was Cool Dawn in 1998. This race for me comes down to three horses who were all novices last year. The younger more progressive horse usually wins this race. The three I like are Clan Des Obeaux, Elegant Escape and Presenting Percy. Clan Des Obeaux has done everything asked of him this season and he was a great winner of the King George over Thistlecrack. Paul Nicholls has won this race 4 times with some great horses such as Kauto Star and Denman. I don't think this horse is in the same league as them though. One major doubt about this horse is its form at Cheltenham He's 0 from 4 here. I think the horse will be there at the finish but I'm not so sure he gets up the hill well enough to win. Elegant Escape sure does get up the hill well as seen in his last start. He was outpaced most of the race and flew up the hill late to run yesterdays winner Frodon close. The extra trip here will also suit. This horse has the same profile Native River had last year. Former Welsh National winner who stays all day and loves soft ground. This horse does have a big amount of ground to make up on main Irish hope Presenting Percy on their RSA run last year. 
 
Presenting Percy won the pertemps at this track 2 seasons back and won the RSA last year in tremendous style beating Elegant Escape by 14L. This horse has been kept under wraps for most of the season and his trainer has come under some scrutiny from the press. The horse just ran once and won the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran very easily. The 2nd in that race was a close 4th in the Stayers Hurdle here yesterday. I wouldn't worry about the horse not running over fences this year I think he's by far the best horse in the race. His jockey Davy Russell said he's never rode work on the horse, never even been to the trainers yard but he said the horse is always perfect on race day and he said the trainer knows exactly what he's doing. I think 4/1 about this horse could be an absolute steal. I'm really looking forward to this race and hopefully see Presenting Percy surge up that hill to victory.
 
Selection: Presenting Percy 4/1  (Win - Bet365)
Outsider: Elegant Escape 16/1 ★/( 4 Places Each Way Skybet)
 
Race 5: Foxhunters - 4:10 PM
 
This in my opinion is the worst race at the festival but it's one of the oldest races. It's a race for hunter chasers, basically older horses who at the end of their career. It's run over the Gold Cup trip and is an amateurs only race. It's not a race to get too involved in. Pacha Du Polder won this race the last two years and probably should have won it for the last 3 years only for they let Victoria Pendleton a cyclist ride the horse as a media campaign. Pacha hasn't showed anything this season though and his trainer Paul Nicholls said the horse will be retired after the race. It could place but I can't see it winning again. Last years 2nd Top Wood and 3rd Cousin Pete return again but the race looks a better renewal this years with some more classier types in the field. Road to Rome has been winning plenty of hunter chases but all of its form is on good ground. I narrowed this race down to 6 horses that have a winning chance. Shantou Flyer has been winning of late and was 2nd in the Ultima last year. I have some doubts about the horses stamina though. Haymount was placed in the 4 miler here for Willie Mullins in 2017 but hasn't shown and form under rules since. He did win 2 points recently but he might find some younger rivals too good. 
 
Southfield Theatre is always a horse that promised so much but never really delivered. He was 3rd in the RSA here in 2015. Hasn't shown much form under rules in a long time but like Haymount he may find some younger rivals too good. Ucello Conti was a rather frustrating horse for Gordon Elliott. The horse always found a few horses too good but would place. He was aimed at the Grand National the last few years but it didn't go to plan. He won his first race in a long time this season when been reverted to hunter chases. He since won a further 2 hunter chases. The form of those races isn't anything special but based on his old form he must have a good chance. He has the services of Jamie Codd in the saddle also. This horse has no course form though which is off putting. The horse avoided the festival for the last 4 seasons for Aintree instead. This horses main target may be the Hunters Chase over the National fences at Aintree next month. He'll most likely place but I don't think he's one for win purposes. Hazel Hill has won 14 out of 15 career races, most of which were either point to points or Hunter Chases. He knows how to win and is sure to have a great chance in this. There's been good vibes for this horse the past few weeks and has been a market mover.
 
I think he'll fight out the finish with the Enda Bolger trained Stand Up and Fight who is my idea of the winner. This horse is only 7 and is still unexposed unlike most of these horses. It's trainer has a tremendous record in the race the past 10 years. He's won it twice and had 3 places from only 6 runners. He won it in back to back years with On The Fringe in 2015 and 2016. He didn't really have a horse for it the last few years because On the Fringe had gotten old and lost its form. This horse has lots of potential though. He was placed in a bumper and won a novice hurdle. Most of Enda's take years to show any winning form but this one was good from the start. It was 2nd to Gold Cup Hope Al Boum Photo in a grade novice hurdle. This horse didn't show much as a novice over fences but was running over too short of a distance. The horse won a good point to point at the start of the campaign and won a hunters chase beating a decent field of runners at Down Royal. He was 2nd in a point in its last start to a horse who has won twice since. This horse's jockey said this horse may be the best hunter chaser he has ever ridden. We don't think it's a cert or anything but he has the best profile and looks on the rise. 
 
Selection: Stand Up and Fight 9/2 ( Win - William Hill )
 
Race 6: Grand Annual 4:50 PM

The best way to solve this puzzle of a race is to delve into the trends. This race has been won 14 of the last 20 times by the U.K trained runners. Since 2014 the last five winners have carried 11-00 or more, the first three home in 2018 carried 11-7 or more but also worth noting that none of those three were heading the weights. Perhaps goes a long way in suggesting a low weight is not a requirement. Novices have a decent record in this race. However, as the class of the field increases, this may make it harder for novices. As stated often, previous Festival form is a big plus point with 8 of the last 10 Grand Annual winners having previously run at least once at the Festival. Four Grand Annual winners and three placed from forty runners had their final prep run at Newbury, three winners and twelve placed from sixty two starters came via a Sandown 
run races. 
 
Since the race was named after his father in 2005, Nicky Henderson has had two winners at 20/1 and a further 10 horses placed including a 33/1 shot, two at 16/1, one at 12/1 and three at 10/1.This will always be a race that the Henderson stable will focus on and their runners will continue to require close attention, the one proviso is because of Nicky Henderson's desire to win this race is well documented there is a chance some of his horses may become increasingly overbet (not good value in relation to their chance). Paul Nicholls has won this race 4 times including last year. The Grand Annual does not seem to be high on Willie Mullins Cheltenham hit list, he has had just six runners in the last twenty years and has yet to finish closer than fifth. Worth bearing in mind Willie's record in handicap chases at the festival is 0 wins and just 6 placed from 30 runners in the last 20 years.
 
I'd give last years winner Le Prezien a chance but his yard looks to have a better chance with others. Bun Doran has course form at the festival and won here in November. Went up 10lb for that win though. Would also prefer better ground. It could be very cut up by the time of this race. Whatswrongwithyou is the only Nicky Henderson trained horse in the field. Won it's last two starts nicely and still isn't fully matured. Henderson's horses have to be noted in this as previously stated. I just think he's much shorter in the betting than he should be. He has a bit to do with some of these on form. Not Another Muddle has been progressive this season in low grade handicaps. All of its form is on soft ground which is a good thing in this. He's mostly been held to small fields which is a worry but could place. It has work to do at the weights with Gino Trail based on this one's 2nd last run. 
 
Gino Trail is a very consistent horse and really is a credit to this connections. This horse has won 7 races, placed multiple times and won over 140,000 for its connections. This horse ran an incredible race in this race off a big weight last year. The horse led all race and was only caught on the run in by Le Prezien. He had todays rival Top Gamble a neck away in 3rd. Gino Trail is on the same mark this year and carry's a big weight again but he's well up to the task. I can see this horse making it a real test and he won't go down without a fight under champion jockey Richard Johnson. Top Gamble is 6lb better off with Gino Trail this year but the horse has failed to compete in it's last two races. This horse isn't the most straight forward either. Minds Eye ran a very eye catching race last time out suggesting the stiff finish here would really suit. Has been running in decent graded races in Ireland this season too. I'd have the race between Mind's Eye and the Paul Nicholls trained Magic Saint. He's only a 5 year old but ex French horses are trained earlier and run earlier than U.K and Irish horses. Ex French horses do particularly well in this race as does its trainer. Magic Saint's form is very strong, was 2nd to actival on seasonal reappearance. That horse was placed here earlier in the week. Magic Saint then finished 5th to Hells Kitchen on its next start. I'd ignore that run, the trip was too far. The winner ran a nice race in the Champion Chase here Wednesday. Magic Saint beat Gino Trail last time out. That horse was 2nd in this race last year. That suggests this horse can go close. Magic Saint was getting 7lb off that rival that day and only gets 3lb off that rival today. Magic Saint is 5 though and Gino Trail is 12. You would think Magic Saint has more potential for improvement. I'd recommend doing a combination forecast on Magic Saint, Gino Trail and Mind's Eye, it could pay well. 
 
Selection:
 
Magic Saint 5/1 ★/ (5 Places Each Way - Coral )
Gino Trail 20/1 ★/ (5 Places Each Way - William Hill )
 
Race 7: Martin Pipe Hurdle - 5:30 PM
 
This handicap hurdle was introduced to the Festival in 2009 named after the great Martin Pipe who trained 34 Cheltenham winners. This race is run over two and a half miles and is only open to Conditional Jockeys. This race is usually won by out and out stayers who go onto greater things. Gigginstown have won the race 4 times in the past 8 years. They only purchase National Hunt staying types who's target one day will be the Gold Cup. They usually start their good ones off in this race at the festival and usually they are better than the rest and just out stay most. Gordon Elliott has won the race for the last two years with Gigginstown owned horses. He Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls have the best record in this race. 
 
The standout horses in this race for me are the Elliott trio of Dallas Des Pictons, Defi Bleu, Cartwright and the Willie Mullins trained Getareason. Getareason has been running well in graded novice races this year. He's not as well handicapped as some of these but based on its 2nd to City Island at Galway he has to be given a chance. Cartwright is an ex Flat horse who had a decent season as a novice hurdler last season. He won a few times including on heavy ground. Hadnt't shown much form in a while but did stay on late last time out over a shorter trip. His stable have two better chances in Dallas Des Pictons and Defi Bleu who are both Gigginstown owned horses. Defi Bleu was 3rd in a grade 2 novice, he was just behind Getareason then. He would have been much closer if not finished in front of that rival only for some sketchy jumping. It's 2nd in a Grade 1 behind Derrinross is top form and that one could boost the form earlier on the card. Defi Bleu disappointed last time out but I think he can be forgiven that run. Makes his handicap debut today and is sure to go well. 
 
His stablemate Dallas Des Pictons has been a major gamble for this race in recent times. He fits the same profile as the last two years winners from this yard. This horse was only 3L behind Ballymore winner City Island and then won 2 races on the trot. at Punchestown and at Leopardstown. The last win came over 3 miles. Not many of these have not run let alone win over 3 miles. I think this horse will be too classy for these. It's stablemate looks it's nearest rival but he should him them based on some form lines. Has last years winning jockey on board also. Let's keep this simple and go with the Gigginstown two. 
 
Selection: Dallas Des Pictons  7/2 ★★★★ 7/2 ( Win - Skybet ) 
Outsider: Defi Bleu 14/1 ★/★ ( 6 Places Each Way - Skybet )
 
                                   _____________________________________________
 
Day 4:
 
Main Win Selection:
 
Sir Erec 10/11 ★★★★★ ( Win - Skybet - William Hill )
Dallas Des Pictons  7/2 ★★★★ 7/2 ( Win - Skybet ) 
Presenting Percy 4/1  (Win - Bet365)
Magic Saint 5/1  (Win - Coral )
 
Stand Up and Fight 9/2  ( Win - William Hill )
 
Main Each Way Selections:
 
Eclair De Beaufeu 10/1 ★/ (5 Places Each Way - Will Hill)
Lisnagar Oscar 13/2 ★/( 5 Places Each Way - Coral )
Mr Adjudicator 12/1 ★/(6 Places Each Way - Coral )
Elegant Escape 16/1 ★/( 4 Places Each Way Skybet)
 
Outsiders:
 
Defi Bleu 14/1 ★/★ ( 6 Places Each Way - Skybet )
Aye Aye Charlie 40/1  (0.5 Each Way 5 Places - Coral )
Gino Trail 20/1  (0.5 Each Way 5 Places - William Hill )
Western Ryder 16/1  (0.5 Each Way 6 Places - Coral )

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