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2021 Cheltenham Festival Day Four Tips – Every race covered on Friday

  • We provide our tips for every race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Three Grade One races will take place at Cheltenham on Friday 19th March
  • A Plus Tard and Minella Indo are our tips in the 2021 Gold Cup
  • Zanahiyr, Bob And Co are Elimay also feature amongst our best bets
  • You Raised Me Up, Threeunderthrufive and Fire Attack are fancied each-way
al boum photo
We're taking on Al Boum Photo in this year's Gold Cup. (Getty)


The eyes of the sporting world will be fixed on Cheltenham on Friday, as a dozen of the best chasers in the country battle it out in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The card on Gold Cup day also features two further Grade Ones, the Hunters’ Chase, a couple of wide-open handicaps and the brand new Mares’ Chase.

We’ve taken a look through the card in full and picked out our best betting tips.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day Four Schedule


Time
Title
Status
Distance
1:30pmTriumph HurdleGrade One2m
2:10pmCounty HurdleGrade Three Handicap2m
2:50pmAlbert Bartlett Novices' HurdleGrade One3m
3:30pmGold CupGrade One3m 2f
4:10pmFoxhunter ChaseClass Two3m 2f
4:50pmMares' ChaseGrade Two2m 4f
5:30pmMartin Pipe Handicap HurdleClass Two Handicap2m 4f

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day Four Tips – Friday 19th March


Race 1 – Triumph Hurdle Tips


Zanahiyr1:20pm Triumph Hurdle (Grade One) 2mGET 6/4 HERE
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I'm not convinced Tritonic should be as short as he is and Quilixios - who'll make a beautiful staying chaser in the coming seasons - doesn't jump as well as some of his rivals, and can be prone to a flat spot.

I still think Adagio has been overlooked and he offers some each-way value. However, ZANAHIYR is clearly the best bet in the opener on day four of the Cheltenham Festival.

Zanahiyr's form is rock-solid, and the fact he hasn't had to move stables means his preparation for Cheltenham has been unaltered. In my main preview of the Triumph, I did a bit of time analysis, which showed that Zanahiyr is clearly the fastest of the leading contenders. Denise Foster’s runner has everything going in his favourite, and I imagine he’ll get hammered in the betting during the build-up.

Triumph Hurdle Best Bet - ZANAHIYR

Race 2 – County Hurdle Tips


You Raised Me Up E/W1:55pm County Hurdle Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2mGET 10/1 HERE
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I backed The Shunter after publishing my initial County Hurdle preview, but he goes for the Paddy Power Plate instead. Thankfully, my second ante-post selection, YOU RAISED ME UP has been entered, and I’m not at all surprised to see how short he’s gotten in the betting.

Martin Brassil’s charge was due to run in this race 12 months ago, but was withdrawn on the day when the ground came up soft. Since then, You Raised Me Up as won twice, beating two future winners at Listowel in September, before winning again in February having skipped the worst of the winter weather. The British handicapper has given him an extra six-pounds, but he’s very lightly raced and has shown in recent starts that there’s more improvement left in his locker.

Gowel Road E/W1:55pm County Hurdle Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2mGET 16/1 HERE
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Ganapathi and Champagne Gold were on my shortlist for the Martin Pipe, and I think both would be better suited by a longer trip. Backing a novice is a strong betting ploy in Cheltenham handicaps, though, so I’m also going to take a punt on GOWEL ROAD, who’s improved with all four of his starts over fences, and handed Good Ball a sound beating on good ground last time out. He looks well-treated with just 10-8 on his back.

County Hurdle Bet 1 – YOU RAISED ME UP (each-way)
County Hurdle Bet 2 – GOWEL ROAD (each-way)

threeunderthrufive
Threeunderthrufive (right) could go well in the Albert Bartlett. (Getty)

Race 3 – Albert Bartlett Tips


I haven’t got a strong opinion on this three-miler. It’s not a race that usually captures my imagination. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stattler win, as his form is strong and his owners sponsor the race. Torygraph and Fakiera could go well. I’ve even had a little nibble on Ask A Honey Bee at 100/1 too, as I feel he could come back to form on decent ground.

My main tip when I published my Albert Bartlett preview was THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE, who’s beaten two future winners on his last two starts. Paul Nicholls’ charge produced his best performance on decent ground at Ludlow, and I can see him getting backed in the build-up to the race.

Ngolo E/W2:30pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3mGET 20/1 HERE
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Since the field was finalised, I’ve had a bet on NGOLO. Willie Mullins’ charge impressed over two miles during the early part of the season, winning a Grade Three before finishing two lengths adrift of Ballyadam in the Royal Bond. I always respect a Mullins runner when they take a giant leap in trip. Ngolo needs good ground and has always shaped like three miles would suit.

Albert Bartlett Bet 1 – THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE (each-way)
Albert Bartlett Bet 2 – NGOLO (each-way)

Race 4 – Gold Cup Tips


A Plus Tard3:05pm Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m2fGET 5/1 HERE
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Despite everything Al Boum Photo has achieved, I’m happy to take him on. Last year’s edition of the Gold Cup clearly wasn’t strong, as the five horses who followed Paul Townend home have failed to win a race between them in ten starts since. His inactivity, although planned, is still off-putting, and I don’t think he offers much value at his current price.

I don’t like Champ’s prep and he’s far from the best jumper in the race. This is a massive leap in class for Royal Pagaille, who’s only run in one Graded race in his life. Native River – who would want the ground to be much softer – will make sure Frodon doesn’t get a freebie on the front-end, like he did in the King George. I couldn’t have Kemboy or Santini on my mind and Lostintranslation, who I backed 12 months ago, has endured a woeful campaign.

A PLUS TARD and MINELLA INDO were my selections when I published my Gold Cup guide at the start of February, and I remain confident that Henry De Bromhead’s runners are the ones to be on.

A Plus Tard has plenty of previous at Cheltenham, having won the novices’ handicap chase in 2019 before finishing a close third in last year’s Ryanair. Rachael Blackmore’s mount proved his stamina by tracking down Kemboy and Melon to win the Savills Chase, and he’s been freshened up since. To me, A Plus Tard is the most likely winner.

Minella Indo E/W3:05pm Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m2fGET 12/1 HERE
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I’ve long been a fan of Minella Indo, and backed him to win the Gold Cup right at the start of the season. Some may find his last couple of runs off-putting. However, De Bromhead’s charge was going well before a soft fall over Christmas, and was being produced to challenge Kemboy in the Irish Gold Cup before a terrible error at the second-last ended his challenge.

Henry De Bromhead’s stalwart, Monalee got within two lengths of Al Boum Photo in last year’s Gold Cup. Both A Plus Tard and Minella Indo are far better than their stablemate, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see either get the job done. Henry De Bromhead could be lifting the Gold Cup for the first time come Friday afternoon.

Gold Cup Best Bet – A PLUS TARD
Gold Cup Each-Way Bet – MINELLA INDO (each-way)

A Plus Tard
Rachael Blackmore and A Plus Tard won at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019. (Getty)

Race 5 – Hunters’ Chase Tips


Bob And Co3:40pm St James’s Place Hunters’ Chase (Class 2) 3m2fGET 9/2 HERE
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I really fancy BOB AND CO, for four-time Hunters' Chase-winning trainer Paul Nicholls. Bob And Co was campaigned at Grade One level in France, and his only defeat in Britain came when rider and owner, David Maxwell was forced to pull his front-running mount up after losing all the strength in his legs.

Nicholls’ ten-year-old won twice under Maxwell last season. On his only start this term, Sean Bowen gave him a brilliant ride when securing an emphatic victory at Haydock. I think Bob And Co is the classiest horse Paul Nicholls has ever run in the Hunters Chase, and I’m delighted to see Bowen retain his spot in the saddle.
I’ve also had a small each-way bet on SALVATORE, for Mel Rowley and Lee Edwards. Salvatore has won both his starts this season, scoring in a point-to-point at Larkhill before beating a decent yard-stick in Alacala under rules at Musselburgh. Rowley eight-year-old finished third in the Point-To-Point Final here at Cheltenham in 2019, and he’s certainly improved over the last two years. Salvatore could run a big race.

Hunters’ Chase Best Bet – BOB AND CO
Hunters’ Chase Each-Way Bet – SALVATORE (each-way)

Race 6 – Mares’ Chase Tips


Elimay4:15pm Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m4fGET 11/8 HERE
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With three places up for grabs, Magic Of Light could be a decent each-way bet. However, in mares’ races at the Cheltenham Festival, you simply have to side with Willie Mullins, and ELIMAY looks to be one of his best chances of the whole week in the Mares' Chase.

Elimay has lost just once over fences during her career, following Allaho home in a Grade Two at Thurles earlier this year. Mark Walsh’s mount then looked a class above Shattered Love and Yukon Lil when carrying a penalty to victory at Naas. Colreevy is a dangerous rival, but she’s a novice and all of her best form has come on soft ground. I can’t see past Elimay.

Mares’ Chase Best Bet - ELIMAY

Race 7 – Martin Pipe Tips


I’ve already backed two horses to win this year's Martin Pipe. Sadly, Wide Receiver was ruled out with injury, and Champagne Gold has been declared in the County Hurdle. The last name left on my original four-horse shortlist is FIRE ATTACK, and he’ll be my final bet of the Cheltenham Festival.

Joseph O’Brien sent Fire Attack straight out over this trip on his hurdles debut, and he ran a belter to finish second to Fakiera in a Grade Three. Things haven’t gone to plan over two miles since then, but Fire Attack did run nicely behind a very classy sort in Thedevilscoachman last time out. Stepping back up in trip will definitely suit and he’s more than capable of winning off a mark of 138.

Martin Pipe Best Bet – FIRE ATTACK (each-way)
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