Cheltenham Festival: Day Four (Gold Cup Day) Preview & Betting Tips - 15th March 2013

The final day of the Cheltenham Festival is, of course, all about the Gold Cup. The jump racing season has built up to this day, and with seven races in total it is a fine feast of racing that awaits.

So read on for our betting tips for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and all the other races as we try to help you finish the Festival with a sizeable profit.

1:30 – JCB Triumph Hurdle – Grade 1, 2m1f

Kicking off with the Triumph Hurdle, the leading event for juveniles in the National Hunt calendar. Clearly with the runners being exclusively four-year-olds, there is less form to assess when picking your bets. But we have our eye on a couple of horses.

The Festival has not bee as kind as many expected to Nicky Henderson but we fancy his French horse Rolling Star in this one. He has won both of his hurdles to date including – crucially – the Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham in January by over two lengths from the odds-on favourite, Irish Saint. Available at 7/2 with Betfred, he’s our main pick here.

For a longer odds each way prospect, consider Stocktons Wing, available at 20/1 with SkyBet. He won a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Fairyhouse last time out, and has won two, been second twice and third once from his five hurdles to date.

Offers On This Race:

  • Place a £10 bet on the Triumph Hurdle and Coral will stick a £10 free bet in your account. Details.
  • Back a winner at odds of 4/1 or more and get a free bet to use on the Handicap Hurdle at 2:05. Read our summary or claim this offer from Bet365.

2:05 – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle – Grade 3, 2m1f

The County Hurdle is a handicap of just over two miles in length which is particularly difficult to assess. In the last six years the winners have ranged in age from five to nine-years-old, and in weight from 10-0 to 11-1. In other words, no discernable patterns on which to base your selections.

The market is equally equivocal with eight horses priced at odds of between 7/1 and 16/1. But despite this we have our eye on a couple of prospective winners.

The Willie Mullins-trained French six-year-old Tennis Cap is our shout for this one at odds of 10/1 with Betfred. He has won three of his nine hurdles to date, as well as his most recent two. Carrying a load of 10-13 here we think he has enough quality to get a place at least.

Offers On This Race:

2:40 – Albert Bartlett Novices´ Hurdle (Registered as the Spa Novices´ Hurdle Race) – Grade 1, 3m

The second Grade 1 of the day, the field contains some excellent novice hurdlers, including Irish six-year-old Ballycasey. The grey was leading the betting, having won both his hurdles to date, but he’s been overtaken by our preferred choice.

That horse is At Fishers Cross. He has been backed in to a best price of 3/1 with Totesport, and was as long as 11/2 in recent days. He has won four and placed second in his six hurdles, and edged victory in the Grade 2 Classic Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in January. He should do the business here.

African Gold looks a fair prospect at 13/2 with Coral having won his last four hurdles, and has already come in from 25s. Definitely worth a look each way.

Offers On This Race:

3:20 – Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase – Grade 1, 3m2f110y

The race we’ve all been waiting for. Won by so many legends of the racing world including Kauto Star, Best Mate, Denman, Arkle, and Golden Miller – who won it five times in a row in the 1930s – this race catches the imagination of the public year in year out.

And this time around things are no different. Okay there is no Kauto Star after his retirement, but there are many worthy horses looking to rise to the pinnacle of jump racing here.

The favourite for victory at the time of writing is Bobs Worth – 11/4 with Bet365 and Betfred. He won the Hennessy Gold Cup ahead of Tidal Bay at Newbury in December, and has been kept under wraps since. He also has excellent form at Cheltenham, winning the RSA Chase last year and the Spa Novices’ Hurdle the year before. He certainly has every chance of success, but then so do three or four others.

We like the look of 2011 winner Long Run. The French eight-year-old won the King George VI on Boxing Day, beating Cue Card, Captain Chris and Riverside Theatre in the process. He also came third in last season’s Gold Cup and we fancy he has what it takes to get round first this time to relive his 2011 success. At 6/1 with Stan James, he offers much better value for us than Bobs Worth.

One horse who could possibly get the better of Long Run et al, however, is Silviniaco Conti. He won the Denman Chase last time out at Newbury as well as the Lancashire Chase and the Charlie Hall Chase in November. At odds of 9/2 with BetVictor the French seven-year-old also looks a fair prospect.

For an each way outsider, you could do worse than Captain Chris who was fourth in the Ryanair Chase at last year’s Festival and has won once and placed second twice since. He’s available at 16/1 with Betfred and others.

Offers On This Race:

4:00 – CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup – 3m2f110y

Sometimes known as the “amateur Gold Cup”, this race is run over the same course and distance as the main event but for amateur riders.

Last year’s winner, Salsify, is back to defend his title and heads the betting at a widely available 11/4. He won a hunters chase at Leopardstown last time out and looks in fine fettle.

However, we prefer the 10/1 shot (BetVictor and Coral), Cottage Oak. The Irish 10-year- old won consecutive hunters chases at Kelso and Haydock in January and February respectively and offers that extra bit of value for us to get our teeth into.

Offers On This Race:

4:40 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys´ Handicap Hurdle – 2m4f110y

Restricted to jump jockeys who have not won more than 75 rules races, this is a notoriously tough one from which to pick a winner.

The field has finally been reduced from nearly 200 to 24, giving us at least a chance of success. The old adage “when in doubt, follow the money” was made for races like this. In which case we’re going straight on David Pipe’s French grey, Gevrey Chambertin.

The five-year-old gelding has won each of his last three races – all hurdles – staying on strongly last time out at Wincanton when winning by seven lengths. Worth the favourite’s tag at odds of 5/1 with Ladbrokes.

Offers On This Race:

  • Place an each way bet on this race and if your horse comes in 5th, you'll get the losing place portion of your bet refunded as a free bet worth up to £200. Click here to claim this offer from Betfred.

5:15 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup (Handicap) – Grade 3, 2m110y

The Grand Annual brings proceedings to an end, and it is the last chance to turn a dismal betting performance into a profit or use your winnings to bolster your funds yet further.

Every winner since 1998 has carried less than 11 stone in weight, and our pick for this one – Brian Ellison’s eight-year-old, Viva Colonia – fits that pattern with 10-11 on his back. He has won his last two chases and appears to be finding his feet over the fences. Available at 16/1 with BetVictor, we hope he can bring home a decent final win for you.

Offers On This Race:

  • Place an each way bet on this race and if your horse comes in 5th, you'll get the losing place portion of your bet refunded as a free bet worth up to £200. Click here to claim this offer from Betfred.

Individual Race Previews & Betting Tips

As with the other days of the festival, we've also written longer previews of some of the more high profile races: