The closing day of the Cheltenham festival brings down the curtain on a surreal week.
The Gold Cup, the blue riband of jumps racing is the feature event on day four. The Willie Mullins trained Al Boum Photo gave the Carlow trainer his first Gold Cup in 2019, is looking to become the first horse since Best Mate to retain the title.
The Triumph Hurdle 1.30
It takes a good horse to win the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton and since Snop Drop did it back in 2000, the race has been a decent Triumph hurdle guide. Solo looks a good horse. His trainer took the same route to Triumph glory with Zarkander.
Betfair Ambassador @PFNicholls looks to have a very nice horse on his hands 🐴✈️
🏆Solo wins easily at Kempton
📈Traded as big as 50 on the @BetfairExchange for this years Triumph Hurdle
📉Now trading at around 4.5 for the race on the exchangepic.twitter.com/UtOzw4A0Is
— Betfair Racing (@BetfairRacing) February 22, 2020
Paul Nicholls has proven again his skill by winning the Champion chase this week with Politilogue, Solo can give the master of Dicheat another triumph success.
Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle 2.10
As ever the County is a deep and tricky contest, JP McManus runners have to be noted with the owner already taking the Pertemps, Coral Cup and Fred Winter. Ciel du Neige looks the best of his, but Thatsy is held in high regard by trainer Gordon Elliott.
Some of the @gelliott_racing horses that will be running in Navan in the next few weeks. Fury Road, Ravenhill, Roaring Bull, General Principle, Woods Well, The Big Lense, Fury Road, bigbandbeautiful, Thatsy. #MeathNHSeasonLaunch pic.twitter.com/upw2X8ew4B
— Navan Racecourse (@NavanRacecourse) November 7, 2019
He didn't have the most enjoyable time at Leopardstown when last seen, he can leave than run behind. Elliott has half a dozen winners and nine places already this week so back Thatsy each way.
Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle 2.50
The Albert Bartlett is a barren hellscape for favourite backers. Since At Fishers Cross won in 2013 the winners of this race have been returned at 33/1, 14/1, 11/1, 16/1, 33/1 and Minella Indo at 50/1 last year.
Latest Exhibition holds all the credentials of a worthy favourite, Aione could run a big race at a big price. He a big galloping lump who won't stop up the hill, the question is whether he will be fast enough, but there is enough compensation in the price. Avail of the each-way concessions.
The Gold Cup 3.30
Willie Mullins will hope Al Boum Photo can put some gloss on a mixed week and retain the Gold Cup, he is a worthy favourite. However, this year's renewal looks better than last year's and as always the grind will be relentless.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) February 17, 2020
One horse who will relish every yard of the grind is Santini, he warmed up in the Cotswolds Chase after having a wind procedure and placed in the RSA last year. Slow horses can win Gold Cups and he cannot be out of the frame.
The Foxhunters Chase 4.10
Patrick Mullins is the most decorated amateur rider in the history of the sport, but the has never won this race know as the "Amateurs' Gold Cup." Billaway could change that, and change the rider's luck this week with three second-placed finishes already this week.
— Naas Racecourse (@NaasRacecourse) January 26, 2020
This horse was bought with the express intention of winning this race, he won the recognised trial at Naas en-route and ranks as a strong selection, with the two JP McManus runners Minella Rocco and Staker Wallace the obvious dangers.
Grand Annual 4.50
Gordon Elliott could have a brilliant day on Friday at Cheltenham and Chosen Mate is the selection in the Grand Annual.
Martin Pipe Conditional Hurdle 5.30
Gordon Elliott learned his trade from Martin Pipe and is always mob-handed in this race and The Bosses Oscar is a bigger price than his stablemate but with the each-way concessions, his form is rock solid and warrants a bet although if the favourite Front View were to oblige, it would not be a shock.