Cheltenham Festival Day 4 – Gold Cup Day – Tips & Predictions

Everything you need to know ahead of Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival of horse racing.

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For four days in March the racing world centres on the Cotswolds countryside and the famous Cheltenham Festival. This spectacular showpiece is rightfully labelled ‘the greatest show on turf’ and racing does not have anything quite like it for atmosphere, occasion and pure sporting theatre.

Gold Cup Day on Friday 18th March is the culmination of a season of jumps action, the long winter slog all aimed at this spring target in the Cotswolds amphitheatre.

The Cheltenham Cold Cup is the Blue Ribband of racing; the most prestigious jumps race in the calendar and one which has been won by the all-time greats of steeplechasing. This is where history is created.

Betting Tips & Predictions

It’s the final fling for Cheltenham Festival punters on Friday afternoon as the Gold Cup itself takes centre stage at 3.05pm. Al Boum Photo will attempt to join Best Mate as a hat-trick winning Blue Riband hero this century and his claims are strong, despite Champ’s looming presence and Minella Indo bidding to give Henry De Bromhead a unique treble of Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup in one sitting.

Our tipster marks your card for the final afternoon of action from the Cotswolds.

Click on one of the race names below for the latest betting tips and predictions:

TimeRace TipsDistancePrize Money
13:20Triumph Hurdle2m1f£125,000
13:55County Handicap Hurdle2m1f£100,000
14:30Novices’ Hurdle3m£125,000
15:05Cheltenham Gold Cup3m2½f   £625,000
15:40St James’ Palace Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase3m2½f  £45,000
16:15Mares’ Chase2m4f£90,000
16:50Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle2m4½f£70,000

Alongside the Gold Cup itself there are Grade 1s in the Triumph Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle as well as County Hurdle and the Foxhunters Chase – the Gold Cup for amateur riders – on a super seven-race card.

Race 1 – 13:20 Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)

The Triumph Hurdle is the starting point on Gold Cup Day and this 2m1f Grade 1 brings together the pick of the four-year-old crop from Britain, Ireland and France. Nicky Henderson has won the race a record seven times.

2021QuilixiosHenry de BromheadRachael Blackmore2/1
2020Burning VictoryWillie MullinsPaul Townend12/1
2019Pentland HillsNicky HendersonNico de Boinville20/1
2018FarclasGordon ElliottJack Kennedy9/1

Race 2 – 13:55 County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

A deeply competitive handicap and one which routinely attracts a maximum field, the County Hurdle has been won on four occasions each by leading trainers Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls.

2021Belfast BanterPeter FaheyKC Sexton33/1
2020Saint RoiWillie MullinsBarry Geraghty11/2
2019Ch’tibelloDan SkeltonHarry Skelton12/1
2018MohaayedDan SkeltonBridget Andrews33/1

Race 3 – 14:30 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

A thorough stamina test for the novice hurdlers, this three-mile contest requires a mature performer to get the trip. It was added in 2005 when The Festival moved to four days and has already produced a future Gold Cup winner (Bobs Worth 2011) and future Stayers’ Hurdle winner (Penhill 2017).

2021VanillierGP CromwellMP Walsh14/1
2020MonkfishWillie MullinsPaul Townend5/1
2019Minella IndoHenry De BromheadRachel Blackmore50/1
2018Kilbricken StormColin TizzardHarry Cobden33/1

Race 4 – 15:05 The Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1)

The main event of the four days and, indeed, of the jumps season in Britain and Ireland, the Gold Cup is the most storied of races. This is the Blue Ribband of jumps racing and the honours board is who’s who of racing folklore.

2021Minella IndoHenry de BromheadJW Kennedy9/1
2020MonkfishWillie MullinsPaul Townend100/30fav
2019Al Boum PhotoWillie MullinsPaul Townend12/1
2018Native RiverColin TizzardRichard Johnson5/1

Race 5 – 15:40 St James’s Palace Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase

This is the Gold Cup for amateur riders and is run over the same course and distance as the preceding Grade 1 event.

2021Porlock BayW BiddickLorcan Williams16/1
2020It Came To PassEugene O’SullivanMaxine O’Sullivan66/1
2019Hazel HillPhilip RowleyAlex Edwards7/2
2018Pacha Du PolderPaul NichollsHarriet Tucker25/1

Race 6 – 16:15 Mares’ Steeple Chase

2021 is the first year that the Mares’ Steeple Chase will be held at the Cheltenham Festival. Organisers expect the Mares’ Chase to be a fantastic addition to the programme of races on Gold Cup Day.

2021ColreevyWP MullinsP Townend9/4

Race 7 – 16:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle is now the final curtain-call for the Cheltenham Festival. This race has been around since 2009 and is run in honour of Martin Pipe, 15-time Champion Trainer in Britain and a 34-time winner at this Festival.

2021Galopin Des ChampsWillie MullinsSF O’Keefe8/1
2020IndefatigablePaul WebberRex Dingle25/1
2019Early DoorsJoseph O’BrienJonjo O’Neill5/1
2018Blow By BlowGordon ElliottDonagh Meyler11/1

Previous: Cheltenham Festival Day 3


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