THIS has been a wonderful meeting so far but sadly tomorrow’s headlines will be dominated by the wellbeing of two jockeys. Our thoughts are with JT McNamara and Davy Russell. Cheltenham Gold Cup day is so special and I’ve previewed today’s big race in a separate horse-by-horse guide here. But the supporting card is truly magnificent…
1.30: Triumph Hurdle: Far West, Our Conor and Rolling Star set a very high standard but I was blown away by the debut of KASHMIR PEAK at Market Rasen last autumn. He is also one of this site’s horses to follow, so I’ve got to stay loyal.
2.05: County Hurdle: Cotton Mill will take a lot of beating but looks vulnerable to something nailing him up the hill. Another of our notebook horses MANYRIVERSTOCROSS may look an unlikely winner but he is well handicapped, the trainer is in good form and he will like the end-to-end gallop: a speculative each-way punt in what is a minefield of a race.
2.40: Albert Bartlett Hurdle: A cracking contest in which Rebecca Curtis holds a strong hand. At Fishers Cross looks formidable and her second string O’Faolains Boy (another of our horses to follow) has an each-way chance. But UTOPIE DES BORDES should relish the stamina test and she looks an exceptional mare. The 7lb mares’ allowance could prove crucial.
3.20: Cheltenham Gold Cup: I have previewed the big race in a separate runner-by-runner article here.
4.00: Foxhunters’ Chase: I won’t be risking too much on this but CREEVYTENNANT is interesting and is worth a few each-way shillings. Faasel is worth a special mention. He’s running at his seventh Cheltenham Festival. His amazing record has included three seconds and a fourth. I wonder if he holds some sort of record?
4.40: Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle: David Pipe has not had a great week and from a bumper entry relies on the highly promising GEVREY CHAMBERTIN, who looks an outstanding prospect. Imperial Cup winner First Avenue looks a big price while Village Vic could be of each-way interest if he settles.
5.15: Grand Annual Chase: The “getting out” race is normally won by Nicky Henderson, who runs six. Nico De Boinville claims 7lb off PETIT ROBIN and despite top weight this classy performer could bring home the bacon.