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horse-racing | Monday, January 9, 2023 3:33 PM (Revised at: Monday, January 23, 2023 10:52 AM)

Cheltenham Day 4 Tips: Gold Cup Day, Cheltenham Festival 2023, March 17th

Cheltenham Day 4 Tips: Gold Cup Day, Cheltenham Festival 2023, March 17th
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Cheltenham Day 4 Tips 2023

Friday 17th March, Day 4 Schedule

Time Race Cheltenham Day 4 Tips 2023
1:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle Read Tip
2:10 McCoy Contractors County Handicap Read Tip
2:50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Read Tip
3:30 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Read Tip
4:10 St James Place Festival Challenge Read Tip
4:50 Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase Read Tip
5:30 Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Read Tip

More Cheltenham 2023 Tips


Cheltenham Bookmaker Offers (coming soon)


Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Video Preview

Day 4 video preview coming soon


JCB Triumph Hurdle 2023

Race 1, Friday 17th March 1:30

This race has become much less competitive in recent years, with a huge field no longer attracted (preferring instead to target the handicaps where conditions are more favourable), and the 2023 renewal has a rather one-sided look at this stage.

Willie Mullins holds a typically strong hand in proceedings, with his highly regarded (and very expensive) French recruit Lossiemouth looking a class or two apart in three runs over hurdles so far.

She took her form to another level when winning a Leopardstown Grade 2 over Christmas, confidently ridden and sprinted clear when asked by a motionless Paul Townend, and it is easy to understand why she has been installed a top priced 11/8f by the cautious bookmakers.

JCB Triumph Hurdle Tip

Paul Nicholls juvenile arrived with a reputation to match his price tag after winning on the flat in Ireland in October, and he made no mistake at all when landing the odds on his hurdling debut at Taunton in January.

He clocked a time ten seconds faster than his stablemate later on the card that day and, while this represents a huge jump up in class (against rivals from the top yards in Eire), he has plenty of scope to do a good deal better as he gathers more racing experience.

  • Tip: Rare Middleton (Ante post tip)
  • Stakes: NA
  • Odds: NA

McCoy Contractors County Handicap 2023

Race 2, Friday 17th March 2:10

The bookmakers offer up “12/1 the field” at this stage for this valuable handicap, with running plans of most of the principals fluid with plenty of options available over the four days.

There has been interesting cash around for Filey Bay and Hunters Yarn in recent weeks, but perhaps the progressive course specialist I Like to Move It might offer a bit of value at around the 16/1 mark.

He has won 4 of his 8 starts over hurdles for Nigel Twiston-Davies, and impressed when winning the Greatwood hurdle here in November under an attacking ride from Sam Twiston-Davies.

McCoy Contractors County Handicap Tip

Nigel Twiston-Davies useful hurdler has already shown that the demands of Cheltenham suits ideally, with three of his four career wins coming at this track.

He is best fronrtunning and maintaining a relentless gallop on decent eased ground, and another attacking ride here from Sam Twiston-Davies could make him very hard to dislodge up the hill.

  • Tip: I Like To Move It (Ante post tip)
  • Stakes: NA
  • Odds: NA

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle 2023

Race 3, Friday 17th March 2:50

A light betting heat in the lead up to the Festival, the emphasis is very much on stamina for these novices tackling the near three mile trip on testing ground.

At the moment the market is headed by the 11/2f Hiddenvalley Lake, and he looked a very smart prospect for Henry de Bromhead when winning his second start over hurdles at Cork in December (travelling strongly and easily coming clear in a valuable Grade 3).

There are likely to be plenty of dangers as the race day gets closer, with numerous highly regarded ex-pointers likely to line up and the market moves will be interesting to watch as the final runners are declared.

Willie Mullins chasing type Embassy Gardens shot to the front of the Albert Bartlett market when coming home “alone” by 35l at Thurles in January, and certainly will not be lacking for stamina (looked a relentless galloper in deep ground over 2m7f). There is sure to be more to come after just three runs over hurdles, though this was only a modest novice hurdle that rather fell apart, and the current price around 6/1 now does not make any appeal at all (in what is always a huge field of unexposed young horses).

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Tip

Henry de Bromhead’s 6-y-o looked an ideal type for this race when winning in Grade 3 company at Cork in December, travelling well under a confident ride from Rachael Blackmore and readily coming clear for just a hand ride.

This represents a step up in class, but his pointing background means stamina is assured and the yard is now in much better form than at any time so far this winter.

  • Tip: Hiddenvalley Lake
  • Stakes: NA
  • Odds: NA

Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup 2023

Race 4, Friday 17th March 3:30

The 2023 Blue Riband of NH racing is one of the most eagerly awaited races of the whole season, with a new champion potentially about to emerge on the scene in Willie Mullins Galopin des Champs.

He suffered an unlucky fall when a fence clear at the 2022 Festival, coming down with the Grade 1 Turners Chase firmly in the bag. That remains his only defeat over fences so far, but he does have stamina to prove at this sapping 3m2f trip, and makes no appeal at around the 2/1 mark with the bookmakers.

A Plus Tard proved a fantastic winner in 2022 (tipped by bettingexpert at 12/1), but he looked all wrong when beaten at Haydock first time out and it remains to be seen how much ability he retains after such a poor return.

Better value may lie with the progressive Stattler (currently a best priced 10/1 chance), who is open to plenty of improvement for Mullins and will not be wanting for stamina up the final climb.

Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Tip

Willie Mullins classy and progressive chaser lost no caste in defeat when denied on the nod by Minella Indo on his seasonal reappearance at Tramore on New Years Day, and he can improve past these rivals and take another Gold Cup back to Ireland.

He has won 3 of his 4 starts so far over fences, landing the NH Chase here over 3m6f at the 2022 Festival, and makes much more appeal at the current prices than his shorter-priced stablemate Galopin des Champs (who has stamina to prove over this testing 3m2f trip).

  • Tip: Stattler (Ante post tip)
  • Stakes: NA
  • Odds: NA

Full Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview


St James Place Festival Challenge 2023

Race 5, Friday 17th March 4:10

The Champion Hunters Chase is not a race that attracts much interest in the weeks leading up to the festival, and is traditionally one of the lightest betting heats over the four days.

There have been some hunters who have captured the public imagination by coming back again and again to give their running in this prestigious prize, with Billaway for Willie Mullins a good example.

He finished second in 2020 and 2021, before finally gaining his reward with a last gasp win in 2022, and is currently a 7/1 chance to enhance his remarkable record.

St James Place Festival Challenge Tip

This prolific hunter has age on his side relative to most of these rivals, and is fancied to notch a remarkable tenth win under Rules for his astute connections.

He impressed with his attitude at Down Royal in December, harried on a strong pace throughout but finding plenty to deny Dorking Cock on the nod, and has attracted warm cash in the build up to this race.

  • Tip: Vaucelet (Ante post tip)
  • Stakes: NA
  • Odds: NA

Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase 2023

Race 6, Friday 17th March 4:50

A small but select field is likely for the Grade 2 Mares Chase, and perhaps Nigel Twiston-Davies mare Zambella can break the Mullins stranglehold on the race.

She has been making hay in Britain this winter, with her sound jumping frontrunning style brushing aside some useful mares under regular rider Daryl Jacob. This will be a sterner test, with the Irish sure to be hard to beat, and it is no surprise to see Allegorie de Vassy (15/8f) and Impervious (7/2) dominate the early (light) ante-post betting exchanges.

Willie Mullins has always held Allegorie de Vassy in the highest regard, and she landed long odds-on to make it 2/2 over fences in a Thurles Grade 2 in January. The bookmakers predictably shortened her up for the mares chase, and she is now as short as 13/8f for a race the yard has dominated. However, her tendency to jump out to her right is surely a big negative to her prospects of winning left-handed at Cheltenham, and she makes no appeal at all as a betting proposition at the moment in what could be a much deeper race than normal.

Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase Tip

Nigel Twiston-Davies mare is a thoroughly likeable sound jumper with a high cruising speed, and is well worth her chance to take on the best of the Irish mares in this valuable chase.

She has made hay against inferior rivals in the UK over the last few months, bossing small fields with the minimum of fuss, and another attacking ride from Daryl Jacob should make her hard to catch.

  • Tip: Zambella (Ante post tip)
  • Stakes: NA
  • Odds: NA

Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap 2023

Race 7, Friday 17th March 5:30

Plots and coups aplenty are lined up for the “getting out stakes”, and this fiercely competitive handicap is always a fiendishly hard race for punters to solve.

There has been very interesting early money around for Dan Skelton’s Langer Dan, who has been falling down the weights and is undoubtedly very well handicapped if he can bounce back to his best (yard has an excellent record in handicaps at this meeting over the years).

He is currently 9/1jf in the early lists with Gaelic Warrior, but perhaps better value may lie with his stablemate Grey Dawning (who is unexposed and value for a lot more than the winning margin on his latest start at Kempton over Christmas).

Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Tip

Dan Skelton’s progressive 6-y-o landed a nationwide gamble when winning narrowly at Kempton on Boxing Day, and can be rated value for a lot more as Harry Skelton booted for home plenty soon enough.

He has kept a decent handicap mark as a result, and a more patient ride in this stronger handicap can see him swoop late up the final hill if enjoying any luck in running.

  • Tip: Grey Dawning
  • Stakes: NA
  • Odds: NA

Cheltenham 2023 Festival Day Races

The final day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival begins with The Triumph hurdle, run on the new course over 2m1f and confined to 4-y-o juveniles. In years gone by there have been huge field sizes of varying ability, but with other options now available to trainers the field tends to be more select and generally of higher quality. The event dates back to 1939 and originally was dominated by the French, with six of the first seven winners going over the channel, but these days the Irish tend to milk the prize. In 2022 Vauban ran out a very impressive winner for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend, and he is now one of the leading fancies for the Champion hurdle run earlier in the week.

The County hurdle is always one of the warmest handicaps of the week, run on the new course over 2m1f with a history dating back to 1920. Willie Mullins has a terrific record in the race, with six wins including the impressive 2022 victor State Man (who is set to go off second favourite in the Champion hurdle earlier in the week this year). Dan Skelton is another trainer who always targets this prize, with Superb Story (2016) and Ch’tibello (2019) both very popular winners for astute connections. A patient ride is usually required as a huge field gets racing for home a long way out, and it is no shock that the former champion Ruby Walsh amassed four wins in this prestigious contest.

The Grade 1 Albert Bartlett novice hurdle as grown in popularity year on year since its inauguration in 2005, with the near 3m trip providing a stern test of stamina for young horses in the early stages of their career. It has to be said that winners of this race have very often not progressed in the manner expected, with perhaps such a gruelling run leaving a mark, and there have also been plenty of big priced shocks in the 17 year history so far. Willie Mullins leads the way with three winners, and his The Nice Guy proved a resolute winner last season for Sean O’Keeffe.

The biggest race of the NH calendar dates back to 1924 and has produced some of the most memorable contests in the history of the sport. Many horses have become household names by taking this prestigious Grade 1, with Golden Miller and Arkle (five and three wins respectively) leading the way. In more recent times Desert Orchid in 1989 brought the house down, while Nortons Coin at 100/1 the following year produced one of the all-time Cheltenham shocks. In 2022 A Plus Tard stormed clear after the last for the brilliant Rachael Blackmore, and he is likely to be one of the leading fancies for the 2023 renewal.

The Champion Hunter Chase is always a fantastic spectacle, with 22 fences to be jumped over the 3m2f trip on the new course and the riding abilities of the various amateur riders often the difference between victory and defeat. The “amateur Gold Cup” was first established in 1904, and Paul Nicholls leads the way with four wins over the years (with his Pacha du Polder memorably winning in 2017 and 2018).

The Grade 2 Mares Chase is open to mares aged 5 and upwards, and is relatively new addition to the program at the festival (with the first running in 2021 designed to provide encouragement to keep mares in training). Predictably there have been small fields and Willie Mullins has dominated, with his Colreevy winning the inaugural running and Elimay winning narrowly in 2022. The trip just short of 2m5f does suit some who struggle to see out three miles, and the 17 fences to be jumped means that accurate fencing is definitely a requirement.

The Martin Pipe conditional jockeys handicap hurdle sets punters a really tough challenge for the last race of the Festival, with a maximum field size assured over the 2m4f trip on the new course. Irish trainers have tended to dominate, winning 8 of the 14 running since its inauguration in 2009, and Willie Mullins leads the way with four winners (the latest being Galopin des Champs in 2021, who is now the favourite for the Gold Cup earlier in the day). Young conditional riders have a real chance to showcase their talents on the big stage, and a win here for Jonjo O’Neil jnr in 2019 on Early Doors certainly marked him down as a jockey likely to reach the top in the future.


 

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