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Cheltenham Festival Tips – Friday

A nice 20/1 winner yesterday, to add to 14/1, 12/1, 9/1 and 11/1 winning tips advised so far at Cheltenham this week.

Triumph Hurdle     CH4

The Triumph Hurdle is the traditional curtain raiser on the final day of the Festival and, with the ground having now dried out to good, it will be interesting to see how the early season juvenile form holds up in these very different conditions.

The going should certainly suit ex flat performers IVANOVICH GORBATOV and Zubayr and they are vying for favouritism for a race in which the winner tends to come from the head of the market.

The former looked a big player for this when winning on his hurdling debut, but flopped last time out. He was decent on the level and has conditions to suit.

Alan King has a powerful hand and both Sceau Royal and WHO DARES WINS have chances. At the prices, the latter might be better value as we know he will like the conditions and his stamina could be a potent asset in the closing stages.

Ivanovich Gorbatov (ew)1.30 Cheltenham13/2Bet365, Sky Bet
Who Dares Wins (ew)1.30 Cheltenham12/1Bet365

(Sky Bet will refund losing bets on the Triumph Hurdle if your horse does not win)

County Hurdle     CH4

One of the meeting’s biggest betting heats is the County Hurdle and, unsurprisingly, we have a pretty long shortlist for another fiercely competitive renewal.

Based on their decent efforts in similar races last time out, both Superb Story and STARCHITECT must come into the reckoning. The form of the latter’s effort in the Betfair has been franked by Flying Angel and he should be even better on this ground.

Previous Festival form is always a big plus and with a change of headgear today, HAWK HIGH can outrun his current price and he narrowly gets the nod ahead of Cardinal Walter, who is very much respected based on his decent flat form.

Of those at monster prices, we can’t resist throwing a few quid at BENTELIMAR, who has shown all of his best form on better ground. He travels strongly in his races, which should be a big plus here.

All Yours and Montbazon are others to consider.

Starchitect (ew)2.10 Cheltenham12/1Bet365
Hawk High (ew)2.10 Cheltenham33/1Bet365
Bentelimar (ew)2.10 Cheltenham50/1Bet365

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle     CH4

Barters Hill has been all the rage for the Albert Bartlett in the run up to the Festival and stamina is certainly his forte. He’s a battler too, but there is just a slight question mark over him on the ground, so preference is for fellow market leader, SHANTOU VILLAGE who made such a big impression when winning here in November. He’s unbeaten on good going.

Willie Mullins has a really strong hand and it will be interesting to see how BACHASSON handles the longer trip as he is bound to relish the sounder surface. He has been freshened up for this and wasn’t far behind Long Dog two starts back to suggest he shouldn’t be as big a price as he currently is.

We are also going to suggest an each way bet on long shot ALLYSSON MONTERG, who would surely be a shorter price if he came from a more fashionable yard.

Shantou Village (ew)2.50 Cheltenham4/1Bet365
Bachasson (ew)2.50 Cheltenham40/1Stan James
Allysson Monterg (ew)2.50 Cheltenham66/1Bet365

Cheltenham Gold Cup     CH4

The Gold Cup probably isn’t quite the race we hoped it would be at the start of the season with three of the big contenders missing the race and instead fighting out the finish of the Ryanair yesterday.

With no Vautour, Road To Riches or Valseur Lido we think the race is between Cue Card and DON COSSACK.

The ground has come right for both and there wouldn’t have been much to separate them in the King George had Don Cossack not come down two out. We think the ultimate compensation awaits for the Irish raider and Gordon Elliott’s horse gets the vote.

Don’t rule out another challenger from the Emerald Isle, as CARLINGFORD LOUGH is also a totally different horse on a sound surface. The Irish Gold Cup fell into his lap last time out, but we fancied him for this race last year and he ran well enough considering the rain on the day of the race turned conditions against him. He’s a massive each way option.

Don Cossack (win)3.30 Cheltenham11/4Betfair
Carlingford Lough (ew)3.30 Cheltenham25/1Bet365

Our tips in the later races are as follows:

Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup     CH4

Paint The Clouds (ew)4.10 Cheltenham6/1Bet365
Dark Lover (ew)4.10 Cheltenham33/1Bet365
Current Event (ew)4.10 Cheltenham20/1Bet365

Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle     RUK

Mr Mix (ew)4.50 Cheltenham22/1Stan James
Childrens List (ew)4.50 Cheltenham12/1Bet365

Grand Annual Handicap Chase     RUK

Rock The World (ew)5.30 Cheltenham11/1Bet365
Dandridge (ew)5.30 Cheltenham12/1Bet365
Velvet Maker (ew)5.30 Cheltenham12/1Bet365

Horses fitted with first-time headgear

Hawk High2.10 CheltenhamBlinkers (B1)33/1Bet365
Solar Impulse5.30 CheltenhamBlinkers (B1)33/1Bet365