Day 3 proved fruitful yet again and followers would have topped up their pockets to the tune of another £90 per £10 staked on each selection.
The final day of Cheltenham is and always has been the toughest to call. Typically, the races with the smaller prize money therefore the lesser horses and the main event, the Gold Cup, with the best horses of the year competing for the biggest prize.
Today’s selections are picks rather than tips so my advice is stake no more than what you’ve won and don’t go chasing a big jackpot. Take advantage of the offers such as Skybet’s money back on the first race up to £25 the maybe spread the money back over the rest of the selections for the day.
Surprisingly Henderson only enters one horse into this race where he is the leading trainer. Barry Geraghty is top jockey when it comes to this race and so far has only ridden stinkers. IVANOVICH GORBATOV run poorly in his last outing and the ground should suit more today. This added with Geraghty’s calibre in this race and desire to win a race at the festival may see him over the line AT 13/2.
The County Hurdle is possibly the widest open race of the festival and realistically you’re looking for a place here. Blue Hell (10/1) looked very good on last outing but this may suit experienced horses round the track such as Cheltenian at 50/1 or HAWK HIGH at 25/1 but it really is anyone’s for the taking.
I really like Open Eagle and would usually back for a place but Fogarty rides for the first time and there are too many other good horses that put me off. Ruby Walsh has opted for LONG DOG instead and is on his usual form in the festival so each way money can’t be turned down. The battle for first should be between the two fancied horses Barters Hill and Shantou Village and both arrive in good form. Barters Hill hasn’t been beat and Richard Johnson has opted to ride Shantou Village so it really is too close to call.
All of the money in the build up to this race has rightfully been piled on DON COSSACK. He’s now into 9/4 which may put a few people off but his calibre and sheer size should see him home past the hot and cold Djakadam. Cue Card may have caught Vatour in the King George on Boxing Day but had Brian Cooper’s mount not fallen, I think he was clear.
Nina Carberry has a second chance to ride a festival winner on On The Fringe but hasn’t ridden him since May. In this race, I’m favouring PAINT THE CLOUDS at 6/1. Sam Waley-Cohen has taken over riding from AP McCoy perfectly.
It’s hard to see past the favourite in this race but Squouateur goes off at 7/2 and that’s not a price I’m likely to back. NABUCCO doesn’t have the benefit of Aiden Coleman on board but I still fancy a place at 28/1 form the horse who we haven’t seen yet this year.
Dresden hasn’t looked the same horse since his two wins before Christmas and this field is full of maybes and could haves. I fancy Richard Johnson to make all and hang on with BOLD HENRY at 28/1.