The Tipping Tim’s Cheltenham Day Four Fancies
It’s Gold Cup day on Friday, and if there’s a better day in the sporting calendar (apart from Champion Hurdle day) then I haven’t seen it.
Thursday’s races are second rate but one can have no complaints about the closing day’s action, with wall-to wall top class jump racing only briefly interrupted by a fox hunt without a fox at 4.00.
First up is the Triumph Hurdle at 1.30, and Our Conor is sure to be popular after Flaxen Flare’s bloodless victory on Wednesday. That said, the related form is probably misleading given that Flaxon Flare was running for a mark and, whilst Our Conor is a worthy jolly on balance, it’s all in the price now. I (shrewdly!) bet Vasco Du Ronceray ante post at 25/1 months ago and, whilst he is now 33/1, I still fancy him to out-run big odds. I won’t be going in again but I’m quietly hopeful of a decent run, despite French flapper Jacques Ricou taking the ride.
My nap of the last day is Discoteca in the County Hurdle at 2.05. This beast has a remarkably similar profile to the aforementioned Flaxen Flare, in that he was once a decent flat horse for Andrew Balding and has been teed up for the Festival by Gordon Elliott, and I fancy him to run a huge race at big odds under rising Irish star Jane Mangan.
At Fishers Cross looks a good thing in the Albert Bartlett at 2.40 given his form with The New One, so the next puzzle is the Gold Cup itself at 3.20. Having been up all year this market is fully settled so it is more about finding the winner than looking for value and, although I disgust myself saying it, I will be betting Long Run. His form looks solid in the context of this field and, with Sam Waley-Cohen improving all the time and cheek-pieces on to sharpen him up (the horse not the jockey), I fancy the 2011 champion to regain his crown.
The Foxhunters is anyone’s guess so the next decent betting heat is the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at 4.40, and I fancy Village Vic to frank the The New One form once again. He was broadly eye-catching in the Betfair Hurdle and, with crack conditional Michael Nolan replacing over-rated old timer Richard Johnson, Philip Hobbs’ six-year-old can land a nice prize here.
The closing race of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival is the Grand Annual at 5.15, but if you’re still waiting for a winner by this point you might be better off studying the 5.25 at Wolverhampton. Twenty-four runners go to post for this cavalry charge and, with everything happening so quickly, you want a decent jockey onside here. Having a scan down the card, the horse that jumps off the page is the in-form Rody under classy pilot Paddy Brennan. I’ll be ordering him in Last Chance Saloon tomorrow, although I wouldn’t rule out a couple of shooters if I’m still seeking a winner.
Good luck with all your bets on Day Four!