The final day of the Cheltenham Festival 2023 has arrived and takes place at Cleeve Hill on Friday. The highlight of the last day of action is the Gold Cup where some of the greatest horses in training go to post.
Much like the week to date, the feature race doesn’t throw up a great betting opportunity but a couple of the supporting races do as we look to finish off the meeting in profitable fashion on Friday.
With 5 of the first 6 in the Triumph Hurdle betting all coming from the Willie Mullins yard, it seems almost impossible to find any value in the opener. Lossiemouth is clinging onto favouritism and perhaps would have been odds on had she not lost last time out when Gala Marceau came home in front. That pair 1 win each in their showdowns and it should be close again but Blood Destiny might be the best of the front 3. That said, Paul Townend chooses Lossiemouth which could be a tip in itself. In search of value, Ascending is probably the best each way option.
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Stamina is an absolute must in the Albert Bartlett as these novices have to go 3 miles on soft ground. It’s a race that often throws up a shock or two and I’m not one to be taking short prices about so Corbetts Cross and Three Card Brag are opposable.
At a big price, I like the chances of Weveallbeencaught. He won a point to point over this trip and in 3 hurdle starts to date, he’s got form figures of 3-1-8. He was 3rd in a Grade 2 here behind Hermes Allen before winning back here on his next start. He completely failed to fire in a Grade 1 over in Ireland but I’m prepared to forgive that run given he came out of the race with a wound on his left fore and the ground was far too lively. This will be the first time he’s encountered true soft ground over hurdles and it wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to go from the front and run the finish out of the opposition. With 5 places on offer, he looks a superb each way shout.
Back Weveallbeencaught (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 Coral BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
It’s the big one, jump racing’s blue riband event, it’s time for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and we have a field of 13 with, unsurprisingly, Willie Mullins and Paul Townend having the favourite in the shape of Galopin Des Champs. This 7 year old is a superb chaser and has won 5 out of his 6 chase starts. He looks as solid as they come with the angle being that his only defeat came when falling at the last in the Turners when 12 lengths clear. But for that blemish, it would have been a perfect 6 out of 6 and if he stays on his feet, he’s likely to win.
A Plus Tard is here bidding to retain his crown but he’s only run once since where he was pulled up at Haydock in the Betfair Chase so a bigger threat is expected from Paul Nicholls’ Bravemansgame. He’s progressing at a rate of knots and was a good winner of the King George but this is a very different test. Last year’s Grand National winner Noble Yeats is well fancied and whilst he’ll enjoy the rain, he’s surely not good enough speed and his best chance is staying on past beaten horses into a place. Stattler is another that will relish a stamina test and similar to Noble Yeats, a place is the best he can hope for.
Conflated is a very good horse and cannot be dismissed but I have serious reservations over the trip whilst Minella Indo has surely had his day having won this 2 years ago and finishing 2nd 12 months ago. He’s just not as good now. I can see Ahoy Senor running a big race and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Royale Pagaille snatch a place either but it’s a race I cannot bet in confidently as I feel Galopin Des Champs is a good thing if he gets round without issue.
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The Hunter Chase over the Gold Cup trip has a maximum field and Vaucelet, a winner of 6 of 8 chases, looks a worthy favourite. He’s certainly on the upgrade but will need to improve again to land the spoils here but that’s possible. Famous Clermont is another that is no stranger to the winners enclosure whilst Billaway is a standing dish in this race, finishing second twice before winning it last year.
However, I cannot get away from Chris’s Dream who might be 11 years old but is still top rated in the field. He’s never quite got in the money at the Festival but given he’s been contesting races like the Gold Cup and the Ryanair, it’s not a huge shock. This looks more his type of race. He’s recently been very lightly raced, winning a couple of point to points, but he looked impressive in both. The ground is right up his street as is the trip and from a yard that has hit form this week and a very good amateur jockey, I think he’s going to be one of the few in with a serious chance here.
Back Chris’s Dream (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 9.00 Ladbrokes BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
The smallest field of the day is in the Mares Novice Chase and this looks a straight match between Mullins’ Allegorie De Vassy and Colm Murphy’s Impervious. I just cannot find anything to beat this pair so it’s another race to sit out.Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2023