Cheltenham Festival 2024 – Day 4 Tips and Betting Preview

We have reached the final day of the Cheltenham Festival on Friday where the biggest race of the week, the Gold Cup, headlines the show but with another hot favourite that looks hard to oppose we are focusing our attentions elsewhere on the last day of the meeting.

As ever with a Friday at Cheltenham there is a look at the future combined with a bunch of handicaps and either side of the Gold Cup we have come up with bets in three of the races and five selections in total.

2.10 Cheltenham: County Handicap Hurdle

Always a cracking handicap, there are any number in with a chance including last year’s winner, Faivoir, who is sure to go well again.  From the Skelton yard, it would be no surprise to see him double up but the fact Harry Skelton takes the ride on L’Eau Du Sud puts me off a little.  The runner up last year, Pied Piper, cannot go unbacked.  He has a Cheltenham record of 1-3-1-2 & big field form across all codes of 1/20, 6/19 (not clear run), 2/24 & 2/31.  He clearly thrives in this type of race & is handicapped to go well here given he’s only 2lbs higher but has a 3lb claimer aboard.  Lightly raced this year, he was 2nd on the flat in the Cesarewitch & last time out ran well enough when last of 4 behind Champion Hurdle winner, State Man.  He’s still just a 6 year old & is sure to progress out of handicap company very soon.  All ground comes the same to him, he’s a strong traveller & with a clear run, he’ll be in the final reckoning.

Hansard is another that catches the eye.  Another 6 year old that is 3 from 7 over hurdles, he finished last term with a close 4th in a Grade 1 novice hurdle & has continued that upward curve this season by finishing 2nd in the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle & then winning a Premier Handicap off 4lbs lower.  His most recent run initially didn’t look that appealing given he was 5th of 9 off this mark at Ascot but given he gave 6lbs to the winner who was none other than Champion Hurdle 3rd, Luccia, the form looks to have substance.  A continuation of this season’s form will put him bang in the frame provided he takes to this big field.


Back Pied Piper (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)

Back him here:

Back Hansard (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 21.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)



2.50 Cheltenham: Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle

3 miles for novices takes some getting & it’s usually a better approach to favour those that have staying form in the book rather than those that appear likely to be suited by it.  Grade 1 winner Reading Tommy Wrong is the favourite after winning the Lawlor’s but that was over 2 miles 4 furlongs & favourites have a poor record in the race.   He might be the yard’s 3rd string but Lecky Watson is the one for us.  He looked a thorough stayer when winning his maiden over 2 miles 7 furlongs, needing every inch of the trip to get his head in front.   Stepping back down in trip, he also showed his class by finishing half a length second to the impressive winner, Slade Steel, & that was despite jumping poorly.  He ran in the Lawlors & finished 7 lengths 3rd behind today’s favourite so has something to find but this trip is more in his favour.  Furthermore, his jumping hasn’t been fluent but he’s fitted with a first time hood today & it’s hoped that will sharpen him up, like it did to Gaelic Warrior earlier in the week.  If it does, he looks a superb each way bet.


Back Lecky Watson (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 12.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)


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3.30 Cheltenham: Gold Cup

The big race of the week but it’s really hard to get away from the hot favourite & last year’s winner, Galopin Des Champs.  There is limited value given it’s felt the winner is nailed on.  Fastorslow is a good horse but is no price & Gerri Colombe is a doubtful stayer.  Last year’s second Bravemansgame should go well & is most likely for the forecast again whilst dual Ultima winner & Grand National victor, Corach Rambler will be staying on better than anything.   3 from 3 at the track too, he would have been worthy of a few quid each way but the price has gone so reluctantly, this is advised as a race for viewing rather than punting.



5.30 Cheltenham: Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

The lucky last is the usual cavalry charge for conditional jockeys over two & a half miles which sees top Irish trainers, Willie Mullins & Henry De Bromhead, vying for favouritism with Quai De Bourbon & Waterford Whispers.   However, our first bet is from another Irish yard & comes in the shape of Answer To Kayf.  He’s very lightly raced & has gone from strength to strength this term.  He started off by winning a big field maiden hurdle before going down narrowly to Waterford Whispers at Fairyhouse.  It’s notable that he’s 6lbs better off with the winner here but is over double the price.  He was then again close up in a Grade 2 novice hurdle over a trip 3 furlongs further than today before finishing beating Captain Cody on his most recent start.  His handicap mark looks workable, his partnership with today’s jockey is appealing, any softening of the ground will suit & the trip is in his favour.   In this field, it’s hard to see him not being involved in the finish.

As the race is run as the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle, it would be some story if his son can land the prize & it’s very possible with his runner, Thanksforthehelp.  He’s been kept fresh for this running just the once & not impressing over a trip a little too far but it’s interesting that he came here last year as favourite for the Pertemps Final & whilst failing to trouble the judge, he actually better than his finishing position suggests.  He did well 2 starts last year but what catches my eye is that he’s running over a trip that probably suits him best.   His lightly raced profile has preserved his mark & it’s hard to imagine his trainer is sending him to race here without being confident so at a nice each way price, he’s worthy of each way investment.


Back Answer To Kayf (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 Unibet BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

Back Thanksforthehelp (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 21.00 Betfair BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)