It's the final day of the Cheltenham Festival for our three-man Bets of the Day team as they give you their best bets and each-way wagers for the Gold Cup and more.
"Chtibello is not just my best bet of the day but best bet of the meeting!"
Chtibello has been laid out for this
County Handicap Hurdle (14:10) - Back Chtibello @ [11.0] (Best Bet)
Dan Skelton hasn't been training long but he's won two of the last three County Hurdles and I think Chtibello has been well and truly laid out for this race. Let's not forget the Skelton team have a great record in the two most competitive two mile handicap hurdles of the season, the Ladbrokes Hurdle at Ascot which they won this season again with Mohaayed and this the County Hurdle, so they know how to ready one for this two mile test over hurdles.
Rated as high as 157 he now runs off 146 and on his latest run was second to Midnight Shadow at Aintree giving him 2lb and was beaten just under half a length. That horse is now rated 158 having won that Aintree race off 141. That form strongly suggests Chtbello is very well handicapped indeed.
Given he's been unraced since that run one can only assume that the Skelton team have kept him specifically for this knowing that he really is a 157 horse. And one only has to look to his proximity to very good horses off level weights to realise that he probably is a 157 horse after all. Not just my best bet of the day but best bet of the meeting!
Shantou Flyer has to be in the mix
Foxhunter Challenge Cup (16:10) - Back Shantou Flyer @ [8.0] (Each-way)
With a decent amateur Mr David Maxwell on board this Cheltenham specialist, Shantou Flyer looks a decent each way bet to nothing, especially if you want to take reduced odds and get four or five places with Each Way edge. The Richard Hobson trained nine-year-old's record around here reads 2 wins and 3 places from 7 starts, he's won over three mile two furlongs last time from a decent rival so proved he stays and he has a good record on softer ground.
Those wondering about his Festival experience can look back at last year's Ultima where he finished second behind Coo Star Sivola and see he has that on his side too. Throw in the fact he's the second highest rated horse in the race (145) just 2lb behind the dubious stayer that is Ucello Conti (147) and we have ticks in all the boxes.
Punchestown and Irish Gold Cup winner up to the task
This could be a coming-of-age season for Bellshill, and I think he deserves to be a bit shorter in the betting for what he has achieved so far. With a Punchestown Gold Cup and Irish Gold Cup to his name, you can still get double figures.
His jumping has always been a major strong point and everything seems to come very naturally to him. His technique was spot-on when winning at the Dublin Racing Festival, and it was good to see him improve on his seasonal reappearance.
Last term he posted a magnificent run as an 8yo in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. He had a big weight in that and a massive rating; bar a wayward end product in that race, his jumping was electric at times.
With the fencing ability, and stamina, I just hope he has the class to crack some of the others. Jockey Ruby Walsh has made him his pick, and he is looking to give trainer Willie Mullins a first victory in the contest.
Commander Of Fleet a fancy
Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (14:50) - Back Commander Of Fleet @ [8.0] (Best Bet)
Gordon Elliott's Commander Of Fleet did my Irish Racing Tips column a big favour when winning at an advised 14/1 earlier in the season at Leopardstown, and I am firmly behind him to take Grade 1 honours once more in the Albert Bartlett.
It certainly looks the right race with the three miles here guaranteed to suit considering how he shaped to beat Rhinestone over 2m6f on his previous outing. I also liked his manner in the race; he seemed a no nonsense sort of horse with a good attitude. The type not to get flustered in a bigger field.
His two wins over hurdles have been on good ground, but his most impressive performance came in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper last term in soft conditions. He bolted up in that by over eight lengths.
This contest is usually open considering the vast amount of improvement to come from plenty of unexposed stayers, but Commander Of Fleet looked impressive last time and he's by a sire I highlighted earlier in the week with Meticulous (Fame And Glory). Soft could suit him even better.
Allaho big improver
Allaho should make his presence felt in this intriguing contest.
This lightly raced individual was thrown in at the deep end when making his hurdles debut in a Grade 3 at Clonmel last month. He was certainly up to the task and defeated Minella Indo comfortably. He travelled well throughout, and was pushed clear on the run-in to win with plenty to spare. I thought that was a huge effort taking in to account it was only his third lifetime start. He is open to significant improvement and is attractively priced at 11/2 Each-Way Edge (5 Places)
Derrinross has done nothing wrong this season winning twice over three miles. This eight-year-old has taken time to come to hand, but comes in to this race in good order. He looks saver material at [14.0] on the exchange.
Kemboy to become a man
Cheltenham Gold Cup (15:30) Back Kemboy (Best Bet)
Kemboy should go close in this historic race.
Having backed him Ante-Post for the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury I was gutted when he was ruled out due to the cancellation of his ferry. He more than made up for that disappointment by winning the Savills Chase in great style at Leopardstown. He swept to the front on the run to the last, and pulled clear to win easily. There is a lot more to come from this likeable individual, and has proven form on the ground. I think he is sitting on a big effort and is generously priced at [11.5] on the exchange.
Presenting Percy must be respected. This high class performer has been handled with kid gloves this term. His only preparation for this race came in the shape of an impressive victory in the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle in January. He is the main danger to the selection and is currently priced at [5.2] on the exchange.
14:10 - Back Chtibello @ [11.0] (Best Bet)
16:10 - Back Shantou Flyer @ [8.0] (Each-way)
14:50 Back Commander Of Fleet @ [8.0] (Best Bet)
15:30 - Back Bellshill @ 10/1 (each-way)
14:50 - Back Allaho Each-Way Edge 4 Places at 11/2
15:30 - Back Kemboy at [11.5] (Best Bet)