Cheltenham Tips

Cheltenham Festival News: Galopin all the way to Gold Cup glory

Galopin Des Champs running.
It's Gold Cup day at Cheltenham.

It's the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, and fresh from tipping a 100/1 winner in yesterday's Grade 1 Stayers' Hurdle, our man Daryl Carter is back for the final time this week...

  • Daryl tipped a 100/1 winner yesterday!

  • Says Blood Destiny can get the better of the girls in the opener

  • Will Galopin Des Champs land gold in the main event?

  • Plus a SUPER BOOST on Blackmore

Weather report and going

It's been a dry evening at Cheltenham racecourse, and the Met Office suggests there is just a 30% chance of perception of rain throughout the day with sunny spells. Temperatures are set to reach a high of 14 degrees, ensuring it's drying ground for Gold Cup day.

The official going report is here.

13:30 Triumph Hurdle

Biggest market mover in this race in the last 24hrs:

WAS 9/2

Race stats:

Mares are 1-27 with Burning Victory a lucky winner when Goshen was ten lengths up and unseating at the last. Those under 12/1 since 2000 are 0-11, including two favourites.

Three winners in 35 years with only one previous race over hurdles.

Thirteen of the last 18 from the front four in the market.

Only two of the last 15 had more than three hurdle runs.

Daryl's race verdict:

I've been a big fan of Blood Destiny since he caught the eye in a strong race in France - one that typically throws up the best Juveniles for the following season. He clocked a good time (20 lengths faster than Lossiemouth), and he has improved with each outing.

He ticks all the boxes for this contest with a perfect blend of speed and stamina, and coming here fresh is by design. He can get the better of Lossiemouth.

Jupiter Du Gite should not be passed over lightly, having impressed at Newbury, and he is by far the best of the British hope if he can settle today.

14:10 County Hurdle

Biggest market mover in this race in the last 24hrs:

WAS 14/1

Race stats:

No Beaten favourite last time has won since 2013.

Irish trained have won nine of the last 13, and trainer Willie Mullins had six of those.

Eighteen of the last 20 were either novices or second-season hurdlers
Only two previous course winners have won in the last 33 years.

Dan Skelton has won three of the last seven, but none had raced since Boxing day.

Daryl's race verdict:

This can go to the class act in the field in Sharjah, who drops into a handicap race for the first time since winning in 2018. This big field and strong pace scenario will be right up his street, and the English handicapper has been very kind, leaving him on a rating of 155.

The quicker the ground drys, the better his chances, and he can emulate former stable mate Arctic Fire who also won this, having finished second in the previous year's Champion Hurdle.

14:50 Albert Bartlett

Biggest market mover in this race in the last 24hrs:

WAS 4/1

Race stats:

Twelve of the 18 had been 1st or 2nd last time out in Graded Class.

Fifteen of the last 17 were six or seven years old.

Irish trained have taken seven of the last nine.

Daryl's race verdict:

This is very tricky, but good cases can be made for Corbetts Cross and Hiddenvalley Lake. The first mentioned showed a bright turn of foot 19 days ago to win at Naas over 2m, and his perfect blend of speed and stamina will lend itself well to this contest.

Hiddenvalley Lake looked like a very useful horse on his penultimate start, but he was caught for pace in a tactically run affair last time on deep ground. He will appreciate no rain falling and a good clip.

Paul Nicholls Day 4 Cheltenham Runners

Paul Nicholls Ditcheat gallops 2021 1280.jpg

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls heads into the last day of the Cheltenham Festival with five runners, including the mighty Bravemansgame in the Gold Cup...

Read Paul's column here.

15:30 The Cheltenham Gold Cup

Biggest market mover in this race in the last 24hrs:

WAS 20/1

Race stats:

Only two winners were beaten favourites last time out.

None aged ten years or older.

Native River was the only winner to have worn any headgear.

No winner with more than 20 previous chase runs.

All were already G1 winners

Daryl's race verdict:

An excellent renewal of the main event, and plenty hold valid claims. Bravemansgame looks like a good each-way play should the ground continue to dry, and his exceptional jumping will ensure he gets a good prominent position.

A Plus Tard has questions to answer, having been seen once since his outstanding 15-length romp in this contest 12 months ago.

Stattler will appreciate this stamina test more than the steadily run affair at the Dublin Racing Festival last time. However, all need to raise their game to down Galopin Des Champs, who has barely put a foot wrong over fences and looks like a class act. It could just be his time.

16:10 St. James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase

Biggest market mover in this race in the last 24hrs:

WAS 16/1

Race stats:

The last eight were aged ten or 11.

Eleven of the last 12 BHA rated at least 134.

Five of the six aged over ten years old were already course winners.

Thirteen of the last 15 finished in the first three last time.

Daryl's race verdict:

The Storyteller gets a tentative vote in a race I really know little about.

16:50 Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase

Biggest market mover in this race in the last 24hrs:

WAS 9/4

Race stats:

There have only been two runnings of this contest. Willie Mullins won both; both were eight-year-olds, and neither was favourites but in the top two in the betting.

Daryl's race verdict:

Allegorie De Vasy is a class act, having recorded an excellent time on her final start that easily suggests she is a 155 horse, and that form was given a boost by the runner-up next time.

However, that was on a right-handed track, and her jumping out to the right should be a real cause for concern for her backers here at Cheltenham. Impervious has no such chinks, and she took care of a subsequent winner when unfavoured by the weights when taking on the boys last time. She has course experience and jumps very smoothly. She is the safer bet of the two.

17:30 Martin Pipe 0-145 Handicap Hurdle

Biggest market mover in this race in the last 24hrs:

WAS 20/1

Race stats:

Nine winners were second-season hurdlers, and the other five were novices.

Gigginstown has run 16 in this, and nine of them finished inside the placings with four winners.

W Mullins' four winners were all Novices.

11 of the 14 had previously run in a Graded hurdle.

Twelve of the last 14 winners were aged five or six.

Daryl's race verdict:

I hope it's not getting out of-jail stakes for you here in this notoriously tricky puzzle. The two I came down on were Cool Survivor, who fits all the stats and trends for this contest and Harry Fry's Mighty I.

The former caught the eye at the DRF, and a strongly run 2m4f will be right up his street. In handicapping terms, he probably hasn't got much in hand, and that's the same story for many in here. Might I saddles top weight, but he is a class act and kept some warm company as a Novice last term.

He handled the course beautifully in his prep run. He has been fitted with the first-time tongue tie, and Fry has a 37% place rate when doing this. He is good each-way value.

Cheltenham Festival Focus Friday runners

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Blood Destiny 33/1 Triumph Hurdle

I am really happy with this, and I am going in again today because, in my mind, he already has the beating of Lossiemouth on the clock, and her latest form was hardly given a boost by Tekao in the Boodles. I think he has a big chance to land us another huge-priced winner.

Sharjah 11/1 County Hurdle

Not much change in price, but the drying ground is very much in his favour, and I really think he will love this big field handicap. He has an excellent chance to get that deserved Cheltenham victory finally.

Hiddenvalley Lake 11/2 Albert Bartlett

I've gone off him a little bit, although this is part of ante-post betting, as I am happy to have him in the book, which means I can look elsewhere tomorrow. I favour Corbetts Cross, but the selection is not without a chance.

The Storyteller 12/1 St James's Palace Hunters Chase

This is wide open, and I thought I was being shrewd at the start of the year. I am none the wiser about what will win this race, in all honesty.

Final Word - What a day!

It's been an excellent Festival for my followers and me thus far, but I came into Thursday more confident than any other day with horses like Mighty Potter, Shishkin and Maxxum on my side.

They all bombed out, which I would never have foreseen with my confidence glasses on. The Cheltenham Festival is a rollercoaster of emotions. Twenty minutes before the Stayer's Hurdle, the misses tried to get me back into positivity mode as I took a break between races.

Still, I could only see one way this day was going despite giving her the nod and the half-hearted smile as I returned to my office chair.

We both sat in my office watching Racing UK before clicking onto the Betfair live feed (My office TV is 30 seconds behind for some reason), and for the entire race, I watched one horse and one horse only - Sire Du Berlais.

Mark Walsh sat in the perfect position throughout the race. Not too close to a good strong pace and not as far back as the main pack. On the final circuit, he started jumping a bit sloppy, and I thought all chance was gone when they grouped up on the turn for home, but no, his jockey had been watching the previous hurdle races and ducked for the inside.

Approaching the last, I was saying, "come on, son, get third", and two strides later, I was with Mark Walsh riding every blade of grass to get him home. And together, Walshy and I got him over the line.

Jesus, what a turnaround in emotion from just an hour or so ago. But this is the Cheltenham Festival. This is what makes it great. Look at some of the amazing stories we have seen this week already.

It's the most remarkable place, and tipping a 100/1 winner for the company in Betfair that I always dreamed of working for, in a Grade 1 at the Cheltenham Festival, is something I will never forget. Nor the shoutout from Nick Luck on RTV. What a day.

I am taking a break now, so best of luck for today, and until next time be lucky.


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