Cheltenham Tips

Kevin Blake's Day Four Cheltenham Tips: Des Champs will be Galopin to Gold Cup glory

Betfair Tipster Kevin Blake
Kevin Blake has two tips for Gold Cup day at Cheltenham

For one last time at Cheltenham this year Kevin Blake takes a look at Friday's races, and our man has a confident pick in the Gold Cup as well as a very bold claim about one in the Triumph Hurdle...

Paul Nicholls Superboost

Bravemansgame finished runner-up in last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup and he's never failed to finish in the top five over fences. You can back him now to finish in the top five in today's Gold Cup at 15:30 at the super-boosted price of 2/13.00.

Back Bravemansgame to finish Top 5 in 15:30 @ 2/13.00

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15:30 - Gold Cup: Back Galopin Des Champs

This is it! The feature race of the week at the Cheltenham Festival. At the time of writing, the meeting has yet to really catch fire and a lot of the hopes will be attached to the Gold Cup.

It is exactly what one wants a Gold Cup to be in that it has an outstanding horse heading the market and a properly deep field taking him on. A real utopian scenario in modern National Hunt racing, unfortunately.

In terms of pace, it isn't a Gold Cup that is dripping with pace. The Real Whacker is a regular front runner and utilised those tactics to win the Brown Advisory Novice Chase. With a first-time visor applied, it will be a major surprise if he doesn't make the running.

Galopin Des Champs has come back to his brilliant best since returning to more positive tactics and with no stamina concerns this year, he can be expected to be prominent.

Where can we start but with Galopin Des Champs. He has been an absolutely fascinating character study through his career.

He burst onto the scene in his novice chasing campaign which was characterised by fast, aggressive jumping and strength in the closing stages of his races.

In his second season over fences, his connections set out with the objective of making him a Gold Cup horse. This resulted in them riding him more quietly and trying to get him to drop less aggressively. They achieved this and he delivered a huge performance under a magnificent ride to duly win the Gold Cup last year.

However, one of the unintended consequences of looking to change his racing character as they did was that his jumping began to lose some fluency, with him not seeming as comfortable being asked to get in tight and pop as opposed to his more natural inclination to speed up and have a crack at his fences.

After a couple of unexpected defeats at the hooves of Fastorslow where that rival outjumped him throughout, the Mullins team decided to ask him to revert at least in part to his old style of racing.

They have ridden him more positively in recent starts and that has translated to two excellent victories in Grade 1 company. While his jumping still hasn't quite returned to what it was, it has gone the right way and could potentially get better again as he readapts to that style.

Make no mistake, this is a deep Gold Cup and cogent cases can be made for a substantial number of this field. Galopin Des Champs will need to bring his A-game, but it is hard to escape the feeling that on his best day, there isn't a staying chaser that can beat him.

If one wanted to play in the each-way or without the favourite markets, Gentlemansgame is the one that makes most appeal.

Back Galopin Des Champs to win 15:30 @ 11/102.11

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Racing...Only Bettor's alternative Gold Cup tip

Daryl Carter has been keen on the chances of L'Homme Presse as an each-way alternative for some time. Watch his reasoning below or catch Friday's Racing...Only Bettor Cheltenham preview here.

13:30 - Triumph Hurdle: Back Nurburgring

Those that have read my Five Best Bets of the Cheltenham Festival will know that I have one more bullet left in that particular barrel for the final day of the meeting and that is the Jospeh O'Brien-trained Nurburgring in the Triumph Hurdle.

In short, I believe he is the best juvenile hurdler trained in Ireland. That might sound like a big statement, but I believe it is justified.

He put up a very strong performance on the clock when winning a Grade 3 juvenile hurdle at Fairyhouse in December and backed that up with a fine third when carrying a penalty in a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting.

That was a steadily-run race in which he was bottled up all the way which didn't play to his strengths. The New Course at Cheltenham should really suit this strong-staying sort and his price makes him an attractive proposition.

It helps of course that Britain's best juvenile hurdler, Sir Gino, will now not be in opposition.

Back Nurburgring to Win 13:30 @ 7/18.00

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Now read Tony Calvin's Gold Cup day tips here.

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