We go into Gold Cup day 60.45 points in profit!
13:30 Cheltenham - JCB Triumph Hurdle
I must be one of the only people who doesn’t fancy Sir Erec, I wasn’t that impressed with the four-year-old’s last run. I’m siding with Sam Twiston-Davies on PIC D'ORHY (best price 9-1) on his debut for Paul Nicholls yard. He’s got solid form in France, largely on tricky ground. It’s obviously a bit of gamble with a horse never racing in Britain, but 10/1 seems far too big.
14:10 Cheltenham - Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle
I thought MONSIEUR LECOQ (best price 11-1) was going to land the Imperial Cup, Malaya caught the five-year-old near the line. He will have no problem with any rain forecasted and is also able to run off a slightly lower mark. I was impressed by that run, and I’m hoping Lizzie Kelly can get him back to winning ways.
MR ADJUDICATOR (best price 14-1) has been in decent form and this been boosted this week by Espoir D’Allen winning. Again this is another horse who will enjoy a bit of cut in the ground. A big each-way player.
14:50 Cheltenham - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
It’s tricky to work out just how good BIRCHDALE (best price 6-1) is, the five-year-old has looked very impressive to date but it’s his first time on the ground and trip. At 6/1 and with the potential Nicky Henderson’s horse has shown I’m keen to take a punt.
15:30 Cheltenham - Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
A lot of people are raving about Native River loving the dodgy weather, but they’re forgetting PRESENTING PERCY (best price 4-1) will also enjoy these conditions. He’s value at this price despite having an unconventional build-up to the Festival. He loves the track, a solid jumper and he stays on well. Expect a very patient ride with Davy Russell swooping at the end.
16:10 Cheltenham - St James’ Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase
CAID DU BERLAIS (best price 8-1) finished a respectable 5th in this race last year after an early mistake, he followed that up with a convincing win in Ireland. The ten year-old wasn’t in a content in his only race this season earlier this month, and will still be pretty fresh coming into this. I’m not too worried about the softer ground, and think he’ll me among the places once again.
ROAD TO ROME (best price 17-2) hasn’t been too exposed to the softer ground of late, but the nine-year-old is on a roll and has been very impressive of late. He was expected to win last time out at Haydock, but he totally blew away the field which included Pacha Du Polder. Well worth an each-way bet.
16:50 Cheltenham - Johnny Henderon Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
GINO TRAIL (best price 20-1) was a 5/2 shot when taking on Magic Saint at Wincanton last month, and now looks value at 20/1. The twelve-year-old is on the same mark as when second in this lat year and has been in decent form. Kerry Lee’s horse will enjoy the cut in the ground and could spring a surprise.
17:30 Cheltenham - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
It’s quite obvious EARLY DOORS (best price 7-1) has been running out of his depth against the likes of Apple's Jade. However, if you take Gordon Elliott’s star out of the scenario, Joseph Patrick O’Brien’s horse has been very competitive against other high-class performers. He finished third at the Festival last season, and I’d be shocked to see him out of the places again.