GOING FOR GOLD

GOING FOR GOLD
March 18, 2022 Lee Bolingbroke

Final day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, with, as ever, the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup the highlight at 3.30.

It’s five years since an English trained winner prevailed and, frankly, we don’t expect that trend to be bucked this afternoon. The two horses at the head of the market appear to be the ones to be with and we suggest backing both A Plus Tard at 3-1 (main bet) and Galvin at 4-1 to continue the Irish domination.

First race on the card is the JCB Triumph Hurdle at 1.30 and all the evidence suggests that the favourite, Vauban, will be tough to beat.

Mr Mullins‘s hope was highly rated on the Flat when trained in France and, after an unlucky second on hurdles debut, was impressive when taking a Leopardstown Grade 1 in February. A slick jumper and strong traveller, this gelding should be backed at 7-4 to get us off to a good start.

Best of the Brits might be Porticello, trained by Gary (Goshen) Moore and we recommend an each way bet at 14-1.

The esteemed Mullins also supplies the favourite in the County Handicap Hurdle at 2.10 with the thrice raced State Man which is trading at 7-2.

This may seem a skinny price in a 26 runner handicap, but State Man runs here instead of the Grade 1 hurdles that have preceded it to take advantage of what the yard think is a favourable handicap mark of 141. The hint should be taken with a win bet.

With the generous place terms on offer, we also recommend each way bets on Colonel Mustard at 7-1 and West Cork at 9s.

The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at 2.50 is, as usual, replete with improving Novices stepping up to 3 miles for the first time and, as such, can be a dangerous race for betting purposes. However, the form of Hillcrest stands up to any examination and, although Trevor Hemmings can’t be there, we hope to see his famous silks crossing the line in front. Have a win bet at 5-2.

Also have an each way bet on the big improver Good Time Jonny to make the transition from handicap company after a last time out demolition job. 16-1 is on offer.

Last and most certainly least is the St James’s Palace Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase at 4.10, in which Billaway attempts to go one better than in the past two years.

We are of a mind to oppose, however, with each way bets on Winged Leader at 11-2 and Dubai Quest at 10-1.

No rest for the wicked – we return tomorrow with the Midlands Grand National et al.

Summary:

A Plus Tard 3.30 Cheltenham 4pts win @ 3-1 (Hills/bet365)

Galvin 3.30 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 4-1

Vauban 1.30 Cheltenham 4pts win @ 7-4

Porticello 1.30 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (4 places Betfair/bet365)

State Man 2.10 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 7-2

West Cork 2.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (7 places)

Colonel Mustard 2.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (7 places)

Hillcrest 2.50 Cheltenham 4pts win @ 5-2

Good Time Jonny 2.50 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (5 places)

Winged Leader 4.10 Cheltenham 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (5 places)

Dubai Quest 4.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places)

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