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Cheltenham 2021: Day 4, Gold Cup Day

The Cheltenham Festival is a test of stamina and reaching the fourth and final day in front with your bets takes some doing. The beauty of Cheltenham is the atmosphere surrounding the entire meeting, everyone is there for a good time and win or lose, these are great days that people will remember. The biggest of all takes place at the end, with the feature of the entire meeting, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, taking centre stage.

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The Cheltenham Gold Cup is known as the Blue Riband of chasing as is the most prestigious steeplechase in the world. Horses must combine stamina and speed and still have enough in the tank to get up the hill after three miles two furlongs and 22 fences. The race never fails to deliver drama and excitement even if you don’t back the winner. The winner is the champion staying chaser of the season and a horse that will go down in history as a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.

The day starts with the Triumph Hurdle which brings together the best juvenile hurdlers in the championship race for four-year-olds. The race after the Gold Cup is the Foxhunters Chase for hunters and amateur jockeys. This race is run over the same course and distance as the Gold Cup and is the most important race in the division of the year. After the last race on Gold Cup day the anticipation begins immediately for the first race on day one in a bit less than one year.  

You can see all the records and trends for the other three days of the Festival by clicking the links below:

Champion Day | Ladies Day | St Patrick's Thursday

 

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JCB Triumph Hurdle (1.20pm)

  • Hurdle Race (Two miles and a furlong – New Course) 
  • Open to horses ages four-years-old 

The JCB Triumph Hurdle is traditionally the first race on the fourth and final day of the Cheltenham Festival. The Grade 1 contest is restricted to horses aged four and is the championship hurdle race for juveniles. Historically winners have a poor record in the following season’s Champion Hurdle and Katchit in 2007 and 2008 is the last horse to win both races in consecutive seasons. 

Zanahiry is fancied to give Irish punters a good start to the day. Winner of four races in a row, that includes successes in Grade 2 and Grade 3. Great potential and a big run is expected.

2020 Result

1st Burning Victory 12/1 - Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend

2nd Aspire Tower 5/1 (Henry de Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore)

3rd Allmankind 7/2 (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton)

 

The Last 10 Winners of the JCB Triumph Hurdle 

  • 2020 - Burning Victory (12/1) Willie Mullins (trainer), Paul Townend (jockey)
  • 2019 - Pentland Hills (20/1) Nicky Henderson (trainer), Nico de Boinville (jockey)
  • 2018 - Farclas (8/1) Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy 
  • 2017 - Defi Du Seuil (5/2F) Phillip Hobbs, Richard Johson
  • 2016 – Ivanovich Gorbatov (9/2F) Aidan O’Brien, Barry Geraghty 
  • 2015 – Peace And Co (2/1F) Nicky Henderson, Barry Geraghty
  • 2014 - Tiger Roll (10/1) Gordon Elliot, Davy Russell
  • 2013 – Our Conor (4/1) Dessie Hughes, Bryan Cooper
  • 2012 – Countrywide Flame (33/1) John Quinn, Dougie Costello
  • 2011 – Zarkandar (13/2) Paul Nicholls, Daryl Jacob

The championship race for juvenile hurdlers is one of the most competitive races of the meeting. It brings together the best four-year-olds and often identifies a champion of the future. There have been winning favourites in three of the last six years 

The Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (1.55pm)

  • Hurdle Race (Two miles and a furlong – New Course) 
  • Open to horses ages five-years-old and older 

This race is usually one of the most open handicap hurdles over the shorter distance in the season. It was first run in 1920 and has been named after the trainer who had 23 wins at the Cheltenham Festival. In the past the race has been the last one on the final day but was moved to the second spot on the card in 2009. Only one favourite in the last ten years has won this race. 

Drop the Anchor is trained by P A Fahy and is anothe top Irish prospect for a festival winner. Won a Grade B race at Leopardstown last month. Won a great battle against Champagne Gold last time.

2020 Result

1st Saint Moi 11/2  Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Barry Geraghty

2nd Araman 8/1 (Willie Mullins/Paul Townend)

3rd Embittered 14/1 (JP O'Brien/JJ Slevin)

The Last 10 Winners of the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle 

  • 2020 - Saint Moi (11/2) Willie Mullins (trainer), Barry Geraghty (jockey)
  • 2019 - Ch'tibello (12/1) Dan Skelton, Harry Skelton 
  • 2018 - Mohaayed (33/1) Dan Skelton, Bridget Andrews
  • 2017 - Arctic Fire (20/1) Willie Mullins, Paul Townend  
  • 2016 – Superb Story (8/1) Dan Skelton, Harry Skelton 
  • 2015 – Wicklow Brave (25/1) Willie Mullins, Paul Townend
  • 2014 - Lac Fontana (11/1) Paul Nicholls, Daryl Jacob
  • 2013 – Ted Veale (10/1) Tony Martin, Bryan Cooper
  • 2012 – Alderwood (20/1) Thomas Mullins, AP McCoy
  • 2011 – Final Approach (10/1) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh

Pointers

This is another one of those difficult handicaps at the Festival to work out and there is any number of potential winners. Races of this nature are often won with a few pounds in hand so the weights will be key. No favourite has won over the last 10 years and the shortest priced winner was returned at 11/2. Every other winner  bar one was a double figure price. Dan Skelton has trained the winner of this race in three of the last five years.

The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2.30)

  • Hurdle Race (Three miles – New Course) 
  • Open to horses ages four-years-old 

This race is the championship novice hurdle for stayer’s and attracts the best young horses suited to an extended trip. The race was first run in 2005, the year that the meeting was extended to four days. It now has a traditional spot on the card as the race before the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Bobs Worth won this novice event in 2011 and won the Gold Cup two years later. 

Barbados Buck's is a contender in another very open race. Going for a four-timer and can give trainer Paul Nicholls a good chance of getting another festival winner.

2020 Result

1st Monkfish 5/1 - trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend

2nd Latest Exhibition 9/2 (Paul Nolan/BJ Cooper)

3rd Fury Road 5/1 (Gordon Elliott/Davy Russell)

The Last 10 Winners of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle 

  • 2020 - Monkfish (5/1) Willie Mullins (trainer), Paul Townend (jockey)
  • 2019 - Minella Indo (50/1) Henry de Bromhead, Rachael Blackmore 
  • 2018 - Kilbricken Storm (33/1) Colin Tizzard (trainer) Harry Cobden (jockey)
  • 2107 - Penhill (16/1) Willie Mullins, Paul Townend  
  • 2016 – Unowhatimeanharry (11/1) Harry Fry, Noel Fehily 
  • 2015 – Martello Tower (14/1) Margaret Mullins, Adrian Heskin
  • 2014 - Very Wood (33/1) Noel Meade, Paul Carberry
  • 2013 – At Fishers Cross (11/8F) Rebecca Curtis, AP McCoy
  • 2012 – Brindisi Breeze (7/1) Lucinda Russell, Campbell Gillies
  • 2011 – Bobs Worth (15/8F) Nicky Henderson, Barry Geraghty

Pointers And Reasoning

This is the stayers’ novices hurdle and the race is competitive and takes some winning. Two favourites have won in the last 10 years but three horses have won the race at 33/1 and 2019 saw a 50/1 winner. The last six winners have been at double figure odds. Most of the leading contenders have run over three miles in the past. Only Willie Mulllins has trained two winners in this race over the past ten years. 

Guide to the Cheltenham Gold Cup (3.05pm)

  • Steeple Chase (Three miles and two and a half furlongs – New Course) 
  • Open to horses ages four-years-old and older 

The Gold Cup is known as the Blue Riband of steeple chasing and the most prestigious race of the four day meeting. It was first run in 1819 but at the time the race was run over three miles on the flat. In 1924 the race first appeared on the calendar in its current format. The Cheltenham Gold Cup after the Grand National is the race anybody connected with the sport would like to win rather than any other. The race is always run on the last day of the festival.

Can Al Boum Photo win this race for the third year in a row? The past two years have seen a run at Tramore on New Year's Day and then victory at Cheltenham. That's just what has happened this year with a win in a Grade 3 race at Tramore, will history repeat itself? A major contender is A Plus Tard who last ran on December 28 winning the Savills Chase at Leopardstown beating Kemboy and Melon.

2020 Result

1st  Al Boum Photo 10/3 - trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend

2nd  Santini 5/1 - Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville

3rd  Lostintranslation 10/1 - Colin Tizzard/Robbie Power

The Last 10 Winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup 

  • 2020 - Al Boum Photo (10/3) Willie Mullins (trainer), Paul Townend (jockey)
  • 2019 - Al Boum Photo (12/1) Willie Mullins, Paul Townend 
  • 2018 - Native River (9/2) Colin Tizzard, Richard Johnson
  • 2017 - Sizing John (7/1) Jessica Harrington, Robbie Power
  • 2016 – Don Cossack (9/4F) Gordon Elliott, Barry Cooper 
  • 2015 - Coneygree (7/1) Mark Bradstock, Nico de Boinville
  • 2014 - Lord Windermere (33/1) Jim Culloty, Davy Russell
  • 2013 – Bobs Worth (11/4F) Nicky Henderson, Barry Geraghty
  • 2012 – Synchronised (8/1) Jonjo O'Neil, AP McCoy
  • 2011 – Long Run (7/2F) Nicky Henderson, Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

Pointers

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious steeplechase in the world and is one of the most demanding. The race is won by horses with stamina, jumping ability and a turn of foot which is a rare combination. 

Foxhunters’ Chase (3.40pm)

  • Steeple Chase (Three miles and two and a half furlongs – New Course) 
  • Open to horses ages five-years-old and older 

The Foxhunters’ Chase dates back to 1904 and traditionally is the race on the card immediately after the Gold Cup. The race is often called the ‘amateur Gold Cup’ because it brings together the best horses from the hunter chasers scene. The Foxhunters’ is run over the same distance and number of fences as the Gold Cup and horses not far below the best level have been successful in the past. 

Billaway was second in this race and has a good chance of going one better this year. The last two races for this runner have both been won, so good preparation for another crack at winning this race.

2020 Result

1st It Came to Pass 66/1 - trained by Eugene M O'Sullivan and ridden by Miss M O'Sullivan

2nd Billaway 11/4 - Willie Mullins/PW Mullins

3rd Shantou Flyer 3/1 - Mrs Rose Loxton/Mr David Maxwell

The Last 10 Winners of the Foxhunters’ Chase 

  • 2020 - It Came to Pass (66/1) - Eugene M O'Sullivan (trainer), Miss M O'Sullivan (jockey)
  • 2019 - Hazel Hill (7/2F) - Philip Rowley, Mr Alex Edwards
  • 2018 - Pacha Du Polder (18/1) Paul Nicholls. Miss H C Tucker 
  • 2017 - Pacha Du Polder (16/1) Paul Nicholls, Bryony Frost
  • 2016 – On The Fringe (13/8F) Enda Bolger, Nina Carberry 
  • 2015 – On The Fringe (6/1) Enda Bolger, Nina Carberry
  • 2014 - Tammys Hill (15/2) Liam Lennon, James Smyth
  • 2013 – Salsify (2/1F) Roger Sweeney, Colman Sweeney
  • 2012 – Salsify (7/1) Roger Sweeney, Colman Sweeney
  • 2011 – Zemsky (33/1) Ian Ferguson, Derek O'Connor
  • 2010 – Baby Run (9/2 J2F) Nigel Twiston-Davies, Sam Twiston-Davies

Fact File

The race after the Gold Cup is the amateur’s version and is run over the same distance. Even though the race is for amateur jockeys there are some very good ones in the unpaid ranks Most winners ran in point-to-points or Hunter Chases but many have also won a race under Rules.

Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase

This Grade 2 race is open to mares that are aged five years or older and takes place on the New Course over 2 miles 4 furlongs and 127 yards. There are 17 fences to get over. This is a new race at the Cheltenham Festival. Elimay trained by Willie Mullins is a good bet to win this race. Won a listed race at Naas last month and in the last seven races has had five wins and two seconds.

 

The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle (5.30pm)

  • Hurdle Race (Two miles and four furlongs – New Course) 
  • Open to horses ages four-years-old and older 

The race was added to the festival programme in 2009 and is named after the 15-times National Hunt champion trainer who retired in 2006. Martin Pipe trained 34 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and his son David has maintained the family tradition by training winners at the meeting and Comply Or Die who won the Grand National in 2008. The David Pipe named event race is the last hurdle race of the meeting which culminates with a steeple chase. 

Champagne Gold could be the winner of the last race of this year's festival. Second in the Ladbrokes Hurdle was a good effort. A good run by Drop the Anchor would boost is form.

2020 Result

1st Indefeatigable 25/1 - trained by Paul Webber and ridden by Rex Dingle

2nd Pileon 9/1 - Philip Hobbs/Ben Jones

3rd Great White Shark 40/1 - Willie Mullins/DJ McInerny 

The Last 10 winners of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle 

  • 2020 - Indefeatigable 25/1 - Paul Webber (trainer), Rex Dingle (jockey)
  • 2019 - Early Doors (5/1) - JP O'Brien, Jonjo O'Neill
  • 2018 - Blow by Blow (10/1) - Gordon Elliott. D Meyler 
  • 2017 - Champagne Classic (12/1) Gordon Elliott, JJ Slevin
  • 2016 – Ibis De Rheu (14/1) Paul Nicholls, Jack Sherwood 
  • 2015 – Killultagh Vic (7/1) Willie Mullins, Luke Dempsey
  • 2014 - Don Poli (12/1) Willie Mullins, Mikey Fogarty
  • 2013 – Salubrious (16/1) Paul Nicholls, Harry Derham
  • 2012 – Attaglance (20/1) Malcolm Jefferson, Harry Haynes
  • 2011 – Sir Des Champs (9/2F) Willie Mullins, Emmet Mullin

Pointers

Only one favourite has won this handicap hurdle since 2009 and only three winners have had a starting price of less than 10/1. Willie Mullins has won the race three times since 2011 with the horses carrying different jockeys.Gordon Elliott has trained the winner in two of the last three runnings of this race.There have been no multiple winning riders over the last 9 years since the race was introduced to the Festival in 2009. Horse aged 5 and 6 have dominated the payout places. 

 

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