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Cheltenham Festival 2021 Day Four Preview : Another Win for Al Boum Photo?

Cheltenham Preview
Last Updated : 15th March, 2021 By Steve A
Friday 19 March 1.20 - 5.30pm
Live on ITV
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The fourth and final day of the Cheltenham Festival takes place on Friday 19th March. This is where we find the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the feature race on day four and the highlight of the meeting, and of the entire national hunt season. It could be argued that the supporting cast for this day is slightly lower in quality than the first three days, but all that ensures that the Gold Cup takes centre stage. 

Away from the feature race, the card has another six races on it, with three tough looking handicaps, the Foxhunters for amateurs, and two novice hurdle races that are traditionally tough to solve. This is not an easy end to proceedings for punters, anyone who has more than a single winner on this day is doing very well. 

We take a look at the final day of the Cheltenham Festival here, and have already covered the other three days elsewhere, you can read them using the links below.

Day One | Day Two | Day Three

For those looking for general advice ahead of the full meeting, we have a dedicated Cheltenham page that is full of the latest news, betting tips, advice on how to tackle the meeting and much more. We also have a page that looks at the final day of the meeting and the history behind it. We have listed all the winners from last year here, valuable information and certainly worth a quick glance, you can find it here

Triumph Hurdle - 1.20pm

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. 

Zanahiyr is trained by Mrs Denice Foster and is going for a five-timer. Four successive wins have include victories in Grade 2 and Grade 3. Looks to be another highly promising Irish raider. A 14 length demolition of Saint Sam makes this runner difficult to beat.

Others fancied to run a good race on Friday include Tritonic who is closely behind Zanahiyr in the current betting. This runner is trained by Alan King who has a 21% strike rate in the past fortnight. Won in Class 2 over the flat. Both runs over hurdles have been won, including a Grade 2 success at Kempton at the end of February.

Haut En Coleurs has only had one race over hurdles but represents the Willie Mullins yard. That was back in October, so it'll be interesting to see how this runner fares. Zanahiyr is our tip in the opening race on Friday.

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. 

Which race will Ganapathi run in on Friday if any? This Willie Mullins runner is also entered for the final race on this card and also a race at Kempton on Saturday. If taking part here, there's a good chance of a win. Races this season have seen a second in a Grade 2 and fifth in Grade 1. Mullins has a reputation for taking a graded runner and putting them in handicaps.

 Drop the Anchor is trained by P A Fahy and is another top Irish prospect for a festival winner. Won a Grade B race at Leopardstown last month. Last time out, this runner came out on top after a great battle against Champagne Gold. Another good perfomance can bring about a win in this race.

Here's a race that is a real stamina test for the novices. An uphill finish is going to be tough for them on ground already used for three days racing. 

There are plenty of possible winners of this race. Fancied by us are Alaphilippe who is trained by Fergal O'Brien. Last time out, this contender won a Grade 2 race at Haydock. That made it four wins out of five this season and a bold show is expected here.

Barbados Buck's is trained by Paul Nicholls. He has an in-form yard just at the right time of the year. This runner is going for a four-timer after two Class 4 victories and then moving up a class to get another win. A promising novice who has a good chance of winning this race.

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.

Al Boum Photo bids to win this race for the third year in a row. This is a runner that we don't get to see a great deal of. The pattern is to run at Tramore on New Year's Day an then win the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. That's what has happened this year with a victory in a Grade 3 race at Tramore after being off the track for 294 days. The only other course this runner has raced on in recent years was a May outing at Punchestown. There's a good chance that Willie Mullins can again get a win in this race.

There's tough opposition out there though with Nicky Henderson running Champ who is currently the second favourite. Champ was second here in the 2019 running of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle. Over fences, 2020 began with a fall in a Grade 3 race at Cheltenham. A much better performance was put in at last year's Cheltenham Festival finishing second in the RSA Chase. Since then, just one race when finishing second in a Grade 2 at Newbury, again a mistake costing victory. A good contender but will need a perfect jumping performance to have a chance of winning.

Paul Nicholls is in good form at present, so a good run from Frodon could be on the cards. Frodon won the Ryanair Chase here two years ago and last year was fourth in that race. This season has been up and down with the down being finishing 82 lengths behind the winner at Aintree. Talk about bouncing back to form though, Boxing Day saw Frodon win the King George VI Chase. Stewards asked how such improvement had taken place. The reply was that the Aintree race had fences omitted and that didn't suit Froden. The more fences the better it seems and an each-way bet on this runner is an idea.

For the winner though, we're going for A Plus Tard who last ran on December 28 winning the Savills Chase at Leopardstown beating Kemboy and Melon. 2019 saw our tip win the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the festival. Last year, A Plus Tard was third in the RSA Chase. With that Leopardstown win and a rest since, this Henry de Bromhead runner is our selection in the big one.


The Foxhunters Chase is ran over the same course and distance as the Gold Cup, and known as the Amateurs Gold Cup. Although we now see many of the bigger stables with entries in this race which has taken a little away from it, they are helping the amateur scene thrive, and this race is the feature of that. 

Billaway is the likely winner here and another from the Willie Mullins yard. Second in this race last year and has a good chance to go one better this year. Revenge has already been claimed against It Came to Pass, the shock 66/1 winner of this race in 2020. Billaway finished ten lengths ahead of that runner when coming second at Fairyhouse in November. Since then, Billaway has had wins at Down Royal (beating Stand Up and Fight, who beat him in Fairyhouse) and at Naas at the end of January. Nice rest since then and can get the win here.

Opposition will come from Bob and Co, trained by Paul Nicholls who was a Class 3 winner at Haydock towards the end of February. That came after a 363 day break and was a step up on three Class 6 wins in January and February of last year. First time at Cheltenham, so it'll be interesting to see how this contender runs.

Can It Came to Pass cause another shock this year? Not on current form with that run behind Billaway and then unseating its rider at Thurles and was making plenty of mistakes in that race. A return to this course might spark a revival and the odds won't be anywhere near as high, but not one for us. Stick with Billaway, that's our pick for this contest.

This is a new Grade 2 race is open to mares that are aged five years or older and  runners take to the New Course for this two miles, four furlongs and 127 yards race with 17 fences to get over.ces to get over. 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, now that's consistency.

Also fancied for this race is Colreevy, also from the Mullins yard. Finished fifth in the Dawn Run last year at Cheltenham, three of the runners ahead were trained by Willie Mulliins. Colreevy has had three wins out of three this season with wins in Grade 1 and 2. A good run is likely from this entrant.

Away from the Mullins yard, Annie Mc has good each-way chances here. Trained by Jonjo O'Neill, has won five out of eight over fences including a listed race at Warwick in February. It's Elimay though that we believe will be the winner of this race.


The final race of the meeting is certainly a tough one, the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys. Just like the Grand Annual, plenty of horses will be coming here thinking they have a bit in hand over the handicapper and our selection is definitely a horse that comes under that category. 

Willie Mullins has a strong contingent as ever. Ganapathi has a good chance on his fifth in a Grade 1 race at Leopardstown in February. Before that, Ganapathi had a second place in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) with previous winners behind.  Gentleman De Mee is another Mullins runner and possible favourite. This runner had been off the track for 480 days before winning its maiden hurdle in February. Could be anything really.  

Our pick for the final race is the Dan Skelton trained Langer Dan, winner of a Grade 3 race at Sandown last Saturday. That was a big improvement on recent form and hopefully more is on the way. Last year saw our selection finish sixth in the Fred Winter and is our tip for the final contest of the meeting.

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  • The last horse to win three successive Cheltenham Gold Cups was Best Mate 2002-04.
  • Irish trainers have won the Triumph Hurdle in three of the last five years.
  • Dan Skelton has trained the winner of the County Hurdle in two of the past three years.
  • The favourite last won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle in 2013.
  • Three of the last four winners of the Foxhunters' Chase have had odds of at least 16/1.
  • The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey's Hurdle was last won by the Favourite in 2011.

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