The DR’s Cheltenham Preview & Results Friday

1:30 – JCB Triumph Hurdle Grade 1
2m1f, Class 1, £57,010.00
1 Zarkandar 13/2
2 Unaccompanied 11/2
3 Grandouet 13/2
4 Sam Winner
23 ran
WIN: £6.90
EX: £31.30 CSF: £37.22
TRICAST: £249.31 Tote Trifecta: £131.20

2:05 – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle Grade 3
Awaiting full result…
2m1f, Class 1, £39,907.00
1 Final Approach 10/1
2 Get Me Out Of Here 7/1
3 Nearby 66/1
4 Cockney Trucker 33/1
26 ran
WIN: £12.80
EX: £125.00 CSF: £70.09
TRICAST: £4459.58

2:40 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Spa Novices’ Hurdle Race) Grade 1
3m, Class 1, £57,010.00
1 Bobs Worth 15/8 Fav
2 Mossley 12/1
3 Court In Motion 9/1
18 ran
WIN: £2.70
EX: £26.00 CSF: £23.03
TRICAST: £175.47

3:20 – totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1
3m2½f, Class 1, £285,050.00
1 Long Run 7/2 Fav
2 Denman 8/1
3 Kauto Star 5/1
13 ran
WIN: £4.30
EX: £33.00 CSF: £29.91
TRICAST: £142.52

4:00 – Christie’s Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
Full result
3m2½f, Class 2, £21,007.00
1 Zemsky 33/1
2 Mid Div And Creep 100/1
3 Oscar Delta 25/1
24 ran Distances: 17l, 2l, 9l
TIME 6m 37.20s (fast by 1.80s)
Jockey: Mr Derek O’Connor
Trainer: I R Ferguson
Tote Swingers: 1&2 £0.00, 1&3 £157.40, 2&3 £342.60 WIN £68.00 PL £11.50, £35.40, £5.00
Ex £2626.70
CSF £1770.10
TRICAST £56151.86

4:40 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
Full result
2m4½f, Class 2, £28,179.00
1 Sir Des Champs 9/2F
2 Son Of Flicka 28/1
3 First Point 20/1
4 Indian Daudaie 25/1
NR: Dantari (IRE)
23 ran Distances: ½l, 2l, 4l
TIME 4m 45.22s (fast by 1.78s)
Jockey: E Mullins
Trainer: W P Mullins
Tote Swingers: 1&2 £22.50, 1&3 £45.50, 2&3 £162.70 WIN £4.70 PL £2.20, £7.10, £6.50, £6.20
Ex £114.90
CSF £137.30
TRICAST £2358.01 TRIFECTA £4182.20 Pool: £40,851.29 – 1.92 winning units.

1.30 – Triumph Hurdle
Twenty-three runners go to post for the opening race of Gold Cup day – plenty of luck in running will be needed. Sam Winner, Grandouet and Zarkandar look to be the pick of the market leaders. History tells us to stick with the market leaders with 12 of the last 17 winners coming from the top four in the market. With Nicky Henderson’s runners still not firing on all cylinders Grandouet is passed over – he also has a lengthy break to overcome. Sam Winner also has a two month break which is negative for me. This leaves me with the superbly bred Zarkander, a half brother to wonder mare, Zarkava. The Paul Nicholls inmate was very impressive when winning on his hurdling debut. That race, the Adonis, was won by last years Triumph winner so all the signs are encouraging. The son of Azamour looks very genuine so I’m hopeful of a big run. One horse I’ve felt would always be suited by the Triumph on good ground is Third Intentions. The strong pace should help settle this strong travelling type and an each-way saver is advised.
Advice: 1pt each-way Zarkandar @ 7-1
0.5pts each-way @11-1

2.05 – County Hurdle
A race in which favourites haven’t done well in recently with three big priced winners winning the last three winnings at 20-1, 20-1 and 50-1. Also, no horse rated above 135 have won the last six runnings so we may well get on a horse at a nice price. Young progressive horses have a good record in this race and the two I like are Zanir and Tarkari. Both ran respected races in this event last year when Thousand Stars was the winner. Thousand Stars has since gone on to run well in the Champion Hurdle and Noble Prince, who finished 6th, won here yesterday – the form looks solid so I don’t know why both horses are monster prices.
Advice: 0.5tps each-way Zanir @33-1 and Tarkari @66-1

2.40 – Albert Bartlett
Bobs Worth looks like he’ll go off a short priced favourite, but, with Nicky Henderson’s team out of sorts, in my opinion, I’m prepared to take him on.
The ground looks like it will be too quick for Court in Motion and a number of other runners. The horse I like is the Irish contender Gagewell Flyer. This horse has been a credit to connections winning from two miles to two and a half on soft ground. Willie Mullins has no worries about the new trip today and if this is the case, he may well improve again. He jumps fine and if allowed to get into an early rhythm he may well prove tough to pass.
Advice: 1pt each-way Gagewell Flyer @10-1

3.20 – Gold Cup
We have to go back to 1962 for the last 11-year-old winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and back to 1963 for the last 6-year-old winner – this rules out Kauto Star, Denman and Long Run. 10-year-olds have faired a little better with three winners in the last twenty years. This certainly gives Imperial Commander a chance especially with his super Cheltenham course form. Of the young pretenders Kempes looks to have the best chance and will be racing on his favoured good ground, but, he has to improve. The same must be said about Pandorama, but, he needs soft conditions to be seen at his best. The most interesting horse in the line-up is the quirky Tidal Bay. You never know what you’re quite going to get with him, but, today’s race may be run to suit. In a wide open Gold Cup he may go well at a nice price.
Advice: 1pt win Imperial Commander @9-2
0.5pts each-way Tidal Bay @25-1

4.00 – Foxhunters Chase
The amateur version of the Gold Cup, the Foxhunters, will be run at the same brisk pace as the Gold Cup. I must confess I know very little about the hunting scene, but, word on the street is, J.P McManus’ On The Fringe is a very decent horse. This hold-up performer will have the race run to suit and the excellent John Thomas McNamara takes the mount. Sericina can go well at an each-way price.
Advice: 2pts win On The Fringe @7-2
0.5pts each-way Sericina @16-1

16.40 – Martin Pipe Conditional Hurdle
Another tough race with a big field going to post. Shalone is a horse that went into my notebook after his good fifth in a decent handicap at Ascot last time out. This horse is only just returning from injury and now looks primed to run a big race. He looked like he was going to be an above average type before injury put paid to ambitious plans. That being said, if back to his best he looks like he’s on a fair mark. A hard and gritty type he’ll prove tough to pass if hitting the front.
Advice: 1pt each-way Shalone @14-1

5.15 – Johnny Henderson Chase
The getting out race of the festival and you’ll be glad to hear it doesn’t get any easier – again a big field will go to post. De Boitron and Keki Buku get the call but this race is wide open. Hopefully we can sign off on a high.
Advice: 1pt each-way De Boitron @9-1 and Keki Buku @16-1


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