Cheltenham Festival 2024 - Day 4 Acca


Cheltenham Festival 2024 - Day 4 Acca


All good things come to an end, and such is the case at the Cheltenham Festival. Fittingly, the festival concludes on a spectacular high, with the unmissable Cheltenham Gold Cup just one of three Grade 1 events on the card. Elsewhere, the Conditional riders get their chance to shine in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle; the County Hurdle provides a fast and furious handicapping highlight and potential stars of the future lock horns in the opening JCB Triumph Hurdle.

The final day provides one last chance to go for gold, and here we present our best bets as we aim for the big bucks with a seven-race each-way accumulator. All odds quoted are taken from Betfred.

1:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle

With seven and four wins, respectively, Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins sit first and second in the all-time Triumph Hurdle table. In all likelihood, that duo will hold the aces once again this year. Choosing the best of the Mullins representatives is no easy task. Majborough appears to be held in extremely high regard and should improve for his recent return at Leopardstown; Kargese is already a Grade 1 winner; Salvator Mundi brings solid French form to the table, and Bunting caught the eye behind Kargese last time.

Rather than attempt to unravel all of that, we will keep things simple and side with Nicky Henderson's only entry, the red-hot favourite, Sir Gino. A winner of his sole start in France - when seeing off Salvator Mundi - he introduced himself to the British public with a 14-length romp at Kempton, before making a mockery of a competitive field in the trial for this event in January. To win that race as he did suggests a hurdler of the highest order, and we won’t oppose him here.

  • Selection - Sir Gino @ 10/11

2:10 BetMGM County Handicap Hurdle

Gordon Elliott’s King Of Kingsfield heads the betting for this competitive handicap and is so quick he will likely be in front at some stage. However, we have a nagging doubt the stiff finish may find him out. With second favourite L’eau Du Sud pulling up on his only previous run at this track, we will look further down the list.

2023 first and second Favoir and Pied Piper are only 2lbs higher this time and make the shortlist, but the one we like at a big price is Gordon Eliott’s What’s Up Darling. Making only his fifth hurdles start and his first in a handicap, this Gigginstown House Stud runner has been running with real credit at Grade 3 level and above - including a second in a Grade 1. With the prospect of more to come, an opening mark of 137 gives him a solid chance.

  • Selection - What’s Up Darling @ 20/1

2:50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Another Novice event and another race in which a clutch of Willie Mullins runners dominate the market. Readin Tommy Wrong, Dancing City, and High-Class Hero won well last time and are tough to split. Readin Tommy Wrong boasts the best form, having scored in Grade 1 company, but Dancing City, in particular, looks open to plenty of improvement.

Strong as the Irish challenge is, Stay Away Fay landed the 2023 edition for the Brits, and the hosts have a decent shot at the prize again this year. Paul Nicholls sends the highly regarded Captain Teague, and Harry Fry’s giant of a horse, Gidleigh Park, brings an unbeaten record to the race, to mention just two. It would be no surprise to see both go well, but this can go to Nicky Henderson’s Shanagh Bob. Unbeaten in three starts, this one really impressed us when landing the trial for this over course and distance back in December, when looking to hit the line with plenty left in the tank. It often takes a dour stayer to land this, and this son of Mahler fits the bill.

  • Selection - Shanagh Bob @ 8/1

3:30 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase

Galopin Des Champs was so dominant last year that it’s tough to see any of those who finished behind him reversing the form. However, he has tasted twice since and is far from invincible in what looks like a hot renewal. The champ deserves to be the favourite, but odds of 5/4 are a little short for our liking.

Fastorslow is the obvious alternative, having beaten the favourite twice, whilst Gerri Colombe could be the one if this turns into a slog. However, the one we like best is Nicky Henderson’s Shiskin. Already a dual Cheltenham Festival winner, he likely would have made it three but for a juddering error four from home in the 2023 Ryanair Chase. An impressive winner last time out at Newbury, he had previously looked to have the King George in the bag only to stumble after the second last fence. He won’t be able to afford any errors here, but - with the possible exception of Galopin Des Champs - he may be the classiest runner in this field and is worth chancing.

  • Selection - Shiskin @ 6/1

4:10 St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

We stick to the Gold Cup course and distance in this next event as the amateur riders grab the spotlight. With two 66/1 winners in the space of the past four years, to say this is a tough race to call is an understatement. The wide range of skill in the saddle and a field-hailing from the Hunter Chase sphere providing two variables not seen elsewhere at the meeting.

Having stayed on from a mile back to grab second last year, the Emmet Mullins runner Its On The Line is proving all the rage in the betting and is unlikely to be far away. However, we fancy he may again give best to the defending champ, Premier Magic. 1¾l clear at the line twelve months ago, he was value for more than that, having been hampered by a faller three from home and again disrupted by a loose horse on the run-in. Unbeaten in two Point-to-Points so far this season, he possesses plenty of class for this type of race and can follow up.

  • Selection - Premier Magic @ 7/1

4:50 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

There have only been three editions of this event to date, and the Irish have won them all. With the top four in the market all hailing from the Emerald Isle, it will be a surprise if the raiding party fail to make it a perfect four from four.

Dinoblue boasts easily the best form from this season and duly heads the betting at 10/11. Carrying the confidence of Willie Mullins and dropping back into a Mares-only race, it’s tempting to side with the jolly. However, classy as she is, that looks like a short price for a mare beaten in handicap company at last year's festival and stepping up to this trip for the first time. At a bigger price, stablemate Allegorie De Vassy looks more solid to at least hit the frame. Already a winner at the trip, she finished second in the 2023 edition and warmed up with an effortless success in a Listed event at Naas.

  • Selection - Allegorie De Vassy @ 7/2

5:30 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Race 28 of this marathon punting week sees the Conditional riders bring down the curtain for another year. Willie Mullins is responsible for the top two in the market, with the past week seeing an almighty plunge on the unexposed Quai De Bourbon. That may prove ominous, but 4/1 in a big field handicap is now very short for a horse with only a pair of low-key wins in the book.

Quai De Bourbon receives a mark of 140 for this, which is the same rating as stablemate Sa Majeste. Purely on the form book, that is pretty hard to fathom, with Sa Majeste having slammed the 2022 Grand National winner and last year's Gold Cup fourth Noble Yeats by 4½l in his most recent outing. Anything close to that level of performance here should see him at least hit the frame. In the absence of Sa Majeste, who also holds an entry in the Coral Cup, the 2023 runner-up, No Ordinary Joe, is a solid alternative.

  • Selection - Sa Majeste @ 4/1

A £1 each way acca returns a healthy £248.23 if all seven place. Seven winners pays out at an outrageous £457.879.14!


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