Matchbook’s Daniel Hussey will be here each day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival with his final tips and selections.
A tougher day yesterday, but we roll on to the Friday of the Cheltenham Festival.
It’s always a competitive day of action, culminating in the Gold Cup, and having it fall on St. Patrick’s Day only heightens the anticipation.
Enjoy it and the very best of luck if having a bet!
SIRE DU BERLAIS causes a massive shock to win the 2023 Stayers Hurdle
MB Price at Off – 50.0
Industry SP – 34.0
Diff. in winnings – £375.50
* Per £25 staked*
Serious value on the Matchbook Betting Exchange. pic.twitter.com/IUbKOB7nb6
— Matchbook Betting Exchange (@TeamMatchbook) March 16, 2023
Willie Mullins has the top four in the betting, with no British number priced below 34.0 at the time of writing.
Out of those, I’m inclined to go with Blood Destiny, who won very easily last time in Fairyhouse.
He has been kept fresh by not running in the Dublin Racing Festival, and considering how hard a race the other two had; I think that could prove to be the difference.
Selection: Blood Destiny (NAP)
Hunters Yarn could be this year’s State Man – there’s a line that will make you sit up and take notice.
While not noticeably as well-in, this horse was all set for the Supreme before they decided to have a go off his mark in the County.
His jumping is a massive issue, but he has some engine, so if he can keep it all together on the New Course (two hurdles in the last 7f), expect him to run a cracker under Paul Townend.
My other dart is Ballyadam who ran well up against a handicap good thing in Gaelic Warrior at the Dublin Racing Festival last month.
Only running off 144 here; it would be no surprise to see him fill the frame at a big price.
Selection: Hunters Yarn, Ballyadam
Hiddenvalley Lake is a horse I’ve liked for this race for a while, and I’m not going to desert him now.
He won a Grade 3 at Cork before heading to Clonmel – a race Henry de Bromhead has sent the likes of Minella Indo.
He was beaten by his stablemate Monty’s Star but did have to give him 6lb and had to make the running which would not have suited.
With Henry’s horses firing all week, expect a big performance.
Selection: Hiddenvalley Lake
Where do we start here? Having been so set on Stattler before the DRF, I wasn’t overly impressed with his LTO given Fury Road essentially came to a halt after the last.
Conflated’s absence since Christmas has made me fancy him more, given some of the quotes from Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown.
Noble Yeats can’t be ruled out given the application of cheekpieces again (same as his Grand National win), Minella Indo has the Gold Cup form in the book, Ahoy Senor could get his own way in front and A Plus Tard’s Gold Cup performance last year will put him right there.
We haven’t even mentioned Galopin Des Champs, the most likely winner and ran through the line (almost on to the M50) when winning the Irish Gold Cup.
Ahoy Senor has a big performance from the front in him, as he proved at Cheltenham last month.
However, the horse I’m siding with is Bravemansgame.
Couldn’t have had him for this race before the King George, but his Kempton win made it look like he would appreciate the extra two and a half furlongs here.
His Cheltenham record has been painted as negative, but he was a young novice hurdler who didn’t disgrace himself when finishing 3rd to Bob Olinger in the Ballymore, and I think he will run a big race fresh.
I’m not a Hunter Chase expert but will always have a small stake bet in this race.
Vaucelet was all set to beat Billaway at the Punchestown Festival before a mistake at the last.
Has won all three starts since and looks a worthy favourite here.
Honourable mention to The Storyteller here too, who has been good to me down through the years.
Hoping the first-time cheekpieces spark some life into him once last time.
Magic Daze is a horse I would love for this over 2m, but with the extra 4f, I’m going for a mare proven over the trip.
Allegorie De Vassy has the sexy profile, but it’s Impervious for me at the prices.
I was at Punchestown in January for her performance in beating Journey With Me, despite being at a disadvantage at the weights.
De Bromhead’s horse has subsequently boosted the form, and with her freshened up for this, I think she’ll go very close.
The get-out race of the Festival. Lucky Last. Whatever you want to call it.
Cool Survivor ran a creditable race at the DRF behind Good Land in February and should be primed for a big run here.
His previous start was a defeat to Hiddenvalley Lake, who could potentially have won an Albert Bartlett by this time (a relatable double maybe?).
The other horse I can’t get away from here is Iroko, who looks very unexposed.
The handicapper can’t keep up with him as he has bolted up on both handicap hurdle starts this season.
Rated 121 at the start of the season, he is now 138, but I think there’s even more potential to come.
Cheltenham Day 4 Final Selections:
- 13:30 Blood Destiny (NAP)
- 14:10 Hunters Yarn, Ballyadam
- 14:50 Hiddenvalley Lake
- 15:30 Bravemansgame
- 16:10 Vaucelet
- 16:50 Impervious
- 17:30 Cool Survivor, Iroko
Double: Blood Destiny, Impervious
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