Friday Cheltenham Festival Racing Tips: Corach can win the big one

 | March 14 | 

10 mins read

Cheltenham racecourse races generic scaled

The fourth and final day of the Festival and we have reached the big one. The blue riband event with the 100th year of the Cheltenham Gold Cup the main event.

There is an intriguing supporting card too and there is further rain in the forecast to factor in. We've asked Betfred TV presenter Matt Hulmes to give us his best Friday Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips.

Thursday Cheltenham Betting Tips

  • 1.30 Majborough @ 11/4
  • 2.10 L’Eau Du Sud @ 5/1
  • 2.50 Gidleigh Park @ 6/1
  • 3.30 Corach Rambler @ 18/1
  • 4.10 Its On The Line @ 9/4
  • 4.50 Limerick Lace @ 7/2
  • 5.30 Quai De Bourbon @ 3/1

1.30 Majborough @ 11/4

With the absence of long time favourite Sir Gino, the path looks clear for another Willie Mullins success as he looks for a fourth Triumph in five years, but which one? He saddles over half of the thirteen strong field.

Although MAJBOROUGH finished third to Kargese and Storm Heart at Leopardstown, I took him out as the better long term prospect. He tried to make all that day and was staying on towards the end to be beaten less than two lengths. He is the one with the most scope and I am siding with him to reverse that form.

Of the rest, keep an eye on Salver especially if more rain arrives. He is four from four and revels in the mud. He could eliminate the ghost of Goshen in this contest for Gary Moore at a double figure price.

2.10 L’Eau Du Sud @ 5/1

The market for the County Hurdle is dictated by the Irish with nine of the top eleven at the time of writing hailing from over the Irish Sea.

However one man stands amongst them and he's already proved this week he can get the job done at the festival. That man is Dan Skelton with his brother Harry on board. Following their double on Wednesday it proved how adept they are getting these handicappers ready for the big day.

Having won this race four times in the last eight years plus saddling three the first six home in this year's Betfair hurdle and the runner up in Saturdays Imperial Cup, there is nobody else you'd want onside in these type of races.

That runner up was Faivoir, who was beaten a nose at the weekend and with his jockey’s claim is just 3lb higher than last year's victory in this race.

However it is his stable companion L’EAU DU SUD who appeals most. He has winning French form on very soft ground and travelled supremely well when just touched off at Newbury last month in the aforementioned Betfair Hurdle. On just his third start of the season and off a low racing weight he looks almost certain to be involved in the business end.

Obviously we rule out the Irish at our peril. The likes of King Of Kingsfield, Absurde and Bialystok have all run well in top novice company this season while last year's runner up Pied Piper, who was also second in a Cesarewitch, Magical Zoe and Zenta give the them a strong hand.

2.50 Gidleigh Park @ 6/1

There has been no winning favourite of this race since 2013 and has often provided big price winners.

This has been the case all week Willie Mullins dominates the head of the betting.

Readin Tommy Wrong’s had Lecky Watson back in third in January in a Grade 1 when split by Wednesdays Gallagher third Ile Atlantique. It is questionable if that form is far in advance of his stable companions Dancing City or the unbeaten High Class Hero.

Paul Nicholls won this race 12 months ago and relies this time on Challow Hurdle winner Captain Teague this year. He had Johnnywho in a close fourth at Newbury over Christmas and the extra trip look sure to suit the Jonjo O'Neill trained seven-year-old and he can turn that form around. In fact at the prices he rates a decent each way play.

However, another unbeaten contender is Harry Fry’s course winner GIDLEIGH PARK. He too had Johnnywho behind when winning on trials day, just getting the better of Lucky Place. That one run a cracker to be fourth on Wednesday in the Coral Cup advertising the form. His previous wins have worked out well also and it may just be a rare novice success for a British runner this week.

3.30 Corach Rambler @ 18/1

Corach Rambler Cheltenham

So here it is. The big one. The blue riband event. The 100th year of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

An historic event could easily have an historic winner as Galopin Des Champs aims to become just the ninth horse to win more than one Gold Cup and cap a memorable week for Willie Mullins as he became a festival a centurion.

Galopin Des Champs was a fantastic winner last year and is in all probability the most likely winner again this year on the back of a facile success at Leopardstown when finally mastering Fastorslow at the third attempt. He was also brilliant over Christmas but those two defeats at Punchestown just showed there are some chinks in his armour.

Whatever beats him probably wins the race and Fastorslow was second in last year's ultima behind subsequent Grand National winner CORACH RAMBLER. That form worked out incredibly well and despite Fastorslow having a wind op after two top level successes I can't help but think that at four times the price his conqueror last year has to be the each way play for this year's big race.

I haven't seen many easier Grand National winners in recent times and although yet to win two starts this season neither race was ideally suited to him. We know he goes well fresh and he excels in the spring and he has never been beaten in three visits over fences at Cheltenham.

As we know they tend to go a fearsome gallop in this race and you need a strong stayer. I am convinced nothing will be staying on better and at around 20/1 I believe he's a brilliant each way bet with extra places on offer.

He may not have the class of the favourite but he has plenty of guts and a serious engine which counts for plenty in this race.

There are many others who will fancy their chances of success but I feel that Gerri Colombe it's still a little wet behind the ears, Bravemansgame is not in the form he was last year when denied, Hewick needs much better ground and Gentlemansgame I don't think is good enough.

L’Homme Presse is of interest as I think you can put a line through his Ascot run and showed he retains ability after a long absence. He has put up some big weight carrying performances and I think he is likely to run a race.

As long as CORACH RAMBLER doesn't get too far back early on I think he can pick up plenty of places later on and although Galopin Des Champs maybe away and gone he won't want to hear the selections hooves chasing behind him.

4.10 Its On The Line @ 9/4

PREMIER MAGIC its on the line hunters chase cheltenham

The smallest field I can remember for the Foxhunters with just a dozen set to face the starter.

ITSONTHELINE has narrow verdicts over both Ferns Lock and Billaway on his most recent starts and has just under two lengths to find on last years shock 66/1 winner Premier Magic as they meet again.

Since his narrow success in a slog at Naas five weeks ago, JP McManus has opened the chequebook to buy the seven year old and that could be telling.

David Christie is a master in this discipline but his Vaucelet was a vanquished favourite last year when just 9/4f. He relies here on Ferns Lock, who shrugged off the Boxing Day defeat to the selection to win comfortably at Thurles in January.

Those pair represent the younger brigade, with Billaway, running in his fifth Foxhunters Chase and having form figures of 221F on his CV at Cheltenham and last year’s winner Premier Magic representing the older statesmen and 12 and 11 respectively.

Samcro bids for a third Festival success but was beaten between the flags last time and Sine Nomine maybe one to sneak a place at a decent price after his comfortable Wetherby win and representing connections who took this contest back in 2002.

4.50 Limerick Lace @ 7/2

Another Willie Mullins hotpot in Dinoblue, and second favourite in Allegorie De Vassy give the main man a stronghold on the Mares’ Chase.

Dinoblue has been bumped into El Fabiolo last month, but she has won five of her nine chase, and came second in the other four. She does have leading claims but I have been worried about the step up in trip for her, as she has been headstrong over the minimum trip and was well beat on her only try at two and half miles.

That is the worry and Allegorie De Vassy, despite finishing second in this race last year and winning last time out on a left handed track, she has had a tendency to jump right.

The prize will still go to Ireland though as Gavin Cromwell saddles a pair of challengers in Brides Hill and LIMERICK LACE.

The former has won all three starts this season, rising through the ranks including an easy win at Huntingdon last time. LIMERICK LACE though beat the same runner-up by further on the same terms and also was an excellent second in the Troytown earlier in the season. She seems to have improved this season and can continue her rise up the ladder.

5.30 Quai De Bourbon @ 3/1

The 28th and final race of the week it's for the stars of the future in the saddle where the conditional jockeys get their chance to shine.

It is yet another race that the Irish do particularly well in as it is hard for the handicapper to get a handle on these lightly raced novices.

the two at the head of the market stand out in QUAI DE BOURBON and Waterford Whispers.

The former looks set to appreciate the step up in trip another hardly impressive last time out that was just his second start for Willie Mullins who's won this race four times before and as enlisted the services of the excellent Michael O'Sullivan who had a good spin in these silks in the Coral Cup on Wednesday. He's got untold improvement to come and it just seems obvious but mornings will end an incredible week with a winner.

The other to appeal is Waterford Whispers in the JP McManus silks for Henry De Bromhead who started the week in winning form. The six year old looks an ideal type for this race on just his fifth start and just fail to reel in a front runner at Leopardstown over Christmas when conceding 8lb.

He holds Answer To Kayf whom he beat at Fairyhouse early in December and is 1lb better off.

Last year's runner up No Ordinary Joe hails from the Nicky Henderson yard so can't be backed with any confidence after their torrid week.

Ocastle des Mottes also represents Mullins and was a very well backed favourite for the Betfair Hurdle last month but could only finish eighth.

Once again the Skeltons have to be taken seriously and their Lanzarote winner Jay Jay Reilly could go well at a big price while a step up in trip is intriguing for Shared who was well beaten on Saturday but did win nicely at Chepstow in October and his young trainer Harry Derham have had a decent season while Alice Stevens on board has teamed up well with the stable.

 You can follow all our Cheltenham Betting Tips at Betfred Insights

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