Andrew Blair White’s Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Tips – Four selections for a lucky 15 including a NAP in the Gold Cup

Cheltenham Day 4 lucky 15 tips

Gold Cup day at Cheltenham is one of the biggest days of National Hunt Racing throughout the year. It’s hard to imagine that this day last year was the last time a massive crowd was allowed at the races, and I’m glad that I was able to lap it up as much as I did.

This year’s Friday card looks just as tricky as always but I have picked out four Cheltenham day 4 tips which would make up a nice lucky 15 and hopefully round off the week of previews nicely.

 

Cheltenham Day 4 Preview

The main question on everyone’s lips is whether Al Boum Photo can emulate Best Mate as only the second horse in this century to win three Gold Cups in a row. I would imagine that Simon Holt is slightly warming the voice to belt his infamous ‘THREE GOLD CUPS’, which he has used with such distinction when describing the events of Best Mate and Stradivarius on the flat. Al Boum Photo comes into this race with as good a chance as any, which we will discuss later in the piece. He perhaps hasn’t become a people’s horse over the last few years, but few will begrudge this story from reaching a fairytale ending.

There has been a shift in the programme this year, and Friday will see the first running of the new Mares Chase. Willie Mullins has had a stranglehold over the Mares Hurdle, and more recently, the Mares Novice Hurdle. As much as it’s never quite as easy as pointing and shooting, it would feel that it is prudent to be siding with the Closutton handler for this race.

 

Races such as the Triumph and the Albert Bartlett are typically competitive this year and have decent betting heats as a result. The Bartlett especially has a very open feel to it, with the market headed by Stattler, who is still at a more than working man’s price of 7/1. There are six horses within only a couple of points in the betting, and the market would suggest that there might not be as many stars as there were in last year’s renewal. We were blessed to see Monkfish face off against Latest Exhibition, Fury Road and Thyme Hill in last year’s race – with the four of them scraping out the finish at the back of the last. Fingers crossed we get some similarly exciting finishes this year.

 

Gold Cup – Al Boum Photo NAP

Al Boum Photo is a horse very close to my heart, and it would be remiss of me not to mention that there is quite a lot of Al Boum bias in my thought processes of the Gold Cup markets over the last few years. That being said, he has done absolutely nothing wrong and has only been beaten once as an open Chaser. He has won back to back Gold Cups, in two very contrasting races. He came from the rear under a confident ride from Paul Townend in 2019 to take advantage of a strong pace to clear up the run-in to beat Anibale Fly and Bristol De Mai.

Last year was a lot more tactical, and against this horse, who stays very well at this trip. Townend provided a race-winning move at four out, when taking Al Boum Photo to the front, and he clung on from the fast-finishing Santini. I think he is better than that form at face value and did remarkably well to win that race given the circumstances.

He returned to his customary New Years Date at Tramore, and won by nineteen lengths. People wanted to crab that performance, and to be honest, people just like crabbing this horse in general. As good as Envoi Allen and Monkfish might be, come back to me when they’ve won back to back Gold Cups, it is harder than it looks. Al Boum Photo will be looking to replicate this winning formula again for Willie Mullins, who has stumbled on a gold mine of a prep for the Gold Cup. He may not be a people’s horse, but he is one of my favourites. I love him and I want him to win again.

Cheltenham Day 4, 3.05pm tip: Al Boum Photo (5/2 with Paddy Power)

 

Mares Chase – Elimay

Elimay is the current favourite for this race and it is very hard to not like this grey, almost white mare. She has been a silently progressive horse since joining Willie Mullins three years ago from France and the addition of the Mares Chase to Cheltenham has been a fitting addition for a solid, chasing mare such as Elimay. She has been to Cheltenham once before in the Mares Hurdle a couple of years ago, she was a young horse back then and finished a well beaten seventh. This being said, her form has been taken to new places over fences and the fact she has only been beaten once over the larger obstacles pays testament to that. That one horse was Allaho, current favourite for the Ryanair Chase. She won the Opera Hat Mares Chase over 2 miles at Naas a few weeks ago, and she has shortened into 2/1 for this race on the back of that. I don’t think that’s an overreaction either and is justifiably that price. It has been commented that she is a very small mare, but she is a nimble jumper and loves her jumping, so I wouldn’t have any qualms with that whatsoever. I’m very confident that she can get the job done.

Cheltenham Day 4, 4.15pm tip – Elimay (7/4 with Paddy Power)

 

Foxhunters Chase – It Came to Pass EW

The favourite in this race is Billaway, trained by Willie Mullins, who was second in the race last year. He ran very well for a horse so inexperienced and that was the excuse given by connections for failing to collect. They have been eager to get runs into him this year, and he was the last twice at Down Royal and Naas. Despite a short price of 3/1, his jumping still leaves a lot to be desired and I don’t feel he’s learning as much as they had planned on the job.

Instead, I feel it is more prudent to be backing his conqueror from last year, It Came to Pass, who was an unfancied 66/1 winner of the Foxhunters for father/daughter combination of Eugene and Maxine O’Sullivan. She gave the horse a brilliant ride that day, when never far off the pace and looked the winner a long way out. He beat the right horses as well, with well fancied Billaway, Shantou Flyer and Staker Wallace all in behind. This gelding comes alive at Cheltenham and if faced with a bit of better ground on the Friday, he would be going back with a massive chance. He ran at Thurles a week ago, when disappointing and eventually unseating at three out. That was on heavy ground and this horse is a renowned decent ground horse, so I wouldn’t look into that run too much and he’s drifted out to a very appetizing price as a result.

Cheltenham Day 4, 3.40pm tip – It Came to Pass (8/1 with Betfred)

 

County Hurdle – Ganapathi EW

Willie Mullins has an excellent record in the County Hurdle in recent years and he finds himself with a very unexposed novice being one of his chief threats this time round. Ganapathi has come to Ireland with a big reputation and has run some nice races since his debut. His second in the Moscow Flyer, which can be upgraded, and his fifth in the Dublin Racing Festival behind Gaillard Du Mesnil were both eye-catching efforts and this handicap debut may find some more improvement. Certainly, a lively one having not been entered for the Supreme.

Cheltenham Day 4, 1,55pm tip – Ganapathi (10/1 with Betfred)

 

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More Andrew Blair White Cheltenham Tips

Tuesday’s lucky 15 – four picks for day 1 including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Wednesday’s lucky 15 – four picks for Wednesday’s cards including the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Thursday’s lucky 15 – four picks for day 3 including a NAP in the Stayers Hurdle.

 

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