ITV Racing Tips for Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival on Friday 17th March
ITV Racing will be showing five races a day from the 2023 Cheltenham Festival and we have asked Henry to go through each race and pick his best bet from each race each day.
The day 4 Cheltenham betting tips from ITV Racing can be found below as well as a quick preview of each race, starting Triumph Hurdle at 1.30pm and the big race of the day is the Gold Cup, due off at 3.30pm.
Henry has also added in his picks for the final two races of the day, which will not be shown on ITV Racing this year but can be found on Racing UK.
Cheltenham Day 4 Tips for ITV Racing
- 1.30pm – BLOOD DESTINY (15/8) NB
- 2.10pm – BALLYADAM (22/1) EW
- 2.50pm – SHANBALY KID (22/1) EW
- 3.30pm – GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (15/8) & AHOY SENOR (20/1) EW
- 4.10pm – VAUCELET (11/4) NAP
Races not on ITV
- 4.50pm – ALLEGORIE DE VASSY (13/8)
- 5.30pm – SPANISH HARLEM (9/2)
The opener on Gold Cup day is the JCB Triumph Hurdle, a race for the juvenile hurdlers over 2m1f.
Willie Mullins owns a strong hand in this of course and it’s the choice of Patrick Mullins that I think will win, BLOOD DESTINY (15/8) NB. He ran once in France over at Auteuil where he finished a good second behind Bo Zenith. However, it’s his two runs since joining Mullins which have been highly encouraging. He’s won both his maiden at Cork, and a decent race at Fairyhouse in taken fashion, jumping well and going from the front. The form of his win last time-out reads well with Nusret winning the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle and Jazzy Matty winning the Boodles here earlier in the week both in behind. He’s proven he handles cut in the ground and he looks a very good juvenile to me.
The 2:10 is the County Hurdle, always a competitive contest ran over 2m.
I think BALLYADAM (22/1) EW could run a big race here for the Rachael Blackmore and Henry are Bromhead duo. He ran his best race of the season in this race last year finishing a good 5th despite not getting the clearest of runs at a crucial stage. He returned to form with a good third at Leopardstown last time out behind Ballymore runner-up Gaelic Warrior which will hopefully have put him spot on for this. The De Bromhead stable have had a really encouraging week and they are certainly in better form now than they have been at any point earlier in the season. I think Ballyadam will run a big race.
The 2:50 is the turn of the staying novice hurdlers in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle over the 3m trip.
I like SHANBALY KID (22/1) EW in this. He looked very inexperienced when finishing 4th on hurdles debut in December over 2m but I got the impression he’d learn a lot from it going forward. He did just that when stepping up to 2m4f at Navan last time-out staying on strongly to beat Monty’s Star who’s boosted the form since. He’s been kept fresh for this since which I like and I think this further step up in trip is only going to bring out further improvement again. He’s a lively one in here definitely for the Gigginstown operation.
The main event comes up at 3:30 and it is of course, the Grade 1 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup over an extended 3m2f.
I think GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (15/8) will silence his doubters here and win this. He looks to have everything, he has a high cruising speed, he’s a decent jumper and he was staying on right through the line over last time out over 3m suggesting this unique test shouldn’t be an issue. He’s trained and ridden by the right men in Willie Mullins and Paul Townend and if there is a superstar in here, it’s him.
I also think AHOY SENOR (20/1) EW can run a big race too. A winner here at Cheltenham last time out when landing the Cotswold Chase, he got his season back on track. He was runner-up here in the Brown Advisory last season when still learning his job before reversing the form with L’Homme Presse at Aintree. He’s proven he is definitely a spring horse and the Lucinda Russell yard can’t do anything wrong at present. He’s the likely pace angle in here too which will help him as there doesn’t appear to be anything else in here that will want to go forward.
It’s the final turn of the amateur jockeys at 4:10 in their very own version of the Gold Cup, it is the St James Place Festival Challenge Chase over the same track and trip, know as the Foxhunters to many racing fans.
I think VAUCELET (11/4) NAP is the one here. David Christie has a few he could target here but he puts all his faith in this lad. He’s an 8 year-old on the upgrade. He should have won at Punchestown last season when making a hash off the last that gave 2022 winner of this race Billaway a chance to get back up. He’s continued to improve since however winning his last three starts. Billaway is definitely on the decline and I’d hope he’s improved past him. The soft ground will suit Vaucelet and he’ll relish this stamina test. Tough to beat.
The 4:50 race is the Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase, a Grade 2 contest over an extended 2m4f.
It’s ALLEGORIE DE VASSY (13/8) for me here. She looks a mare of serious ability and I’m confident she can put it all together here. Her inexperience is an obvious concern but only 9 runners max are going to line-up here which will help. She’s won both chase starts to date and appears to have a hell of an engine. If she gets into a nice jumping rhythm early, she’ll take some stopping in this. Impervious is the obvious danger as she is the proven form vs the potential superstar in the selection.
The final to round off an incredible week is the competitive Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, a race for conditional jockeys over an extended 2m4f.
I think SPANISH HARLEM (9/2) will take this. Willie Mullins wanted to ensure he got four runs into him as I think this has been the target for the majority of the season. I am pretty sure we definitely haven’t seen the best of him and Willie knows exactly what it takes to win this having landed it four times in recent years. There is no better conditional jockey he could have on board that Michael O’Sullivan. I have no doubt he’s a better horse than a mark of his current mark of 135.
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