CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL GOLD CUP AND DAY 4 TIPS
The final day of the Cheltenham Festival features the Cheltenham Gold Cup at 3.30, the feature event of the meeting. Al Boum Photo will be trying to write his name in the history books with a third consecutive victory, the first horse to do so since Best Mate (2002-2004).
We have assessed his chances of completing the hat-trick and taken a close look at his biggest challengers. Our comprehensive Cheltenham Day 4 Tips page covers every race at the meeting and includes selections from our panel of experts.
Cheltenham Day 4 Races Schedule
|1:30||Triumph Hurdle Tips||2m 1f||Hurdle|
|2:10||Country Handicap Hurdle Tips||2m 1f||Hurdle|
|2:50||Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Tips||3m||Hurdle|
|3:30||The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips||3m 2f||Chase|
|4:10||Foxhunter Chase Tips||3m 2 1/2f||Chase|
|4:50||Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle Tips||2m 4 1/2f||Hurdle|
|5:30||Grand Annual Chase Tips||2m 1/2f||Hurdle|
Cheltenham Festival Friday Feature Race
The feature race on Friday’s card is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, arguably the most prestigious jump race in the world. It is only rivalled by the Aintree Grand National which is a handicap whereas the Gold Cup is a Grade 1 chase off level weights. Ante-post betting on the Gold Cup is available all year round and we have profiled the leading contenders for this year’s race along with our exclusive Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips.
3:30 Gold Cup Steeplechase
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the feature race of the festival meeting with the top chasers from Britain and Ireland clashing over an extended three and a quarter miles. Willie Mullins finally ended his long wait for success in this race when Al Boum Photo won in 2019. The horse followed up last year and now bids to join an elite group of three-time winners, the most recent being Best Mate (2002 to 2004).
Golden Miller won a record five Gold Cups from 1932 to 1936 with Cottage Rake completing a hat-trick (1948 – 1950). Arkle is widely regarded as the greatest steeplechaser of all time, chalking up three victories between 1964 and 1966. In more recent times, there were famous victories for Dawn Run (1986), Desert Orchid (1989) and Kauto Star (2007 and 2009), the first horse to regain the crown.
Al Boum Photo
The Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite is Al Boum Photo who is bidding to emulate Best Mate by winning the race for three successive seasons. Willie Mullins has taken an identical route to Cheltenham as in 2019 and 2020, his star chaser winning the New Year’s Day Chase at Tramore. Al Boum Photo sets the standard and should be at the peak of his powers at the age of nine.
Minella Indo was arguably unlucky to be caught by Champ after a mistake at the final fence in the 2020 RSA Chase. Henry De Bromhead’s eight-year-old blotted his copybook with a fall in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown. Provided that has not damaged his confidence, he should give Rachael Blackmore a great ride in the Gold Cup and make for a great Cheltenham betting tip.
Nicky Henderson’s faith in Santini was justified last year when the gelding got within a neck of Al Boum Photo in this race. A surprise defeat at Aintree and a disappointing run after being supplemented for the King George have raised questions about him again this season. The decision to run him at Kempton may have back-fired to some extent but he could be a different proposition at Cheltenham.
A Plus Tard
A Plus Tard burst into the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting when winning the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. That was only his second race over three miles but the extra quarter of a mile at Cheltenham remains uncharted territory. Connections may well leave a final decision on his participation until they know how testing conditions will be.
Champ made up over eight lengths on the run-in to catch Minella Indo in last season’s RSA Chase. Nicky Henderson has kept his powder dry in the early part of the season so Champ could yet emerge as the most serious threat to the favourite amongst the Cheltenham free bets.
Frodon has been a terrific servant to the Paul Nicholls stable and surpassed his previous achievements with an all-the-way win in the King George VI Chase at Kempton. Nicholls had no hesitation in setting his sights on the Cheltenham Gold Cup with jockey Bryony Frost looking to record another famous victory.
Kemboy ran a tremendous race in defeat in the Savills Chase and looks a useful second string for Willie Mullins. He got no further than the first fence in 2019 and didn’t jump with any fluency when only seventh last season. Mullins has the option of keeping him for the Betway Bowl at Aintree in April, a race he won easily in 2019.
Melon carries the yellow and black Donnelly colours of Al Boum Photo and has finished runner-up at the last four Cheltenham Festival meetings. He is undoubtedly a high class horse, finishing second in the Champion Hurdle in 2018 and 2019. Last season he was beaten a nose by Samcro in the Marsh Novices’ Chase over an extended two and a half miles and he also has an entry in the Cheltenham Festival Ryanair Chase over that distance.
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2021 Odds
Al Boum Photo is 7-2 favourite in the Gold Cup betting after his New Year’s Day victory at Tramore. Those odds are likely to shorten unless something else emerges as a serious contender in the remaining trials.
Minella Indo’s early departure in the Savills Chase denied us the opportunity to compare last season’s top novices to the more established stars. He remains a general 8-1 shot while his RSA Chase conqueror Champ is quoted at 10-1 ahead of his seasonal debut. There remains an element of doubt over the participation of Savills Chase winner A Plus Tard (12-1).
Willie Mullins will also have alternative options for Melon (33-1) and Kemboy (25-1) but both ran excellent trials for Cheltenham. The biggest drifter after the Christmas fixtures was Santini, runner-up in the 2020 Gold Cup but well beaten in the King George behind Frodon. He was eased out to 11-1 with Frodon cut to 16-1 in the betting tips.
Cheltenham Friday Tips
Friday’s action gets under way with the Triumph Hurdle over two miles, the champion four-year-old event of the season. Gordon Elliott won this race with subsequent dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll in 2014 and again with Farclas in 2018. He has the ante-post favourite in Zanahiyr, an impressive winner at Leopardstown on Boxing Day. Irish rival Willie Mullins is likely to oppose with French Aseel, purchased by the owners of Al Boum Photo after winning by 22 lengths on his hurdling debut.
The County Hurdle is one of the most competitive races of the week. Saint Roi was a well-backed winner last year, the first outright favourite to oblige since Master Tern won in the same colours in 2000. All eyes will be on hat-trick seeking Al Boum Photo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It Came To Pass (66-1) denied Willie Mullins a five-timer when beating Billaway in the Foxhunter Chase and the pair could renew rivalry in March amongst the Cheltenham betting offers.
Cheltenham Races Day 4 Free Bets
There will be some fantastic betting offers on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day including free bets, special odds and improved each-way betting terms. New customers will be offered massive prices on the Gold Cup favourite to a limited stake. 888Sport offered Al Boum Photo at 33-1 to a £5 stake last year so do look out for Cheltenham Gold Cup betting offers!
Betfred, Betfair and Paddy Power are already offering all punters the “non-runner – no bet” concession for the Cheltenham Festival 2021. With so much uncertainty over running and travel plans during the Pandemic, the “NR-no bet” option is a great safeguard for your Cheltenham tips. Check with your bookmaker before placing your bets.
Cheltenham Day 4 Odds
Zanahiyr is a best-priced 11-4 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle with French Aseel at 7-1 and impressive Chepstow winner Adagio at 10-1. Al Boum Photo can be backed at 7-2 (with a run) for the Cheltenham Gold Cup with 8-1 or better available for each of his rivals. Last year’s runner-up Santini and RSA Chase first and second, Champ and Minella Indo, are prominent in the list.
There will also be plenty of Cheltenham day 4 tips for the County Hurdle where Nicky Henderson’s Buzz and Greatwood Hurdle winner The Shunter are among the ante-post favourites at 20-1. Benie Des Dieux tops the betting for the Mares Chase at 5-1 while Billaway is 5-1 favourite to avenge his defeat by It Came To Pass (12-1) in the Foxhunters Chase.
|1:30||Triumph Hurdle||See Result|
|2:10||County Hurdle||See Result|
|2:50||Albert Bartlett Novices’||See Result|
|3:30||Gold Cup||See Result|
|4:10||Foxhunter Chase||See Result|
|4:50||Grand Annual Chase||See Result|
|5:30||Martin Pipe Handicap||See Result|