We’re off to the races all this week, looking today at the Cheltenham Festival day 4. 28 races make up the most hotly-contested event in the racing calendar with almost 500 horses competing for £1m in prize money every day. This year’s festival runs 13-16 March and we’ll keep you up to date on air and online with the previews and results.
Cheltenham Festival Day 4
Here’s how the agenda looks for the fourth and final day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, with seven more races on the card. The highlight of today being the Cheltenham Gold Cup, underway at 3.30pm.
- 1.30pm: Jcb Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)
- 2.10pm: Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
- 2.50pm: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Spa) (Grade 1)
- 3.30pm: Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)
- 4.10pm: St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase
- 4.50pm: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
- 5.30pm: Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
The all conquering Gigginstown House Stud, owned by Michael O’Leary will be hoping to crown an unforgettable Cheltenham Festival by landing the Blue Riband, The Gold Cup.
Their main hope is the Noel Meade trained Road to Respect, whose been a leading fancy for this since winning the Leopardstown Christmas Chase and also won at the Festival last year.
Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power are back at Cheltenham chasing a second consecutive Gold Cup victory, with Our Duke carrying their hopes following the defection of last year’s hero Sizing John, who suffered a setback last week.
Our Duke, who trounced his rivals in last year’s Irish Grand National, winning by 14 lengths, will be making his festival debut on his first visit to Britain.
The ground was good to yielding at Fairyhouse when the Cooper family’s crack chaser won the Irish Grand National, but it was heavy when he achieved his most recent success in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.
On that occasion he gave 7lb and a length beating to Presenting Percy, who franked the form on Wednesday when delivering an impressive performance to win the the RSA Chase by seven lengths.
Willie Mullins will saddle four in his quest to break a Gold Cup hoodoo that has seen him depart with the runner-up on six occasions.
Florida Pearl (2000), Hedgehunter (2006), Sir Des Champs (2013) and On His Own (2014) all hit the crossbar before Djakadam finished a brave second in 2015 and 2016.
This year, Mullins is represented by Djakadam again, Bachasson, Killultagh Vic and Total Recall. Patrick Mullins will be on board Djakadam this time out.
Noel Meade is another Irish trainer hoping to land his first Gold Cup success and sends Road To Respect into battle while Joseph O’Brien runs miracle horse Edwulf and Tony Martin is represented by Anibale Fly.
Gordon Elliott, who won the 2016 running with Don Cossack, lets the Gigginstown-owned Outlander take his chance under Jack Kennedy.
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