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Assessing the favourites in the Grade 1s on day four of the Cheltenham Festival
It’s an exhilarating four days of racing at Prestbury Park, with 14 Grade 1s littered throughout the cards.
05:22 16 March 2023
Cheltenham might look in the distance from the picture above, but the iconic Festival is only around the corner with just one week to go until the tape is lifted for the curtain raising Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on March 14.
It’s an exhilarating four days of racing at Prestbury Park, with 14 Grade 1s littered throughout the cards. The biggest of those top-level races is, of course, the Gold Cup. The prestigious contest headlines the final day of the Festival and is the one every owner, trainer and jockey wants to win.
There are two other Grade 1s on the day as well though. So, without further ado, read on as we take a look at the favourites with those who bet on horse racing online and analyse their chances for the three main races on Gold Cup day.
Lossiemouth – Triumph Hurdle
A beaten favourite last time out, Lossiemouth was badly impeded a couple of times in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival. Jockey Paul Townend asked everything of the youngster to make a challenge on stablemate Gala Marceau in the closing stages, but the 1/3 shot was ultimately beaten by over two lengths.
With a clear crack of things at Prestbury Park, Lossiemouth should be able to reverse form on her stable companion — who she beat by more than seven lengths in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown in December. However, the filly’s biggest danger seems to lie in the form of Blood Destiny. Another Closutton runner, the four-year-old is as short as 7/4 now. Townend will have a big decision to make on who to ride.
Corbetts Cross – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
While it’s usually Willie representing the Mullins name at the fore of the Cheltenham Festival markets, it is his nephew Emmet who leads the way in the ante-post betting for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
A fantastic up-and-coming trainer in his own right, saddling his first Cheltenham winner The Shunter in the Plate Handicap Chase in 2021 before winning the Grand National last year, Corbetts Cross is arguably the Irishman’s best chance of the week.
Switching to Mullins’ yard from Eugene O’Sullivan in January, the six-year-old won on debut for his new handler in a Grade 2 Novice Hurdle at Naas last month — making it three wins on the trot for the Paul Byrne-owned horse. He’s in fine form and is a good shout for this race.
Galopin Des Champs – Gold Cup
It could be a good day for the Mullins family, as Willie boasts one of the shortest priced favourites in the Gold Cup for a long time — as Galopin Des Champs is just 7/4 to win the Blue Riband contest. The seven-year-old’s form justifies favouritism with five wins from six over fences, his only loss coming in last year’s Turners when he fell at the last.
That’s a distant memory now for this horse and his connections however, as he’s won three Grade 1s in a row since — including the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival. This is an additional two-and-a-half more furlongs than what he’s used to, but it should be no concern as he was still going well at the end of the three-mile Irish Gold Cup.
Defending champion A Plus Tard is still a concern despite a less than an ideal season that has resulted in him not even finishing a race yet, while Bravemansgame is the leading challenger for Britain. Interestingly, Emmet’s Grand National winner Noble Yeats is also in the top four of the betting as he aims to become just the third horse to win both races.