The opening Grade 1 on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival is the Triumph Hurdle which sees the young juveniles’ take centre stage. There has been an equal divide of five wins each between Britain and Ireland over the past decade, with Nicky Henderson the leading trainer with seven career victories. Six of those 10 winners returned at a starting price of 13/2 or bigger with Peace And Co the shortest price favourite in 2015.
Zanahiyr is the leading hope for the Irish having scored at Ballinrobe, Fairyhouse and Leopardstown in his three-starts over hurdles. However, the now Denise Foster-trained runner has not raced since Christmas and the previous 10 winners last ran between 18 and 55 days before scoring in this race. Elsewhere, having an adjusted Racing Post rating of at least 150 and racing no more than three times over hurdles is an advantage on recent trends.
In summary, TRITONIC looks the most likely winner following his victory in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton. The son of Sea The Moon is trained by Alan King, who previously claimed success in this race with both Penzance (2005) and Katchit (2007). The juvenile is owned by the McNeill and Dale families and ticks plenty of boxes for this race having previously reached a rating of 99 on the flat.
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The Albert Barlett is our second of three Grade 1’s on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival with plenty of horses in the mix in what looks a very open renewal. It’s not been a great race for favourite backers with only two winning, Bobs Worth and At Fishers Cross over the past decade. Six of the previous seven winners of this race returned at double digit odds, while trainer Willie Mullins has claimed two of the previous four renewals.
Stattler and Fakiera are the leading contenders having raced behind Gaillard Du Mesnil at the Dublin Racing Festival, while Barbados Buck’s is the leading hope for the home challenge. Elsewhere, six of the previous 10 winners were aged six years old, with only one five-year-old winner (Very Wood in 2014) since 2005.
In summary, there are several who meet many of the leading trends with Musselburgh winner THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE looking a dark horse as a bigger price alternative from the Ditcheat team.
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The feature race of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival with all eyes on dual champion Al Boum Photo for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. It’s been a long wait since Best Mate landed the hat-trick in 2004, with only three other horses, Golden Miller, Cottage Rake and Arkle managing at least three victories in the showpiece of the week. There has only been two-winning nine-year-olds in the past decade, with five of the past 10 winners aged eight-years-old when securing victory.
Champ and A PLUS TARD are the main challengers and like the favourite are priced well under 8/1 in the betting. Eight of the previous 10 winners returned at a starting price of 8/1 or under, while winning or been placed at the Festival previously is another positive. Eight of the previous victors managed to win a graded race earlier in the season, which is clearly a negative against the chances of Champ.
In summary, A Plus Tard ticks a lot of boxes and comes here fresh having missed the Dublin Racing Festival last month. The seven-year-old has excellent form at Cheltenham having won the Close Brothers Chase in 2019, while also finishing third in the Ryanair Chase last year. His stamina came to the fore when winning the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and he looks the biggest danger in spoiling a fairy-tale party for Al Boum Photo.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change
CHELTENHAM 2021 – FRIDAY’S GRADE 1 SELECTIONS:
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL‘S BIG RACES
March 16 – 13:20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 16 – 13:55 – Arkle Chase latest odds and tips
March 16 – 15:05 – Champion Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 16 – 15:40 – Mares’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 17 – 13:20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 17 – 13:55 – Festival Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 17 – 15:05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase latest odds and tips
March 17 – 16:50 – Champion Bumper latest odds and tips
March 19 – 13:20 – Triumph Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 19 – 14:30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 19 – 15:05 – Gold Cup latest odds and tips
March 19 – 16:15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase latest odds and tips
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY FOUR SCHEDULE
13:20 – JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y
13:55 – County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y
14:30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y
15:05 – Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y
15:40 – St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup 3m 2f 70y
16:15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m 4f 127y
16:50 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 56y
*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.
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