Cheltenham Tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s Friday picks for Day 4 at Cheltenham 2022

Mick Fitzgerald previews an action packed seven-race card on the final day of the Festival.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

CHELTENHAM’S OVER – BUT WE’VE GOT PLENTY MORE TIPS AT PP NEWS!

WE’VE FOOTBALL TIPS TOO!

It’s the last hurrah of the four-day fiesta and it’s Cheltenham Gold Cup day! We’ve also got the Triumph Hurdle, the traditional curtain raiser.

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Triumph Hurdle (13:30) – Vauban

Vauban should be unbeaten as he should have got the race at Punchestown where he was beaten by Pied Piper in the stewards room. He got knocked sideways and was finishing off strongly only for the winning post to come too soon. It is interesting that Davy Russell rides Fil Dor as he has ridden him and Pied Piper in their last two starts. Fil Dor looks a real stayer on what we saw at Leopardstown. This track will play to his strengths, but I am not deserting Vauban.

County Hurdle (14:10) – Colonel Mustard & First Street (each way)

Some of Colonel Mustard‘s form is really strong. He finished second to Jonbon at Ascot and he is nicely weighted and as a novice so could still be improving. Before the rain came I was very sweet on First Street and I Like To Move It. Both of them ran great races in the Betfair Hurdle and were not beaten all that far. I thought First Street would be really suited to this track but I’m just a little concerned about the ground. If it dries out however, he could well be the each-way selection in this contest.

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (14:50) – Ginto

I have been really impressed with Ginto‘s form this season. He won very nicely over 2m 4f when winning the Grade 1 Lawlors of Naas hurdle. I love the way he goes through a race. He looks the real deal and gets a confident nod from me.

Cheltenham Gold Cup (15:30) – Galvin

I hope the ground is drying out all the time because Galvin is definitely better when the ground is slightly better. He is proven at the track having won at last year‘s Festival and previously being placed  in a Festival handicap.

He has been prepared with this race in mind all season and he could well be the answer. The each-way play in this race is the King George winner Tornado Flyer. He will be ridden cold and will come home strongly as he did in the King George VI Chase.

He was third in last year‘s Ryanair Chase so has form at the track too. Last year’s first and second have to be respected with Henry De Bromhead’s horses back in form. Protektorat has to get a mention as some of his best form is there for all to see. A step up to this trip saw him record arguably his best performance to date at Aintree last time. He can’t be ignored but it’s Galvin for me.

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St James’ Place Festival Hunter Chase (16:10) – Billaway

Billaway has been runner-up in this race in the past and was beaten a short head in last year‘s contest. Surely this is his chance to get revenge. The obvious one to take him on with is Winged Leader, who trounced Billaway last time at Thurles and is proven on soft. He is interesting.

Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase (16:50) – Elimay

Elimay was runner-up in this contest last year when a short-priced favourite and there is very little between her and Mount Ida. It could come down to one good or bad jump. The fact they receive 3lbs from Concertista swings things in their direction. Elimay deserves to win this but that guarantees you nothing. Willie Mullins will have had this race as Elimay’s target all season.

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle (17:30) – Langer Dan & Freedom To Dream (each way)

Langer Dan was beaten last year by the handicap snip Galopin Des Champs. He is only 2lbs higher this year and has to be the one with this race being the target for some time! I can’t help but put up another in here as a Freedom To Dream has a big chance. A little run through his form and you can’t help but look a little closer, especially as he finished second to Appreciate It in a bumper at Leopardstown. He has also placed in a couple of decent contests this season. He is definitely a player and a big price merits a little each-way punt.

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