Cheltenham Festival: all set for Gold Cup finale

Al Boum Photo ridden by Paul Townend

Al Boum Photo being ridden by Paul Townend - Credit: PA

The fourth and final day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival sees jump racing’s Blue Riband event, the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup take centre stage.

Al Boum Photo is chasing a third successive win in the race, but takes on progressive names including Champ and Royale Pagaille.

Here's a preview of all the action in a race-by-race guide.

1.20pm Grade One Triumph Hurdle

An excellent renewal of this event for four-year-olds. Adagio is a proven G1 winner this term, but takes on a number of unexposed rivals including Zanahiyr who has looked a potential superstar in three runs this term. However, the horse of interest is Tritonic who impressed in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton last time out.

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Selection: Tritonic 9/4

1.55pm County Hurdle

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Third Time Lucki has been the subject of bullish reports by Dan Skelton in the build-up to this event and whilst he needs to take a step forward from a below par effort at Musselburgh last time out, he looks well-handicapped and can get the better of Betfair Hurdle second Fifty Ball and Ganapathi.

Selection: Third Time Lucki 8/1

2.30pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Somerset maestro Paul Nicholls saddles the progressive Barbados Buck’s who boasts the right attributes for this event. He is improving with every run and relishes this trip. However, the same applies to Alaphilippe who impressed at Haydock last time out. He shades the verdict over the Willie Mullins-trained Stattler who will appreciate the step up in trip here.

Selection: Alaphilippe 10/1 

3.05pm Grade One WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup

The feature of the week as Al Boum Photo chases a third win in succession in jump racing’s Blue Riband event. He warmed up for the event with a customary easy win at Tramore and it would be no surprise to see him make history. However, Champ stormed up the hill to win the RSA Chase at last year’s meeting and he ran a race full of promise on his return at Newbury.

He looks sure to serve it up to Al Boum Photo and has a real class edge about him. A Plus Tard won the Savills Chase last time out, but there are question marks over his stamina, whilst Royale Pagaille is another of interest following his impressive success at Haydock. It is hard to find a chink in Al Boum Photo’s armour, but Champ is progressing with every run and looks a fascinating runner.

Selection: Champ 5/1

3.40pm Foxhunters’ Chase

Billaway has looked right back to his best this term. He was probably given too patient a ride in this event last year and ridden more prominently this time around, he looks sure to go well. 2020 winner It Came To Pass has disappointed in two runs this term, which could leave Bob And Co as the main danger to our selection in this event.

Selection: Billaway 5/2

4.15pm Mares’ Chase

A new addition to the 2021 Cheltenham Festival is the Mares’ Chase. Willie Mullins looks to hold live claims of winning the event with Elimay. Second to stablemate Allaho at Thurles on her penultimate start, she oozed class at Naas last time out and can get the better of G1 winner Colreevy and former Festival heroine Shattered Love in the inaugural running

Selection: Elimay 6/4

4.50pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Willie Mullins looks to have good claims of taking out the final race of the meeting with Gentleman De Mee. He won easily on Irish debut at Naas and his handicap mark of 139 looks very appealing. He looks well-placed to land the finale on the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

Selection: Gentleman De Mee 4/1

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