Race-by-race guide to Cheltenham day 4
The JCB Triumph Hurdle is open to four-year-old novices only, so it can be a bit of a scrum at the start as the inexperienced horses jostle for position. Sam Winner can be forgiven for his odds-on defeat at Chepstow last time because of the ground and 6/1 looks big.
AlarazI will pick up a £75,000 bonus from Paddy Power if he wins any race at Cheltenham following victory in the Imperial Cup on Saturday. He ran well at this course before, and looks well treated under a 5lb penalty.
Did you know that Albert Bartlett is Britain's leading grower and packer of potatoes? I didn't either until I looked him up on the Interweb! Anyhow, the race they sponsor is an exhausting test for staying hurdlers and it takes a tough sort to win. Bobs Worth has been powering home over shorter distances and should appreciate the step-up to three miles.
The last time a horse over the age of 10 won the Gold Cup, Peter Sarstedt was singing 'Where do you go to my lovely' in the charts. Yes, it's was 1969 when What A Myth won at the age of 12. but Denman may be able to take it this year at the grand old age of 11. He deserves huge credit for managing third place in the Hennessy at Newbury last November considering he was giving some two stone in weight to the rest of the field. It's his last crack at this and 6/1 is a great each-way price.
Last year's winner Baby Run is the one to beat. He's a fine jumper and seems to be improving with age. Enda Bolger's On The Fringe will give him the most to worry about.
Another one of the newer races, the first two runnings have gone to outsiders. Only 14lbs cover the field and this looks extremely tricky for punters. My money will stay safe in the wallet.
It may be the 'great get-out stakes,' but the last race of the Festival is not one for heavy punting. Nicky Henderson's Anquetta is a smart, lightly-raced sort and will be suited by the stiff two-mile test in the race named after his father.