Cheltenham Festival: Day Four as it happened
And that’s it folks. It’s all over for another year at Cheltenham. Thanks for staying with me. Bye for now.
1st Oiseau e Nuit 40/1
2nd Askthemaster 50/1
3rd Leo’s Lucky Star 20/1
4th De Boitron 8/1
Oiseau De Nuit the winner of the last.
Five minutes away from the final race of the Festival. Come on Anquetta, don’t let me down.
They’re coming for Oh Crick and Shoeacres in the lucky last, due off at 5.15. Imsingingtheblues is the 7/2 fav. It’s Anquetta for me though.
It’s been a very long time since I had such a good day. Three winners and three places from six races. I’d take that every day of the week.
1st Sir Des Champs 9/2F
2nd Son of Flicka 28/1
3rd First Point 20/1
4th Indian Daudaie 25/1
But Sir Des Champs has amazingly got up to win in a fantastic finish. Where did Mullins’ runner come from? The clouds?
Son of Flicka leads over the last….
And what about Shoegazer? And Sir Des Champs from way back? Loads with chances.
Shalone in third, then Firt Pint and Astracad.
Barizan still leads. Followed now by Indian Daudaie.
Mister Hyde has fallen.
Riptide is being ridden along now, as Astrcad makes good improvement.
Barizan is six lenghts six of Rose Of The Moon. Kinf Of The Night goews well midfield. Qaspal is towards the rear.
Rose Of The Mon races third. Shalone is out wide on the course.
Barizan and Riptide go out to the front.
Racing in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle.
Just a couple of minutes away from the penultimate race of the Cheltenham Festival.
There’s been word that Timmy Murphy is retiring from riding after the last at Cheltenham today. I find it hard to believe though.
Sir Des Champs is the 4/1 favourite and Shoegazer the 7/1 second favourite.
Boylesports are givng five places for the Martin Pipe Conditional Hurdle, the next race at 4.40. We’ll have a bit of that thanks.
Just two races left to make your killing. Any dead cert, inside info, something you know I don’t?
So that’s a double for Irish jockey Derek O’Connor at the Festival. Congrats to him.
1st Zemsky 33/1
2nd Mid Div And Creep 100/1
3rd Oscar Delta 25/1
4th On The Fringe 3/1
Poor Willy Twiston-Davies, a bad fall for the young fella but nohing he could do about it.
And Baby Run falls! And Zemsky is left with an easy way home to win in the hands of Derek O’Connor.
Zemsky makes progress now…
On The Fringe is beginning to stay on but Baby Run still goes so so well.
Dante’s Storm has now joined Baby Run at the front but nearly falls. Baby Run is stretching the field out now.
Baby Run hasn’t put a hoof wrong at the front since the get-go. And Herons Well is gone, what a blunder.
On The Fringe could be going better but there’s a long way to go, full circuit in fact.
The first three: Baby Run, Herons Well, Just Amazing. Theatre Diva is out of the race, and so is Description.
Distant Thunder is stone last and has no chance, still early doors.
On The Fringe is settled in the middle of the pack. Big old fences these are, expect fallers.
Baby Run makes the running and Herons Well follows him over the first.
Over 3m and 2f the trip in this one and away they go…
We’ll be underway in a moment. On The Fringe is now 3/1 joint-favourite. Support for Gone To Lunch.
16-year-old Willy Twiston-Davies rides last year’s winner of this race and current favourite Baby Run.
We need to turn our attention to the Foxhunter Chase now and Baby Run heads the market at 3/1. I’m siding with On The Fringe for JP McManus, Enda Bolger and JT McNamara.
Paddy Brennan has said Imperial Commander finished the race lame.
Paul Nicholls: “The best horse on the day won.”
A terrific reception for Long Run and Sam Whaley-Cohen in the winner’s enclosure. Well deserved.
As for me. Four races, two winners and two places today.
A first-ever Gold Cup for Nicky Henderson and I don’t think many will begrudge it to him after the week he’s had.
Gold Cup Result
1st Long Run 7/2F
2nd Denman 8/1
3rd Kauto Star 5/1
4th What A Friend 25/1
Sam Whaley-Cohen gave him a super ride and in the end it was a terrific performace. The first amateur to ride a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in 30 years.
And Long Run takes it over the last and goes on to win the Gold Cup. Young legs lads.
Denman enters the fray but it’s Kauto Star that leads on the home turn. Long Run boxes on.
Top of the hill, three in a line… Kauto Star, China Rock and Imperial Commander.
Denman is fifth but not going great guns. Kauto jumps superbly in front.
Midnight Chase fades away. Imperial Commander going very nicely on the outside.
Neptune Collonges made a terrible mistake earlier and Long Run just made an error. Kauto Star has hit the front with a circuit to go.
So, we’ve a long way to go and Midnight Chase still leads. China Rock has gone send and Kauto Star is third.
Imperial Commander is third at the moment. Long Run is in fifth.
Midnight Chase goes to the front, with a lead of 3l over Weird Al. Kauto Star is handy.
And we’re off and racing in the Gold Cup. Come on Ruby!!
Moments away from the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup….
So, 13 runners ready to do battle and we’ll soon be underway. No second guesses for who Ted Walsh thinks will win.
They’re down at the start for the big one. Long Run and Imperial Commander are now 7/2 joint-favourites. And wha about Alex Ferguson’s What A Friend, a 28/1 chance to secure the Man United manager’s first piece of silverware of the year!
Only 10 minutes to go to the off in the Gold Cup.
“No great expectations,” says Paul Nicholls. Jesus, that’s not confidence building stuff at all. “It’s better for Kauto that it’s good [the ground].”
Alright, time to really stick my neck out and predict the first three for the GC.
1. Kauto Star 2. Long Run 3. Kempes
Denman and Kauto Star are now both 11-year-old horses, no 11-year-old has won the Gold Cup since Mandarin in 1962. Darn it, should really have checked this all out before I put the rent money on Ruby.
Long Run (7/2 from 5/1) and Kempes (15/2 from 10/) are the contenders the punters want a piece of in the Gold Cup.
My colleague Robert Carry has just gone and given Kauto Star the kiss of death by backing him. That lad can’t even back his car into the driveway, never mind back a winner!
So, you’ve a good half hour to get your bets on for the big one. What a competitve Gold Cup it is and I for one cannot wait. Kettle time.
Delighted for Barry Geraghty there, who has had four seconds and now inner unti now at Cheltenham this week. A class horse anddeserved winner. Bring on the Gold Cup and Kauto Star.
1st Bobs Worth 15/8F
2nd Mossley 12-1
3rd Court In Motion 9/1
But it’s Bobs Worth with a superb jump over the last to justify the gamble and favouritism in the Albert Bartlett. He wins from Mossley back in second.
Mossley joins in the battle now.
Has to be Geraghty you feel…
Court In Motion and Bobs Worth take over.
Champion Court improving with style.
No Secrets hasn’t been headed yet, but soon I feel. About 10 horses with chances down the hill.
Join Together, Ruby’s ride, is struggling. Court In Motion travels well.
Pace quickens and still not much change at the front although Bobs Worth is getting closer.
Bobs Worth went off the 15/8 fav in the end and hasn’t moved a muscle from midfield yet. Circuit to go.
Fiulin has gone second, behind No Secrets and the pace is steady enough.
Bobs Worth is on the outside and goes well.
No Secrets leads from Teaforthree.
We’re off and racing in the Albert Bartlett. Can the Henderson duck be broken?
Two minutes away from the third. Bobs Worth 7/4F, Kilcrea Kim 6/1, Gagewell Flyer 15/2, Join Together 8/1.
The Irish have broken their record number of winners at Chelthenham today which now stands at 11 and we still have five races to go. Astonishing.
Ruby Walsh on Kauto Star: “If you take away his run at Kempton, he has a great chance. He is a healthy horse today.”
And now it’s 2/1 about Bobs Worth. Too good to be true?
Jordan, as in Katie Price, is having a chat with Thomo on Channel 4. She reckons she had the first two winners and goes for Champion Court in the next as she ‘s appearing in court next week. And for Thomo puckers up to her, the dirty old thing. Thomo, not her!
They’re storming into Bobs Worth now. Into 9/4 and the value is disappearing fast.
So, only a nose separates McCoy and Walsh in the second both have solid claims for the Albert Bartlett, up next at 2.40.
I’m with the masses though for this one, Bobs Worth is a warm favourite at 11/4 with Barry Geraghty looking for his first win of the week.
Geraghty actually bought this horse and sold him on to his boss Nicky Henderson: “I bought him as a yearling and sold him to Nicky as a four-year-old. Nobody has told me if there is a bonus if he wins!”
I make that Willie Mullins’ twentieth winner at Cheltenham in his entire career, correct me if I’m wrong. What a milestone.
Even Ruby himself has just admitted he wasn’t sure if he’d won that one.
Wow, I really thought McCoy was up there but no. Ruby gets his fifth winner of the Festival to floor the huge gamble on his rival.
1st Final Approach 10/1
2nd Get Me Out Of Here 7/1
3rd Nearby 66/1
4th Cockney Trucker 33/1
But it’s Get Me Out Of Here and Final Approach that end it in ahead bobber. I think McCoy is up!
Five in a line over the last…
Alavain comes strongly, as does McCoy on Get Me Out Of Here.
Pace is picking up now coming down the hill and the squeeze is on. Soldation improves.
Hunter View and Ellerslie Tom still dispute the lead, with Dee Ee Williams in third.
Get Me Out Of Here is mid-division on the rail and towards the back is Blackstairmountain and Grey Soldier.
They’re racing and it’s Ellerslie Tom that leads with Hunter View on the inside.
Here we go in the second of the day…
Support, of course, for Ruby’s mount Final Approach. A 10/1 shot and probably a good each-way shout. Soldatino is another that many are hot on.
They’re going down for the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle over 2m 1f and we’ve a new fav in Alarazi at 13/2. My few cents must have made their way to the course though, as Get Me Out Of Here is now slashed down to 15/2.
Hang on a minute, what about Gordon Elliott’s other runner in this 2.05 race. Grey Soldier is a steamer, from 40/1 into 14s.
Zarkandar can be backed at 16/1 for next year’s Champion Hurdle. That’s value, given the impressive way in which he just won.
Gordon Elliott will look to continue his wonderful week at the Festival by sending out the current favourite Dirar but all the money is for McCoy, Get Me Out Of Here is 9/1 from 12/1.
Here’s Paul Nicholls on Denman: “He’s tough, he’s hard but he’s not any quicker these days, he’s an 11-year-old and has had a few hard races, but his enthusiasm is still there. He has done nothing wrong, he had a great run in the Hennessy and has definitely improved a little bit for a breathing operation.”
Tony McCoy talking about Kempes’ chances in the Gold Cup later: “some things won’t go so smoothly for some horses in the Gold Cup and hopefully Kempes will be there to pick up the pieces… he’ll have a very good chance.”
It’s a shame I didn’t have a few quid to put on that one, I lost my entire budget of €17 in the first three days! What do you fancy in the next? I’m going for McCoy and Get Me Out Of Here.
1st Zarkandar 13/2
2nd Unaccompanied 11/2
3rd Grandouet 13/2
4th Sam Winner 4/1F
Great start for yours truly, giving you a 13/2 winner.
Zarkandar leads and skips away to win from Unaccompanied.
Mr Carter falls, here comes Unaccompanied. But watch out for Zarkandar…
Sailors Warn takes it up.
Unaccompanied travels very well indeed.
Houblon Des Obeaux now leads and it’s a serious pace in the Triumph.
Aikideau leads and Sailors Warn is well up there too.
And we’re away and racing.
Unaccompanied suggested by Martin Pipe in the Triumph. Nearly ready for off…
Ruby is two winners ahead of the rest of the field in the leading jockey table. Surely he won’t be caught today. And certainly not if this gamble bolts in. We’re about six minutes away from a white flag.
1.30 latest odds: Sam Winner the 9/2 favourite, money for Dermot Weld’s Unaccompanied 6/1 into 11/2 and Grandouet is out to 15/2 from an opening price of 6/1.
Here’s the official going: Chase course – good; hurdles course – good, good to soft in places. 0.2mm of rain overnight.
We’re less than 20 minutes away from the first race of the day and the support is for Ruby Walsh and his ride Sam Winner, 6/1 into 5/1.
It would be a fairytale ending to a bumper week for Ruby if he could guide Kauto Star home for a third Gold Cup later on at 3.20.
Good afternoon. Y’all welcome back to JOE’s tracker of the Cheltenham Festival on this, the final day and what fantastic racing we have to look forward to.
The first race, the Triumph Hurdle, is off at 1.30 bu for now have a look at my selections for Gold Cup Day and let me know what you think:
1.30 – Zarkandar
2.05 – Get Me Out Of Here
2.40 – Bobs Worth (NAP)
3.20 – Kauto Star
4.00 – On The Fringe
4.40 – Sir Des Champs
5.15 – Anquetta