A brilliant day's horse racing betting in store on Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham. Before we get into that it was great to see Allaho and Flooring Porter land the two big races on the day I hope a few readers of the column were on them. Both excellent rides and especially Danny Mullins on Flooring Porter who called all the shots and never saw a rival in a good renewal of the Stayer Hurdle.
The first race of the day was a truly brillaint performance from Galopin Des Champs but the final fence caught himself and Paul Townend out and it was Rachael Blackmore on Bob Olinger who came home in front. It would have been a serious performance but it wasn't to be for them, the horse and jockey ok and they will have more days to come. Bob Olinger a two time Cheltenham Festival winner but not in the manner they would have wanted of course but that is racing.
It's Gold Cup day and it's battle on for bookmakers and the punters with honours probably even and similar with the Prestbury Cup with everything in the balance going into the 4th and final day!
Love the look of Vauban in the Triumph Hurdle. Willie Mullins really loves this horse, not just as a juvenile hurdler but as a serious prospect down the line and he should take a bit of beating.
His rating of 146 puts him 4lbs better than his main rivals here Pied Piper and Fil Dor for Gordon Elliott. The handicapper usually get's these things fairly right and bearing that in mind I think Willie Mullins can get off to a flyer here with Vauban.
Big field as usual for the County and despite that I'd be very interested in the chances of State Man. He has really come round to himself in the last month or two since he won the last day at Limerick and Paul Townend is very sweet on him for this race which was the pick of plenty of options.
I ride Farout here for Willie Mullins and I won on him at Galway in the summer so if the ground could come up nice he will definitely have a good each way chance. Obviously the rain came on Wednesday but I'll be hoping it dries nicely before this.
The Albert Bartlett is as competitive as ever this year but as I said in my Cheltenham Preview I do like the chances of Bardenstown Lad to run a big race. I won on him earlier in the season and Sean Bowen is jocked up here for today, I think he could be a nice each way price.
If ground did come up good despite all the rain earlier in the week I would also fancy the chances of Classic Getaway. Patrick Mullins rides this horse for his father Willie and the fact that Patrick is riding would suggest that maybe a big run is on the cards. At the current prices with online bookmakers I don't think he should be overlooked. He cost half a million at the sales for Chevely Park Stud two seasons ago after winning a point to point very impressively. He is probably coming in here under the radar and might be a bit of value.
In the Gold Cup I like the chances of Galvin for Gordon Elliott. The form he showed in the Savills Chase was just very strong and even the pace that he produced that day was something we hadn't seen before, plus we know he stays. He has a great record at Cheltenham and in my opinion everything looks set for a very big run.
A Plus Tard chased home Minella Indo last year in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and I feel he can turn the tables this year. Minella Indo just hasn't been operating at his best so far this season so I'd take A Plus Tard will be the one to chase home Galvin in the big one. It is set for a great race.
Billaway is the one for the Hunters Chase. Ran a great race last year to be second and has looked good this season winning nicely at Naas and it could be his turn this time to strike gold here for Willie Mullins and Patrick Mullins.
This looks to be a good opportunity for Concertista to win again at Cheltenham. The former winner of the mares hurdle has gained good experience over fences winning at Cork and Limerick and that experience will stand her in good stead as she jumped well round those tracks, and they take a bit of jumping.
The final race of the week is the conditional jockeys handicap and Willie Mullins has a great record in this race and I think he can win it again this year with Adamantly Chosen. The mount of Richie Deegan, he will lack nothing in the saddle as Richie is having a great season and had three winners at the weekend. He probably has the most experience of these riders which is a big help.
Adamantly Chosen could just be the graded horse running in a handicap that seems to win this race. Galopin Des Champs, Killultagh Vic and Don Poli are good examples of winners like that in the past for Willie and I just think this horse could be in similar vein to them and his work has been very good lately. Probably just getting a bit bogged down on winter ground so far but coming into the spring and bit of nicer ground he might just be one that could find things easier today.