Friday, March 19
Al Boum Photo is a reasonably confident pick to land a third consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cup as the 2021 Festival draws to a close today.
The Blue Riband event is the day four highlight at 3.05pm and there's a temptation to look for something at a bigger price to beat favourite Al Boum Photo under jockey Paul Townend.
But ultimately the stats and facts stare you in the face of the Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old being the top-rated horse with ticks in all the right boxes regarding course, distance, going and clearly trainer and jockey.
A Plus Tard is two years younger and must rate a big danger for the hugely in form Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore whilst Royale Pagaille is definitely an improving youngster but both will have to seriously up their game to beat Al Boum Photo and odds of 5-2 look fair.
The 2021 Festival has been a bit of a roller coaster in terms of the short-priced favourites but on form Friday hotpots Zanahiyr (1.20pm) and Elimay (4.15pm) should both oblige.
Zanahiyr is unbeaten and could be a class act so odds of 5-4 looks more than reasonable for the opening Triumph Hurdle whilst Elimay is rated 5lbs superior to main danger Colreevy yet gets two pounds in weight in the Paddy Power Mares' Chase.
She should be a banker at 10-11 though nothing is certain and you only need to look at what happened to Envoi Allen as proof of that.
Today's other races look tricky but 9-2 shot Bob And Co is on a roll and narrowly preferred to Billway in the Hunters' Chase (3.40pm) whilst the unexposed Champagne Gold looks good for De Bromhead and Blackmore at 6-1 in the County Hurdle (1.55pm).
Captain Kangaroo might be a decent outsider at 14s - backed in from 25s - on his handicap debut.
The hat-trick seeking Torygraph might then be the one to be with at around 7s in the Albert Bartlett (2.30pm) whilst Gentletman De Mee stands out as something of a plot job in the last for Mullins at around 3-1 (4.50pm).
Good luck, and let's hope we can go out with a bang.
CHELTENHAM TIPS DAY FOUR: 1.20 Zanahiyr, 1.55 Champagne Gold, 2.30 Torygraph, 3.05 Al Boum Photo (nap), 3.40 Bob And Co, 4.15 Eilmay, 4.50 Gentleman De Mee.
Lucky 31: Zanahiyr, Torygraph, Al Boum Photo, Eilmay, Gentleman De Mee.
Longshot: Captain Kangaroo (1.55pm).
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