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Cheltenham Day 4 Tips - Every race covered on Gold Cup day

Last updated: 17 Mar 2022
Jon Vine 17 Mar 2022
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  • Through the card tips on day four of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival
  • The Gold Cup headlines the card on Friday
  • A Plus Tard is our selection in Friday's feature
  • Il Etait Temps, Ginto and Elimay also feature in our day four tips
cheltenham gold cup
Can A Plus Tard (centre) avenge his defeat to Minella Indo 12 months ago? (Getty)

We've reached the climax of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, but National Hunt racing fans have a fantastic card to enjoy before the curtain comes down on Prestbury Park for another year.

Everything on day four at the Cheltenham Festival builds towards the Gold Cup, the most prestigious race in jumps racing. Two further Grade Ones, the Triumph Hurdle and Albert Bartlett also feature on the card, along with the Hunters' Chase and some decent handicaps.

For the final time this week, here are my selections through the card on day four of the Cheltenham Festival.
    Cheltenham Day 4 Tips
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Card
  • Race 1 - Triumph Hurdle Tips
  • Race 2 - County Hurdle Tips
  • Race 3 - Albert Bartlett Tips
  • Race 4 - Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips
  • Race 5 - Hunters Chase Tips
  • Race 6 - Mares' Chase Tips
  • Race 7 - Martin Pipe Tips

Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Card

1:30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle  Grade 1  2m1f
2:10pm McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Grade 3  2m1f
2:50pm Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Grade 1 3m
3:30pm Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase  Grade 1 3m2½f 
4:10pm St. James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase Class 2 3m2½f 
4:50pm Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase Grade 2 2m4½f
5:30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle Class 2 2m4½f

Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Tips - Friday 18th March

Race 1 - Triumph Hurdle Tips

While it's brilliant to see Porticello and Knight Salute take their chance, Ireland clearly plays the strongest hand in this year's Triumph Hurdle

After the Spring Juvenile hurdle, I backed Vauban, who ran out a superb winner of that Grade One. Pied Piper has already beated Vauban this season and was visually very impressive when seeing off a mediocre British challenge in the Triumph Trial on Trials Day. Fil Dor was the standard-setter earlier in the season and out of the leading trio, he's the one who will relish a little extra cut in the ground. Wednesday's rain has certainly improved his chances.

On the back of the Spring Juvenile, I also backed IL ETAIT TEMPS at a lengthy price. Danny Mullins' mount was making his debut for Willie Mullins and his first start over hurdles in that Grade One. His inexperience showed throughout the race. Yet, as Vauban and Fil Dor crossed the line, Il Etait Temps was powering home and it took Mullins a long while to pull him up once they passed the post.

Il Etait Temps looked like he needed the run that day and he wouldn't have to improve all that much to finish a lot closer to Vauban. He's now sitting on a much shorter price than the 20s I took after the Dublin Racing Festival, but even at 12/1, I think he's probably the best value bet in the race.

Triumph Hurdle Value Bet - IL ETAIT TEMPS E/W

Race 2 - County Hurdle Tips

The County Hurdle is the chosen race for State Man and I expect Willie Mullins' charge will go off very short. As with most of the handicaps this week, I'd rather back a couple at much longer prices and I quite like the chances of State Man's stablemate and fellow novice, FAROUT.

Farout won nicely on his second start for Mullins as a four-year-old last May, and won again at the Galway Festival during the summer. Since November, Mullins has run his grey in three Grade Ones. Brian Hayes' mount was never able to get involved behind Sir Gerhard last time out, but based on his efforts in the Royal Bond and at Leopardstown over Christmas, this opening handicap mark of 142 looks fairly lenient.
FIRST STREET was my other ante-post selection and, given how well Nicky Henderson's horses have been running this week, I'm going to stick with Nico De Boinville's mount.

Following an excellent victory in a handicap at Kempton in January, Henderson rolled the dice and ran his novice in the Betfair Hurdle. First Street ran another excellent race in that lucrative handicap, keeping on well down the straight to finish third. The handicapper has only upped his mark by a pound for that effort and Betfair Hurdle winner Glory And Fortune did the form of that handicap no harm by finishing sixth in the Champion Hurdle.

County Hurdle Tip 1 - FAROUT E/W
County Hurdle Tip 2 - FIRST STREET E/W

Race 3 - Albert Bartlett Tips

The Moran's splashed out almost half a million to purchase GINTO following an excellent point-to-point win. Elliott's six-year-old is three-from-three over hurdles this season and was last seen thrashing some decent rivals in the Lawlor's Of Naas at Navan just after Christmas.

After Minella Crooner was ruled out with injury, Ginto was switched from the Ballymore to the Albert Bartlett. It was only the desire to split him and Minella Crooner apart that was pushing Elliott towards running Ginto in the Ballymore. He's always thought the three-miler would be the best race for his six-year-old and I'm going to side with the market leader now that he's been declared.
The Albert Bartlett is notorious for throwing up shock results, so I'm also going to chance my arm with IDAS BOY. Meade's eight-year-old is a former point-to-point winner, who ran well in defeat twice in novice hurdles last season. 

Idas Boy hacked up in a maiden on his return to action before placing a close second to the handy Churchstone Warrior. Sean Flanagan's mount was last seen finishing just over a length adrift of Gerri Colombe, who had sat prominently in this betting market before his own injury set-back. Given his experience and ability to see out the trip, I'll back Idas Boy each way with whichever bookmaker is offering the most extra place.

Albert Bartlett Tip 1 - GINTO
Albert Bartlett Tip 2 - IDAS BOY E/W

a plus tard
Rachael Blackmore aboard A Plus Tard following the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase on day four of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham. (Getty)

Race 4 - Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips

Last year, I tipped and backed Minella Indo at 20/1 after he was beaten at Leopardstown, so I was delighted when Henry De Bromhead's star got up to win. In recent years, Al Boum Photo is the only winner of the Gold Cup to have won big races following his Cheltenham success and Minella Indo's form this season looks patchy to say the least.

I'm a big fan of Galvin, who I backed to win last year's National Hunt Chase and again for the Grand National at the start of the season. Davy Russell's mount got the better of A PLUS TARD when they met in the Savills Chase, but I'd fancy Rachael Blackmore's mount to turn the tables on Galvin at Cheltenham.

Blackmore held A Plus Tard up off the pace in last year's Gold Cup and a couple of fiddley errors at crucial times meant Minella Indo was able to open up an unassailable lead. It was a similar story in the Savills Chase, where Blackmore held her mount up. A Plus Tard still managed to wrestle a narrow lead over Galvin on the run to the line, only for Gordon Elliott's star to get back up under the shadow of the post.

On Racing Post Ratings, A Plus Tard's demolition job in the Betfair Chase is the best performance any staying chaser has produced this season. At the age of eight, there's every chance De Bromhead's star could still be improving, both physically and technically. Given a more prominent ride from Blackmore, I'm backing A Plus Tard to go one better this time around.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Best Bet - A PLUS TARD
Cheltenham Gold Cup Value Option - A Plus Tard & Galvin Reverse Forecast

Race 5 - Hunters Chase Tips

I’m going to fire a couple of each way arrows at the leading trio in the betting. My first Hunters' Chase selection will be PONT AVEN, who used to be trained by Willie Mullins, maintaining an official mark around 140 right up until his move to James Owen’s yard at the end of the summer.

Pont Aven fell when leading on his first start in a point-to-point on New Years’ Eve. Owen’s recruit then went on to bolt up at Higham two weeks later, before warming up for a maiden trip to Cheltenham with an easy win in a Hunters’ Chase at Ludlow, where he cantered to an eight-length success under Alex Chadwick. Chadwick takes the ride again today and Pont Aven has the proven class to get involved.
The runner I'm most keen on is FUMET D'OUDAIRIES, who cost connections just £800 after four runs under rules in Ireland for Elizabeth Doyle. Since joining Ellis’s stable, Fumet D’Oudairies has gone from strength to strength, winning five of his first six starts between the flags. 

Fumet D’Oudairies ran in a two-mile Hunter Chase at Cheltenham’s April Meeting, where he jumped and travelled beautifully before picking off favourite Envoye Special to win by a cosy two lengths. Ellis then stepped his seven-year-old all the way up to three-and-a-half miles in John Corbet Cup at Stratford in May, where he lost out narrowly to Irish raider Vaucelet, who’s won two valuable hunter chases on home soil this season.

Fumet D’Oudairies has registered two easy wins in standard point-to-points this season. We know he will handle the track, he’s a proven stayer over this sort of trip and possesses a lovely turn-of-foot. Zac Baker is an excellent jockey booking.

Hunters Chase Tip 1 - PONT AVEN E/W
Hunters Chase TiP 2 - FUMET D'OUDAIRIES E/W

Paul Townend riding Colreevy (R) clear the last to win The Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase from Mark Walsh and Elimay (L) at Cheltenham. (Getty)

Race 6 - Mares' Chase Tips

Now that my initial selection, Gin On Lime doesn't go, I'm going to place my faith in ELIMAY for the second season in a row.

I was all over Willie Mullins' grey ahead of last season's Mares' Chase. Although she ran a lovely race, Elimay just happened to bump into Colreevy, who then proved her class by beating Monkfish and Envoi Allen in Grade One company at Punchestown on her final career start.

Elimay was beaten by market rival, Mount Ida at Fairyhouse on New Years Day. Switching back to Cheltenham will definitely suit Willie Mullins' mare better, as Mount Ida - despite winning the Kim Muir 12 months ago - does have problems jumping left-handed. Mark Walsh's mount looked back to her best when comfortably winning a Listed race at Naas in February and I fancy Elimay to go one better than 12 months ago.

Mares' Chase Tips - ELIMAY

Race 7 - Martin Pipe Tips

You have to back at least one Gordon Elliott runner in the Martin Pipe. It's a race he loves to target with novice hurdlers and he accounts for a quarter of this year's runners.

THE GOFFER is a horse I've grown fond of this season. Elliott’s five-year-old made a lasting impression when winning on his second hurdles start and was last seen winning the Michael Purcell Novices’ Hurdle with a little left up his sleeve. Blow By Blow and Champagne Classic both ran in that Grade Three before winning the Martin Pipe, and I fancy The Goffer could follow in their footsteps.
Given I'm so keen on Ginto in the Albert Bartlett, I've got to back GRAND JURY, who was only beaten four lengths behind Ginto in the Grade One Lawlors' Of Naas. I wasn't expecting Grand Jury to turn up here, thinking Henry De Bromhead would go for one of the Grade Ones. Yet, the team has decided to make the most of his handicap mark and I'd fancy Grand Jury to run a big race.

Martin Pipe Tip 1 - THE GOFFER E/W
Martin Pipe Tip 2 - GRAND JURY E/W

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