Home Sport Other Sport Cheltenham 2017: Your race-by-race guide to Day 4 of the festival

Cheltenham 2017: Your race-by-race guide to Day 4 of the festival

Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins had a brilliant day at Cheltenham yesterday
Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins had a brilliant day at Cheltenham yesterday

The experts at the Preview Night in Kavanagh’s Bar in Portlaoise had another mixed day at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival yesterday and they (as well as us) will be hoping for better on Gold Cup day.

Tony Mullins and Katie Walsh were spot on about Yorkhill yesterday. Willie Mullins’ charge sliced through the field to win the JLT Novices Chase at ease.

They were less certain about Un De Sceaux’s chances in the Ryanair Chase but he came good too for Ruby Walsh and Mullins.

Poor Niall Cronin stuck his head on the chopping block for Unowhatimeanharry to win the Stayers Hurdle but he was well beaten by Nichols Canyon.

Meanwhile, Tony Mullins’ assertion that Lets Dance would walk the Mares Novice Hurdle proved correct as she won to help bring up a four timer for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh on the day.

Elsewhere, those following the tips of Alan Hartnett will have found each way glory with Jury Duty in the Pertemps.

Anyway, here’s our race-by-race preview of Friday’s card.

TRIUMPH HURDLE 13.30
Friday’s opening race – the JCB Triumph Hurdle – for juveniles saw Matt Chapman nail his colours firmly to the mast.
Defi Du Seuil will hack up,” said Chapman. “It’s my NAP. “Absolutely lump on.”
Tony Mullins wasn’t too interested. “It’s a race that’s not worth talking about,” he said.

COUNTY HURDLE 14.10
The panel didn’t discuss this race on the night so here at LaoisToday, we’ve tried our best to pick through the mindfield and have come up with what we think could go well.
Willie Mullins has trained three of the last eight winners of this race so it could be worth siding with him again. Maybe one of his forgotten stars, Artic Fire, is worth a shot each way at a big price.

ALBERT BARTLETT HURDLE 14.50
The panel didn’t discuss this race on the night so here at LaoisToday, we’ve tried our best to pick through the mindfield and have come up with what we think could go well.
Only three favourites have won this race in the last eleven years so it could be worth having a look down the field. However, favourite Death Duty is hard to oppose.

GOLD CUP 15.30
This is the biggest race of the meeting. At present, there is no clear favourite as Cue Card, Native River and Djakadam are all deadlocked at 7/2. There was similar indecision from the panel on the night.
Tony Mullins said: “I haven’t seen Willie as cocky in a long time. But he believes he has Djakadam right this year. Cue Card is the class horse of the race and as long as Paddy Brennan doesn’t get a spass attack like last year, he will be close.
Native River is a very tough horse. His performances this year have been unbelievable.
“Johnjo O’Neill is always mouthing about More Of That so maybe he will have an each way chance. But the way Willie is so bullish, I’d get on him.”
Niall Cronin said: “I don’t think Cue Card will get up the hill against the stayers in this race and he isn’t in as good form either.”
Katie Walsh says she isn’t convinced about Native River and for her it is all about Djakadam.
FOXHUNTER CHASE 16.10
This race has been good to punters in recent years as it has produced many single figure winners. The panel are predicting a similar outcome again with On The Fringe taking their fancy.
“Cannot see defeat for On the Fringe,” said Matt Chapman.
MARTIN PIPE HURDLE 16.50
The panel didn’t discuss this race on the night so here at LaoisToday, we’ve tried our best to pick through the mindfield and have come up with what we think could go well.
Endless amount of runners here. Maybe Massinis Trap at a massive price could get into the places.
JOHNNY HENDERSON CHASE 17.30
The panel didn’t discuss this race on the night so here at LaoisToday, we’ve tried our best to pick through the mindfield and have come up with what we think could go well.
Like the previous race, you wouldn’t want to be coming in here needing a win to get you back to even for the week. But if you are so inclined, perhaps Dodging Bullets, who once beat Sprinter Sacre, could be the one.