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Cheltenham Festival LIVE: 5:30 result, tips and latest odds after exciting Gold Cup race

Cheltenham Festival concludes on Day 4 after a thrilling opening day to ‘the greatest show on turf’ was followed by more Irish dominance on Day 2 before a British revival sparked by the Skelton brothers yesterday.

The opening two days saw plenty of success for Willie Mullins, who finally hit his historic milestone of a century of victories at the Cheltenham Festival but went winless on St. Patrick’s Thursday. However, he’s trained the favourite of the showpiece race with Galopin Des Champs looking to retain the Gold Cup this afternoon.

Harry Skelton and Paul Townend are vying for the leading jockey title with both sitting on four wins heading into the final day while Rachael Blackmore trails behind on two and could be in contention.

More than 60,000 spectators are expected to flock to Prestbury Park again for the Festival’s conclusion looking to beat the bookmakers, with today’s schedule including the Triumph Hurdle first up at 1.30pm, as well as the County Handicap Hurdle, the Albert Bartless Novices Hurdle, and of course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Follow all of our coverage from the 2024 Cheltenham Festival below plus get the best each-way odds and tips for Day 4 here and a full analysis of the best bets in the Gold Cup here:

Cheltenham Festival 2024 - Day 4 updates

  • The 2024 Cheltenham Festival concludes with day 4 and the Gold Cup race

  • 3.30 Gold Cup result: Galopin Des Champs brilliantly goes back to back in the Gold Cup

  • 5.30 result: Better Days Ahead wins the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

  • 4.50 result: Limerick Lace holds off Dinoblue to claim the win in the Mares’ Chase

  • 4.10 result: Sine Nomine wins at odds of 8-1 in the Hunters’ Chase

  • 2:50 result: Stellar Story storms past The Jukebox Man at the death to snatch Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle victory

  • 2:10 result: Paul Townend bags his fifth winner of the Festival by jockeying Absurde to County Handicap Hurdle success

  • 1:30 result: Willie Mullins back in the winner’s circle as Majborough impresses in the Triumph Hurdle

  • Gold Cup: What it takes to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, from a jockey who did it twice

  • Day 3 report: How the Skelton brothers sparked a British revival at Cheltenham Festival

Galopin Des Champs’ Gold Cup victory secures his place as Cheltenham’s latest legend

17:50 , Mike Jones

Galopin Des Champs wrote his name into the history books with a supreme victory in the Gold Cup on the final day of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

Heavily backed at odds of 10/11, the overwhelming favourite backed up his victory from last year with a confident, calm and controlled ride over the three-mile course and ran home by three-and-a-half lengths ahead of Gerri Colombe.

The triumph capped off a superb week for trainer Willie Mullins, who had nine winners – including three on Friday – and jockey Paul Townend, who regained his title as leading jockey at the Festival.

Galopin Des Champs’ Gold Cup victory secures his place as Cheltenham’s latest legend

Better Days Ahead wins the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:52 , Mike Jones

Here’s the winning moment from the final race at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival:

Ireland win the Prestbury Cup

17:46 , Mike Jones

A closing victory for Gordon Elliott, his third of the week, means Irish trainers finish on 19 runs to Britain’s nine – improving on the 18-10 margin we saw in 2022 and 2023.

Just the one win today for Britain as Ireland close out the Festival in style.

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle result

17:43 , Mike Jones

1st - Better Days Ahead (D J Gilligan) 5-1

2nd - Waterford Whispers (M P O’Connor) 10-3 Fav

3rd - Quai De Bourbon (M J M O’Sullivan) 4-1

4th - Answer To Kayf (J P Shinnick) 10-1

Better Days Ahead wins the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:42 , Mike Jones

It’s Better Days Ahead who has the stronger run in. On the trampled turf he pulls away from Waterford Whispers and crosses the line.

The last race of the Festival is won by a Gordon Elliott horse.

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:39 , Mike Jones

As they go over the last Better Days Ahead stays in contention then drifts out wide of Waterford Whispers. Quai De Bourbon is the third in the mix.

Who has the legs to get to the line?

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:37 , Mike Jones

As they swing down the hill the field begins to thin out with the leaders pulling away. Waterford Whispers is in charge of the pace. No Ordinary Joe is right in the mix as well. Quai De Bourbon also challenges.

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:36 , Mike Jones

Ocastle Des Mottes and Waterford Whispers battle for first place as No Ordinary Joe gallops up to third and sits in behind the front two, tracking them well.

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:35 , Mike Jones

Ocastle Des Mottes still has control of the race. It’s only a two mile one so Answer to Kayf decides to make a push forward towards the leaders.

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:34 , Mike Jones

Ocastle Des Mottes leads the way ahead of Mel Monroeand Waterford Whispers who is also the favourite.

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:33 , Mike Jones

And they’re off! There was a bit of argy bargy which causes a false start, but now the tape drops and we’re underway!

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:28 , Mike Jones

The horeses are at the post and the sun is shining once again. We’re about to get underway.

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:23 , Mike Jones

10 minutes to go until the final race of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival. Can Willie Mullins end it with another win?

5.30 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle odds

17:19 , Mike Jones

Latest odds for the final race of the festival:

Waterford Whispers 3/1

Quai De Bourbon 9/2

Better Days Ahead 13/2

Ocastle Des Mottes 17/2

Answer To Kayf 10/1

Whats Up Darling 12/1

No Ordinary Joe 14/1

Sonigino 18/1

Mel Monroe 20/1

Yeats Star 20/

Bingoo 33/1

Sequestered 33/1

Jay Jay Reilly 33/1

Angels Breath 50/1

Jason The Militant 66/1

Russian Ruler 80/1

Shared 80/1

Hollow Games 80/1

Magic Tricks 100/1

Stuzzikini 110/1

Fiveonefive 125/1

Odds via Oddschecker

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

17:14 , Mike Jones

Winning trainer Gavin Cromwell, speaking to Racing TV: “She showed a bit of heart. I’m delighted for Keith [Donoghue], who is a big part of team. He gave her a lovely ride, turned it into a good test.

She stayed going well, she was genuine and in front from a long way out. She showed guts and determination.”

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

17:07 , Mike Jones

1st - Limerick Lace (K M Donoghue) 3-1

2nd - Dinoblue (M P Walsh) 15-8 Fav

3rd - Marsh Wren (C Gethings) 28-1

Limerick Lace wins the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase!

16:58 , Mike Jones

Limerick Lace holds on. Dinoblue gave it everything going down the straight but it wasn’t enough and mer moves came too late. Limerick Lace squeezes over the line to secure the win.

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

16:56 , Mike Jones

Limerick Lace leaps over the last just ahead of Dinoblue. It’s a two horse race going up the hill to the line!

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

16:55 , Mike Jones

Dinoblue is on the move and trots up to fourth with Allegorie De Vassy hanging off her tail. Marsh Wren and Limerick Lace have opened up a few lengths of a lead.

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

16:53 , Mike Jones

Dinoblue and Allegorie De Vassy, who are the two main contenders, are hanging towards the back as Marsh Wren moves to the front.

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

16:53 , Mike Jones

Instit leads the way with Marsh Wren and Kestral Valley just behind. Limerick Lace was chomping at the bit to get going earlier and rides in fourth.

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

16:51 , Mike Jones

And they’re off! The penultimate race of this year’s festival gets going.

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

16:48 , Mike Jones

The horses are at the post as the heavens have just unleashed over the racecourse. It’s terrible weather for racing right now.

Cheltenham 4.50 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

16:37 , Mike Jones

Latest odds for the penultimate race of the Festival:

Dinoblue 15/8

Limerick Lace 5/2

Allegorie De Vassy 7/2

Riviere Detel 8/1

Marsh Wren 33/1

Instit 35/1

Pink Legend 40/1

Harmonya Maker 50/1

Kestrel Valley 100/1

Odds via Oddschecker

Galopin Des Champs triumphs in the Gold Cup

16:32 , Mike Jones

Paul Townend won his fourth Gold Cup, the joint-most of any jockey in history.

Galopin Des Champs triumphs in the Gold Cup

16:31 , Mike Jones

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase results

16:25 , Mike Jones

Reaction from winning jockey John Dawson, speaking to ITV Sport: “Just a phenomenal buzz. She’s a lovely mare. She’s come through and progressed all the time.

“We all believe in her. We’re chuffed.”

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase results

16:21 , Mike Jones

1st - Sine Nomine (Mr John Dawson) 8-1

2nd - Its On The Line (Mr Derek O’Connor) 11-8 Fav

3rd - Time Leader (Mr Toby McCain-Mitchell) 50-1

Sine Nomine wins the Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase!

16:20 , Mike Jones

Wow! Another close run race and Sine Nomine has the pace, and the strength to get up the hill and cross the line first.

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

16:19 , Mike Jones

On the final straight, Time Leader makes an tidy jump. Its On The Line takes the lead as Sine Nomine drifts to the right looking to kick on.

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

16:17 , Mike Jones

Time Leader moves out to come past Ferns Lock with Sine Nomine making a move.

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

16:16 , Mike Jones

The head past the grandstand and make their way out onto the back side of the course. Its On The Line is holding with the leaders but From The Heart and Ramillies have pulled up and won’t finish the race.

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

16:15 , Mike Jones

Ferns Lock looks a bit shaky with his jumping. He keeps shifting out to the right and it’s a good thing he’s currently out in front. Shantou Flyer and Time Leader are tracking close behind.

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

16:12 , Mike Jones

Ferns Lock and Its On The Line move up the field along with Billaway to increase the pace at the front of the field.

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase

16:11 , Mike Jones

And they’re off! Shantou Flyer takes the early lead in the Hunters’ Chase which is the same length as the Gold Cup race.

Galopin Des Champs storms to victory in Gold Cup

16:09 , Mike Jones

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Cheltenham 4.10 - Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase odds

16:08 , Mike Jones

Have we all calmed down yet? Here are the odds for the next race:

Its On The Line 11/8

Ferns Lock 10/3

Billaway 7/1

Premier Magic 8/1

Sine Nomine 8/1

Samcro 25/1

Quintins Man 28/1

Time Leader 40/1

Shantou Flyer 40/1

Django 80/1

Ramillies 100/1

From The Heart 200/1

Odds via Oddschecker

Cheltenham Gold Cup - Willie Mullins reaction

15:58 , Luke Baker

Here’s what trainer Willie Mullins had to say after back-to-back Gold Cup victories for Galopin Des Champs.

“He has put himself in the superstar category. What he did, the way he did it, with that loose horse and Paul being so positive on him... We’ll be coming back next year to win a third if we can. He has the ability to do it, we just have to stay sound.

“The loose horse was the only concern. Maybe he hit one fence early but after that, it was very easy. Paul was in the position he wanted and seemed to be travelling easy on him all the time.

“He's doing everything right, achieving more than I thought he could. It was great to win the Gold Cup last year, and if he was safe and sound, then we thought he could win. But you don't believe those things, you dream them.”

Paul Townend reacts to Galopin Des Champs victory

15:51 , Luke Baker

Here;s what jockey Paul Townend had to say about the Gold Cup victory.

“It’s unbelievable. We had to go into reserves that I wasn’t sure were there. We rode a completely different race to last year, so it was great for me. We were a bit in between at the last,= and I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough but it’s the Gold Cup and we had to do it. We pulled out all the stops.

On what makes Galopin Des Champs a champion: “His heart probably. Even the two times he got beat, we were never really going to win and I was so disappointed but looking back, he was still there at finish. That shows how tough a horse he is. Today we had to go for reserves that only the really special ones have.”

Galopin gallops to glory

15:42 , Luke Baker

What a run by Galopin Des Champs - Paul Townend and Willie Mullins continuing their dominance at Cheltenham 2024. Class, pure and utter class

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup result

15:41 , Luke Baker

  • 1. Galopin Des Champs 10/11

  • 2. Gerri Colombe 13/2

  • 3. Corach Rambler 14/1

  • 4. L’Homme Presse 16/1

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup result

15:40 , Luke Baker

WOW! Another brilliant ride by Galopin Des Champs - a back to back Gold Cup winner. Came to the front with a couple of fences to go, jumped beautifully and pulled clear.

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:39 , Luke Baker

IT’S GALOPIN DES CHAMPS AGAIN - WINS THE GOLD CUP FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW.

Gerri Colombe in second and Corach Rambler holds on for third. Only six finishers as the likes of The Real Whacker pulled up

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:38 , Luke Baker

Galopin des Champs leads over the last, Gerri Colombe chasing

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:37 , Luke Baker

Loose horse causing carnage - getting int he way! L’Homme Presse, then Galpin Des Champs and Gerri Clombe. Corach Rambler staying on

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:37 , Luke Baker

Three fences to go - The Real Whacker, L’Homme Presse and then Galopin Des Champs. Loose horse after Fastorslow unseated his jockey.

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:36 , Luke Baker

Still The Real Whacker and L’Homme Presse dictating the pace. Galopin Des Champs stretches slightly for the fence in third but Fastorslow falls. First horse gone. Corach Rambler also falling back

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:35 , Luke Baker

We reach the halfway stage - a good leap by L’Homme Presse brings him level with The Real Whacker. Bravemansgame moving up as well. Corach Rambler at the back. Galopin Des Champs staying out of trouble. No fallers yet.

Nine to go

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:34 , Luke Baker

The Real Whacker from L’Homme Presse, then Galopin Des Champs - all pretty tidy over each fence. Gerri Colombe and Fastorslow then the next two. The pace slowing slightly but still 11 fences to go.

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:33 , Luke Baker

Not a great fence by L’Homme Presse but no damage done. Jungle Boogie a little awkward as well. We’ve settled into a steady pace, with The Real Whacker at the front as we come to the turn at the far-end of the racecourse with 14 fences to go

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:32 , Luke Baker

The Real Whacker leading the way but they’re nicely bunched. Corach Rambler - the Grand National winner - bringing up the rear. L’Homme Presse in second, Galopin Des Champs keeping an eye in third

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:31 , Luke Baker

The Cheltenham roar as they set out. They’re around six or seven horses deep as they clear the first. The Real Whacker getting out front early - the rank outsider.

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:31 , Luke Baker

And they’re off in the Gold Cup! Let’s do this.

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:30 , Luke Baker

Ok, here we go. They’re on the course and about to get going...

3.30 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

15:28 , Luke Baker

Twelve months ago, Galopin Des Champs classily beat the field - showing great stamina to take victory. Can he repeat that feat and join Gold Cup greats such as Arkle, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star in the history books.

He’s now into 5/6 with Gerri Colombe the closest challenger at 6/1, Fastorslow at 15/2 and Grand National winner Corach Rambler among the other chances at 16/1

Jockey Paul Townend celebrating his Gold Cup triumph in 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
Jockey Paul Townend celebrating his Gold Cup triumph in 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Cheltenham Gold Cup expert tips and best bets

15:23 , Luke Baker

Here’s what the experts are saying about the Gold Cup

Alex Hammond: “Gold Cup time and Sky Bet are paying four places rather than three. That makes me even more keen on L’Homme Presse, Venetia Williams’ horse has done well this season, returning from injury. He won at Lingfield, he run a solid race at Ascot in conditions that weren’t playing to his strengths. The team weren’t in great form then, but they’re in better form now so for me L’Homme Presse in the Gold Cup.”

Tony Calvin says: “The Gold Cup at 15:30 looks a great race but it doesn’t make it an attractive betting medium. I’d rather be with Galopin Des Champs than against him at around evens, but that is probably his right price, in truth.

“The absence of Shishkin is a big positive for him, as the Henderson horse and Fastorslow were his most dangerous form rivals, and I sense he will take a lot of whacking. Fastorslow at 7.2 on the exchange is probably the bet to be had if there is one.”

Ruby Walsh: “I’ve been with Galopin Des Champs for a long time and I like everything about him. He was very good last year and he’s the best horse in here. Fastorslow will most likely chase him home. Corach Rambler or Gerri Colombe will likely be third.

What it takes to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, from a jockey who did it twice

15:20 , Luke Baker

Ruby Walsh is a retired Irish jockey with a 20-year career of triumphs behind him. He is the third most prolific winner in British and Irish jump racing history – behind only Sir Anthony (AP) McCoy and Richard Johnson – and has made the transition into television as a racing pundit.

He is a 12-time Irish National Hunt champion jockey and was the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival 11 times, including a streak of five in a row from 2013-2017.

With ability, skill, class, and a joyous personality to boot Walsh knows a thing or two about triumphing at Cheltenham. He won the headline race twice, in 2007 and 2009, claiming the Gold Cup on Kauto Star, who he lovingly describes as ‘a horse of a lifetime’.

Speaking with The Independent, Walsh explored some of the finest moments during his racing career and explained just how significant it is to win at this meeting.

What it takes to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, from a jockey who did it twice

Best Cheltenham betting offers: Free bet promos for Day Four

15:16 , Luke Baker

Need some free bets for the Gold Cup?

We’ve got you covered:

Best Cheltenham betting offers: Free bet promos for Day Four

3.30 Cheltenham Gold Cup tips: Betting preview, best Cheltenham odds & free bets

15:12 , Luke Baker

Still working out who to bet on for the Gold Cup? We’ve got you covered.

Here is a look at our selections for the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup:

3.30 Cheltenham Gold Cup tips: Betting preview, best Cheltenham odds & free bets

Cheltenham Gold Cup runners and riders

15:08 , Luke Baker

Ok, here we go. All attention turns to the main race of the week - it’s the Cheltenham Gold Cup next, going off at 3.30pm. Here are the runners and riders with reigning champ Galopin Des Champs heavily fancied again

  • Galopin Des Champs Evs

  • Gerri Colombe 15/2

  • Fastorslow 8/1

  • L’Homme Presse 14/1

  • Corach Rambler 18/1

  • Bravemansgame 20/1

  • Monkfish 25/1

  • Jungle Boogie 25/1

  • Gentlemansgame 28/1

  • Nassalam 33/1

  • The Real Whacker 50/1

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle result

15:06 , Luke Baker

A great ride by Sam Ewing to take Albert Bartlett glory - here’s his reaction

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle result

15:02 , Luke Baker

The longest-priced winner of the week so far and the bookmakers celebrate! The front two ended up miles clear

  • 1. Stellar Story 33/1

  • 2. The Jukebox Man 18/1

  • 3. Dancing City 8/1

  • 4. Spread Boss Ted 40/1

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

15:00 , Luke Baker

Stellar Story came on strong up the hill to overhaul The Jukebox Man. Disappointment for Harry Redknapp seeing his horse pipped on the line.

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:59 , Luke Baker

The Jukebox Man clears the last well, looks clear but here comes Stellar Story! Oh my word, the gap is closing and Stellar Story does it! Pips The Jukebox Man on the line and wins the Albert Bartlett!

Wow what a race, great ride by Sam Ewing to steer the 33/1 shot to victory

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:58 , Luke Baker

Readin Tommy Wrong way back here and out of the running. The Jukebox man kicking on, Stellar Story chasing as they come over the last! Three to four length lead!

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:57 , Luke Baker

Over the second-last fence. The Jukebox Man leading them but the rest of the field jostling for position. Stellar Story second, Johnnywho third, then Dancing City

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:56 , Luke Baker

The Jukebox Man still leads as they clear the fourth-last with ease. Pace starting to wind up, with Stellar Story pursuing more earnestly.

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:56 , Luke Baker

The Jukebox Man hauled back in now and the field all together once more as we come towards the final five fences. Readin Tommy Wrong moving forward into the top six or seven horses

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:55 , Luke Baker

All safely over the first few flights. Quite a sedate start, with The Jukebox Man in an even gallop out front, probably five lengths clear. The rest of the horses in a following bunch, Stellar Story, Dancing City and Johnnywho the foremost. Readin Tommy Wrong safely in the pack.

Seven hurdles to go. Halfway mark upcoming

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:53 , Luke Baker

Readin Tommy Wrong in the middle of the pack early on. The Jukebox Man roars into an early lead and he’s three lengths clear, with Dancing City and Stellar Story the closest to him

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:52 , Luke Baker

And they’re off in the Albert Bartlett! More success for Willie Mullins incoming? Readin Tommy Wrong a big favourite ahead of Gidleigh Park and Captain Teague.

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle tip

14:46 , Luke Baker

Here’s what our tipster James Boyle thinks about this race

14:50 Cheltenham – Lecky Watson – 1pt e/w @ 11/1

The market rarely gets a great handle on the Albert Bartlett, with nine of the last 10 winners returning double-figured starting prices. That’s not a huge surprise given the changes at play with trips, ground and generally unexposed hurdlers finding improvement for their experiences.

Readin Tommy Wrong heads the market as he bids to maintain an unbeaten record under rules and there was lots to like about his success in the Lawlor’s of Naas novice, turning over Ile Atlantique. He improved a lot for the 2m 4f trip but how he’ll do at three miles will be interesting.

The way he responded to pressure last time would suggest that it should be no problem granted normal circumstances but I have a nagging doubt that he mightn’t hit the line as well as some of the others. He’s clearly very classy but it’s easy enough to pass by given the short price.

Lecky Watson came home third in the Naas contest and there’s more in his locker. He needs to brush up on his hurdling but it has been reasonable to date and I fancy that what he achieved the last twice was over a trip shy of his best, with improvement to come now that he faces a sterner test.

There’s previous with him at Cheltenham, his run in last year’s bumper catching the eye, and it’s possible that a hood being in use for the first time can help. It’s an awful race to punt in but this fellow should have a chance despite appearing to be down the pecking order for Willie Mullins.

Cheltenham betting tips: Four bets for Friday at the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham 2.50 - Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 , Mike Jones

Here are the latest odds for the next race, via Oddschecker, which gets underway in 10 minutes time:

Readin Tommy Wrong 5/2

Gidleigh Park 5/1

Captain Teague 8/1

Dancing City 10/1

Johnnywho 12/1

High Class Hero 12/1

Lecky Watson 14/1

Chigorin 16/1

Search For Glory 16/1

The Jukebox Man 18/1

Stellar Story 28/1

Spread Boss Ted 50/1

Butcher Hollow 80/1

Dripsey Moon 150/1

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle result

14:36 , Mike Jones

As expected it’s a sell out for Friday’s Gold Cup Day. Just one more race to go until the big one. the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle is up next.

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle result

14:32 , Mike Jones

“A lot of satisfaction in that one, to tell you the truth,” says Paul Townend. “I thought he had the pace, but the ground was a big worry. I was able to go out and take a chance, and it paid off.”

Townend now has five winners at the Festival and moves ahead of Harry Skelton for the leading jockey title.

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle result

14:28 , Mike Jones

It’s two for two for Willie Mullins’ stable this afternoon. Here’s Paul Townend reacting to Absurde’s victory:

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle result

14:25 , Mike Jones

1st - Absurde (P Townend) 12-1

2nd - L’eau Du Sud (Harry Skelton) 7-2 F

3rd - Pied Piper (D J Gilligan) 14-1

4th - Magical Zoe (Adrian Heskin) 8-1

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle result

14:22 , Mike Jones

Paul Townend has his fifth winner of the Festival with a stunning ride from Absurde:

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle result

14:18 , Mike Jones

Absurde wins the County Handicap Hurdle!

Wow. What a run, it all happened in the final 100 metres as Absurde went up a gear. L’eau Du Sud tried to hold on as Afadil fell away. Paul Townend has another winner, he kept his mount going, went to the inside of the his rival and pipped him to the line!

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

14:16 , Mike Jones

Harry Skelton and L’eau Du Sud edge into the front with Afadil right next to him as they leap of the last. Just behind them Absurde is showing fine pace.

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

14:15 , Mike Jones

So Scottish moves to the inside with L’eau Du Sud beginning to position himself. Afadil still leads with Zenta still in third.

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

14:14 , Mike Jones

The ground is still testing here after rain this morning. It’s soft as they reached the halfway stage of this two-mile race.

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

14:13 , Mike Jones

Zenta, ridden by Mark Walsh who just won the Triumph Hurdle, is positioned in third place with Afadil now leading by 10 lengths or so.

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

14:12 , Mike Jones

And they’re off! Afadil and Media Naranja head out in front with the former allowed to go clear before being quikcly reined in.

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

14:10 , Mike Jones

The horses have gone out to the post and are being prepped, ready for the start. The favourite is L’eau Du Sud, another of Sir Alex Ferguson’s horses.

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle result

14:03 , Mike Jones

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)
 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

14:00 , Mike Jones

Ruby Walsh’s tip for the County Handicap Hurdle:

“Zenta is Willie Mullins’ best chance but I’m with Leau Du Sud. Dan Skelton told me he really fancies him, as he did with Unexpected Party who bolted up on Wednesday, so I’ll side with him!”

Leau Du Sud – 10/3

Cheltenham 2.10 - County Handicap Hurdle

13:57 , Mike Jones

Latest odds via Paddy Power for the second race of the day, the County Handicap Hurdle:

Leau Du Sud – 10/3

So Scottish – 4/1

King Of Kingsfield – 11/2

Faivoir – 7/1

Zenta – 17/2

Magical Zoe – 11/1

Petit Tonnerre – 11/1

Pied Piper – 14/1

Bialystok – 14/1

Risk Belle – 14/1

Absurde – 16/1

Mr Freedom – 20/1

By Your Side – 35/1

Afadil – 35/1

Westport Cove – 40/1

Samui – 40/1

Media Naranja – 100/1

‘I expected him to be the favourite’ - Willie Mullins reacts to victory in the Triumph Hurdle

13:54 , Mike Jones

Willie Mullins was delighted have another winner after a dry Thursday but admitted his surprise that Majborough was as long as 6/1 to win the Triumph Hurdle.

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle result

13:50 , Mike Jones

Here’s Willie Mullins talking about Majborough’s win: “Fantastic. I was surprised at his price, he was my pick of the day.

“He was fifth or sixth most of the way and he jumped beautifully. That’s how strong the pace was, he couldn’t make it when he wanted to.

“When he came into the yard and they told me he’s for the Triumph Hurdle, I thought he was a Gold Cup horse. Physically that’s what he looks like.

“He is some beast.”

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle result

13:44 , Luke Baker

Classy performance from Majborough. Here’s how he got it done

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle result

13:39 , Luke Baker

  • 1. Majborough 6/1

  • 2. Kargese 4/1

  • 3. Salver 10/1

  • 4. Nurburgring 6/1

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:38 , Luke Baker

Salver took third with Nurburgring in fourth but all about Majborough there. Ends Willie Mullins’ ‘drought’ after not winning at all on Thursday. JP McManus wins the Triumph Hurdle for the third time. Well-ridden by Mark Walsh.

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:36 , Luke Baker

It’s a head to head up the straight and Majborough wins it for Willie Mullins. Kargese pushes into second despite leading over the last

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:35 , Luke Baker

Kargese moves up stylishly as they reach the final hurdle, Majborough on his tail

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:35 , Luke Baker

Salver and Ithaca’s Arrow about five lengths clear, with Majborough in third but they come back to the field with two to go.

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:34 , Luke Baker

High Wind drops to the back, while Salver pushes to the front ahead of Fratas and Ithaca’s Arrow. Bunting set up on the inside. Majborough jumping well and now up to third.

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:33 , Luke Baker

Nurburgring bringing up the rear early on but Fratas, Salver and Ithaca’s Arrow up front, as is Kargese. Most of the Mullins runners in midfield. Four hurdles to go

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:32 , Luke Baker

Fratas and Salver making the early running, with Ithaca’s Arrow also going well. But all bunched and safely over the first few flights

Cheltenham 1.30 - Triumph Hurdle

13:31 , Luke Baker

We’re underway on Gold Cup Day! They’re off in the Triumph Hurdle - plenty of Willie Mullins chances in this one.

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