Cheltenham 2023 – Day 4

Lossiemouth (156) was an unlucky loser in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the DRF but it is hard to fancy a four year old filly to recover from the gruelling race she had. Particularly when the main danger is the 169, Blood Destiny. He beat Nusret by twenty lengths and he came out to win the Adonis at Kempton. I think Paul Townend has got this wrong and I think even the seven pounds mare allowance won’t stop Blood Destiny winning the Triumph Hurdle by at least 5 lengths. 

The County Hurdle is always fiercely competitive affair and Sharjah (168) is the class act who is ahead of the handicapper by 13 pounds. Pied Piper (+13) and Ballyadam (+13) are also well in but Glory and Fortune is miles ahead with 19lbs based on his Betfair Hurdle win last year. They are all quality each way bets but Sharjah is the class act and has handicap hurdle form in winning the Galway Hurdle. Hunters Yarn (+7) is an interesting contender and could be this years State Man.

Letsbeclearaboutit (163) and Seabank Bistro (164) are well worth each way bets in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle when comparing their odds to favourite, Corbett’s Cross (163).  

The former won by 22 lengths on soft ground at Punchestown and looks crying out for this stamina test. 

Seabank Bistro gave Corbetts Cross five pounds for a three length beating so off levels is arguably a length ahead of the favourite. 

I predicted A Plus Tard (181) to win by 12 lengths last year in the Gold Cup.. he won it by 15. He has pretty much not showed up this season because his bloods were wrong after a woeful effort in the Betfair Chase and he got hurt in transport to Leopardstown at Christmas and didn’t run in the Savills Chase as a consequence. But his seasonal bow last season in the 2021 Betfair Chase was scintillating at 179 and that would be enough to win this.

Unless Galopin des Champs (175) can find more improvement. His Irish Gold Cup win may not read much on form but the manor of the win and the canter it was in elevate him to this level.

Conflated and Bravemansgame (169) can take advantage if the top two don’t show up, while Noble Yeats (164), Stattler (168), Minella Indo (163) and Hewick (167) all have the stamina to stay on. 

I’m sticking with A Plus Tard who on all known form is the best horse. He should have won in 2020 but was ridden with restraint and allowed stablemate, Minella Indo to get first run. 

It’s a quality renewal of the Hunters Chase, possibly the best ever edition. Chris’s Dream was at his peak 169 and Secret Investor 167 and both have taken to the game well. Nothing in this race ever showed that level of form.

The Mares Chase doesn’t look too obvious with Allegorie de Vassey (151) potentially very good but her jumping isn’t convincing. Impervious (149) looks safer but Jeremys Flame (156) arrives here in great form and at the figures is the safest selection as Elimay (161) has not convinced this season.

The Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle concludes the festival and Cool Survivor (+17), Might I (+13) and Saylavee (+12) are all interesting, and Spanish Harlem an intriguing runner also (+9). Imagine (+9) could be a very sneaky one based on form through Hunters Yarn if that one goes well in the County Hurdle earlier in the card. 

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