by Aodán Boland
The final day of the 2017 Cheltenham festival has arrived and it’s safe to say the bookies are the real winners this year. Yet there is still time for us punters, as we close out the festival with a cracking final day which includes the most prestigious race in horse racing: The Gold Cup. Let’s have a look at today’s races….
This Grade 1 hurdle is full of horses who are on great win streaks so it could honestly go anyway but I’m sticking by the favourite Hobbs’ Defi Du Seuil who is unbeaten over hurdles. Richard Johnson gets the ride on the 2/1 favourite.
Another tough race, I’ll go for Harry Fry’s 12/1 Air Horse One who’s chasing his fourth win in a row with Noel Fehily getting the ride. I also like Diego Du Charmil who had a good win at Musselburgh last month so he might be worth a look at 18/1.
I expect this to be a highly competitive race with all 15 horses capable of pulling off a win, I’ll go for 20/1 Constantine Bay who is 3-3 under rules for Nicky Henderson. The Worlds End and Wholestone are also worth a look at.
It’s time for the biggest race of the year and it is honestly so hard for me to pick a winner out of these talented bunch of horses. Djakdam is the market favourite at 3/1. Ruby Walsh pulled off magic yesterday with four big wins and will surely fancy his chances on Djakdam who finished second in this race last year. Native River is on a three race win streak and could be a massive threat. Irish Gold Cup winner Sizing John and Lexus Chase winner Outlander are also major contenders but I’m going for probably my favourite horse of all time, Cue Card. On his best form he will be very hard to beat and was on route to winning it before falling late on last year but I think this year is his year and Galway’s own Paddy Brennan should give him a good ride. He can currently be backed at 4/1.
On The Fringe is the 13/8 favourite and looks to be a big contender with J J Codd on steering duty. Ask The Weatherman and Wonderful Charm are in great form aswell but I’m going to go for a underdog Anseanachai Cliste has won his last eight races so at 33/1 this horse is certainly worth a each way bet. The final race yesterday produced a 40/1 winner so expect the unexpected.
Not the most exciting race of the week but there’s a couple in this race that could be worth a look at which include Coo Star Sivola and Runfordave but No Comment is having a great season for Phillip Hobbs and it’s no surprise to see him leading the market at 11/2 and I can see him doing the job.
Well it’s time for the last race of this years Cheltenham Festival and we end it with the Challenge Cup which has a 24 horse field. I like Gordon Elliott’s The Game Changer who finished fourth in the 2016 Racing Post Arkle and could be worth a punt at 12/1. 2015 Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets is also a 12/1 shot and certainly knows how to pull off a big win but I’m sticking with The Game Changer. Gordon Elliott opened the festival with a win and I fancy him to close it as well.
Well there goes this year’s Festival. A particular highlight for me was standing in the bookmakers watching the Champion Chase as the crowd around me expressed their anger as the horse of a lifetime Douvan finished 7th– that was quite funny. A day later Ruby Walsh won four massive races, and we also seen a whopping 40/1 winner on Thursday, so this Festival certainly has been a memorable one. Let’s hope Day Four ends with a bang; I’ll be back with a full recap when the races come to a close.