Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Best Bets
Here you will find our Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Best Bets. This includes both our NAP (best bet) & NB (Next Best) which we’ve combined to make a Daily Double.
There are 7 races at Cheltenham again on Friday and our best bets run in the Albert Bartlett (2.30) and Cheltenham Gold Cup (3.05)!
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Cheltenham Festival Day 4 NAP – Best Bet
Cheltenham 3.05 Al Boum Photo (10/3)
Looking to be the first horse since Best Mate to win three Gold Cup’s in a row; returned with a routine win at Tramore on New Year’s Day; sound jumper and hard to find any chinks in his armour; sure to go close.
Key Trends to note
– 19/21 winner had 12 or less chase starts
– 16/20 winners won last-time-out
– 12/13 winners had run no more than 3 times that season
– 9/18 winners were favourite
– 16/20 winners had won or placed at the festival previously
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the one race every trainer wants to win. It is a true test of a horse that requires a perfect blend of speed and stamina. 22 fences stand between animal and Cheltenham Festival immortality! Al Boum Photo is out to make history in winning for the third consecutive year. A feat that has not been achieved since Best Mate some 17 years ago.
At first glance it looks a typically competitive renewal but the deeper you dig the more apparent it becomes as to who has the strongest claims so much so as we’ve made them our BEST BEST OF THE ENTIRE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL
Willie Mullins is the most successful trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival with 72 WINNERS but it took him 31 years to win the Gold Cup, and then he won it twice. AL ABOUM PHOTO was sent off a 12/1 chance back in 2019 and put in a faultless round of jumping to stay on relentlessly and win well under Paul Townend. He followed the same preparation last year winning under just hands and heels at Tramore before returning to Cheltenham showing a tremendous attitude to hold on from Santini. He never does anything flashy and while he was fav last year he wasn’t that strong in the betting sent off a 10/3 chance. He didn’t jump as well as he can last year but was still always doing just enough and the fact that was a more slowly-run race if anything that’s another string in his bow as he is tactically versatile. Given it took Mullins so long to win this race I wasn’t surprised to see him take the same route this year. He thrashed Acapella Bourgeois by 19 lengths (who has since come out and won) and while many argued it wasn’t visually as impressive as they’d hoped I was more than satisfied with that run. He is just a 9yo so you could argue he is coming to his peak now and I don’t see anything in here solid enough to oppose him with. He jumps and stays better than anything in this race and with a strong pace highly likely it should set up perfectly for him again. He is the highest rated horse in the field and if he runs his race he should complete the hat-trick.
Henry de Bromhead has a really strong team heading to the Festival this year and he’ll be hoping to be well represented in the big one with A Plus Tard. He is one of if not the most unexposed horse in the race given he has only run over fences over 3 miles once. That came in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December and it resulted in a win. He seemed to hit another gear on the run-in to pick up Kemboy and Melon and with the likes of Allaho trailing miles behind it looks really strong form. He is a horse on the upgrade and he has to be feared. So what are the negatives? Well while he stayed 3 miles at Leopardstown this is very much a different test so he still has to prove he’ll be as effective at Cheltenham. He can often hit flat spots and if that happens Al Boum Photo could already be away and gone. He is quite an idle horse so it’s going to take a very good ride to produce him at the right time. I just think he has a bit to find with the selection at this stage of his career and while he is hugely respected he might need more time to be seen to best effect. He beat Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown before only managing third in the Ryanair behind Min at last year’s Festival so you could also argue he peaks over Christmas as he’ll need much more than that sort of performance to get involved here.
Anything worth a saver?
Given Santini only went down a neck last year he is also worth a mention but he hasn’t done enough this season to suggest he is coming here in similar form and it might just all be happening a bit too quickly for him. At a huge price LOSTINTRANSLATION could have a squeak for team Tizzard. He was of course third in the race last year having looked the most likely winner at one stage and while things haven’t gone to plan since at 33/1 there are definitely worse each way bets going.
Why not Champ?
Nicky Henderson has always held Champ in high regard and he went some way to justifying that with a phenomenal late burst to win the RSA at last year’s Festival. That produced one of the finishes of the week given the amount of ground he had to make up to peg back Minella Indo and Allaho. We know those two horses are both very smart so there’s nothing wrong with that form. Bookmakers were quick to shorten him for the Gold Cup off the back of that but his preparation has been far from ideal this season. We have only seen him once and that was at Newbury last month. Nicky Henderson said he had a ‘lightbulb moment’ in the middle of the night to drop him back to 2 miles. Nico bounced him out and he looked to really enjoy himself, jumping well in the main before lacking the pace of the eventual winner Sceau Royal. That run must have done him the world of good but the issue is he now goes back up to 3m2f and it’s going to be hard to keep a lid on him early as this is an entirely different test. I know there’s a lot of pace on but if he switches off surely that’s when jumping errors could creep in? A lot like what we saw in the RSA last year. He won’t get away with jumping slowly in a race as good as this and while I don’t question his raw ability I have my doubts over him being the complete package yet and he’s too short in the betting.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Cheltenham Friday 3.05 Al Boum Photo (best price 10/3) NAP
Cheltenham Festival Day 4 NEXT BEST – Second Best Bet
Cheltenham 2.30 Fakiera (11/2)
Tough sort who posted a career best when fourth to Gaillard Du Mesnil in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown last month; step up to 3 miles sure to suit and if he improves again it will take a good one to peg him back.
Key trends to note
– 14/16 winners contested a graded race last time
– 5/7 winners were trained in Ireland
– 10/12 winners had won at least twice over hurdles
– 5 yo’s are 1-45 since the race became a Grade 1
– Only 1 of the 16 winners had less than 3 hurdle runs
A race that usually takes an experienced horse to win and FAKIERA with 7 hurdle runs to his name looks a solid bet. He has won or placed in 5 of his last 6 runs and I think the step-up to 3 miles looks right up his street. He ran behind the classy Gaillard Du Mesnil last time and I think he will reverse that form with Stattler over this new trip. He should be able to put his experience to good use in this and I think he will be bang there at the end and at a very nice price.
Who are the main dangers?
Stattler is the obvious danger but I think THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE might be the biggest danger to the selection and is a decent price for a saver. He has won all of his hurdles starts at a lower level but has recorded fantastic times along the way and he looks to have this step-up in class in his range.
If like me you are willing to give a horse another chance Vanillier has the form to out-run his odds and I think he is a big price based on his Grade 2 second behind Farouk D’alene before finishing down the field at Leopardstown behind some of these. Others who made the shortlist include Torygraph and Alaphilippe.
Cheltenham Friday 2.30 Fakiera (best price 11/2) NEXT BEST
Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Daily Double
We’ve combined our two strongest bets on Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival to make a Daily Double which is a great way of covering our two best bets of the day to maximise profit.
Cheltenham Festival Day 4 Each Way Saver Double
As mentioned above we’ve backed two horses at big prices as they look value in the betting so here we’ve combined them to make an Each Way Saver Double. If both place we should make some good profit.