1:30pm – Triumph Hurdle
Goshen and Solo both fit in the ‘could be anything’ bracket but ALLMANKIND (5/1) brings Grade One form to the race. Dan Skelton has been bullish on his horse all season and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Allmankind prevail.
He won a Grade Two at Cheltenham in November before beating Cerberus by nine lengths at Chepstow over Christmas. Allmankind will take some beating in the Triumph Hurdle.
A WAVE OF THE SEA (12/1) is interesting from an each way perspective. He claimed victory at the Dublin Racing Festival and should be there or thereabouts jumping the last.
2:10pm – County Hurdle
With the ground drying up towards the end of the week, ARAMON (13/2) is well worth a punt. He has form behind the likes of Honeysuckle and Klassical Dream and Willie Mullins will be quietly confident of a big run.
He won a Grade One as a novice in December 2018 and gets in off a lovely weight. A mark of 149 looks workable and Aramon could go close.
At a bigger price, ELDORADO ALLEN (33/1) is a horse that I’ve followed for a while. He will have to be some horse to carry top weight to victory but he certainly boasts great potential.
2:50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
This has all the makings of a thrilling contest. LATEST EXHIBITION (5/1) would be my pick at the prices, though there are some doubts over whether he gets the trip. The jockey booking of Brian Cooper tells us that connections are confident though…
The form of his Grade One win at Leopardstown looks strong and plenty of punters will be tempted to get stuck into Latest Exhibition in this race.
REDFORD ROAD (28/1) looks overpriced to me. He has gone under the radar slightly for this race but could feature prominently if it becomes a gruelling stamina test.
3:30pm – Cheltenham Gold Cup
AL BOUM PHOTO (7/2) could be the first horse to win back-to-back Gold Cups since Best Mate in 2004. Willie Mullins has campaigned him in exactly the same way as he did last year and connections will be hoping for a similar outcome at Cheltenham on Friday.
LOSTINTRANSLATION (8/1) won me a hefty sum of money at Haydock Park in November and I’ll be siding with him to make amends for a disappointing run in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Colin Tizzard gave Lostintranslation a wind operation ahead of the Festival and punters will be hoping he is in perfect condition ahead of Friday’s big race.
4:10pm – Foxhunter Chase
MINELLA ROCCO (4/1) brings a touch of class to the Foxhunter Chase this year and plenty of punters will be backing the Jonjo O’Neill runner to emerge victorious.
Runner up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup just three years ago, Minella Rocco stays all day and he should run a brave race on Friday afternoon. On the basis of his last run, Minella Rocco is a worthy favourite.
I like BILLAWAY (8/1) for Willie Mullins. He is still relatively unexposed and is quite young for this race but he is talented and Mullins will have him primed to go close.
4:50pm – Grand Annual Handicap Chase
Paul Nicholls has an excellent record in this race and there has been a solid gamble on his runner Greaneteen this week. He looks very good and jumps well so should be in contention but I prefer ECLAIR DE BEAUFEU (7/1) for Gordon Elliott.
He ran well in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham last year before unseating his rider in the closing stages and he has really taken to chasing.
BALLYWOOD (33/1) has been kept fresh for this race after finishing third at Cheltenham in December. Alan King has a couple in this but Ballywood is a great each way bet.
5:30pm – Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle
FRONT VIEW (9/2) is the one to back here. Jonjo O’Neill Jr has been booked to ride the Joseph O’Brien star for the final race of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and he is by far the most experienced jockey in the race.
With form behind Envoi Allen to his name, Front View has competed against some very good horses and he looks way ahead of the handicapper’s mark of 139.
THE BOSSES OSCAR (14/1) always runs his race and this ultra-consistent type could run into the places with a bit of luck. This is his toughest test yet but he is an interesting pick.
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Amr Nabil / AP Photo*