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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
David Yates

Cheltenham Festival 2022 tips: Newsboy’s 1-2-3 and best bets for Gold Cup day

Go for GALVIN in the Cheltenham Gold Cup as the Festival reaches its grand finale.

Gordon Elliott, already with a winner of the feature on his CV, looks to have an ideal candidate.

The son of Gold Well has stamina in abundance – and scooped the National Hunt Chase prize at last year's meeting.

A narrow verdict over A Plus Tard at Leopardstown over Christmas gives him the edge over that rival.

At a course where Gold Cup contenders need to stay every yard of the trip, Galvin won't shirk the issue and a big race win awaits.

Have Your Say! Who are you backing at Cheltenham? Join the debate here.

Top tips for Gold Cup day





VAUBAN impressed in victory at Leopardstown and is a worthy favourite to rack up a second Grade 1 success.

The four-year-old captured two races on the Flat - the latter a Listed contest over a mile and a half at Vichy last July - when trained in France by Philippe Decouz.

Recruited to join Willie Mullins for a campaign over obstacles, Vauban started off in a maiden hurdle at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve, going under by half a length to Pied Piper.

Paul Townend riding Vauban to win The Racing TV '12 Per Month This Weekend Only' Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Getty)

Mullins then raised Vauban’s sights to the top-level Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival, and Paul Townend’s mount took a big step forward in going one better.

Still with a firm grip of his bridle when hitting the front on the run to the final flight, Vauban lengthened three lengths clear of Fil Dor.

There is plenty more where that came from and Vauban is expected to progress again to give Ireland’s champion trainer a third win in this race.

While Cheltenham’s stiffer layout should help Fil Dor to narrow the gap, Pied Piper won effortlessly here in January and is the chief threat, with Porticello and Knight Salute others to throw into the mix.






I LIKE TO MOVE IT has a strong compensation claim after a near-miss in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month.

A two-time winner from four outings in bumpers, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ son of Trans Island began his career as a novice hurdler at Worcester at the start of October and followed a three-and-a-quarter length margin of victory there with the same winning distance at Cheltenham 16 days later.

I Like To Move It completed the hat-trick with a two-length supremacy from sole other finisher Washington at Grade 2 level here in November before a last of five behind Jonbon at Ascot eight days before Christmas.

Jack Kennedy with the Gold Cup (PA)

The five-year-old was given a British Horseracing Authority rating of 138 for his handicap debut in the Betfair Hurdle and my selection, ridden as today by the trainer’s son Sam, lost out by just a short head to Glory And Fortune.

That proved my selection’s suitability for big-field handicaps such as this, and a 4lb rise in the weights should not prevent another good account.

One of the week’s big betting heats a typically open look to it, with Suprise Package, West Cork, Top Bandit and Cormier just four horses capable of having a say.






HILLCREST is assembling a curriculum vitae to match his impressive stature - and he hasn't finished yet.

Henry Daly’s towering seven-year-old is made for his future career as a chaser - anything he does over hurdles really is a bonus.

And the son of Stowaway has achieved plenty in the sphere, getting off to a winning start at Aintree in November before following up by 20 lengths at Wetherby a month later.

The hat-trick came at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day as Richard Patrick’s partner enjoyed a comfortable two lengths to spare over I Am Maximus.

Hillcrest (left) already has a Cheltenham win to his name (Getty)

Then came the only blip of Hillcrest’s nascent career - sent off the 4-5 favourite for a Grade 2 novice event, he lost his rider when hampered by a faller at the third flight.

But normal service was resumed at Haydock Park last time - my selection’s first attempt at three miles - as he hammered Crystal Glory by eight lengths.

There remains some polish to be applied in the jumping department, but Hillcrest still has untapped potential to draw upon.

Ginto, a Grace 1 winner who also has a rough-hewn look to him, is respected while The Nice Guy and Stag Horn are stayers with a bright future.






Galvin (right) won the National Hunt Chase at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival (PA)

GALVIN has the ideal profile to give his trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Davy Russell a second Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph.

Elliott now has his career, derailed by a 12-month ban for being pictured astride a dead horse on his Cullentra House gallops, back on track - and Galvin has led the path to rehabilitation.

The son of Gold Well was saddled to victory in the National Hunt Chase by Ian Ferguson 12 months ago, and Galvin has made further strides back with Elliott, a Gold Cup winner with Don Cossack in 2016, this season.

After a comeback win at Punchestown and a narrow defeat at Down Royal last October, Galvin and Russell, who rode Lord Windermere to success in 2014, laid down a marker for today with a short-head verdict from A Plus Tard in the three-mile Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The additional two furlongs and 70 yards will tease out further progress from a chaser just about to reach his peak.

Minella Indo was too strong for stablemate A Plus Tard in this race 12 months ago - dual Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo finished fourth and Royale Pagaille sixth, with Santini pulling up - and, while the title-holder has drawn a blank in three attempts this season, Cheltenham brings out the best in him.

Chantry House put a King George VI Chase stinker behind him when beating Santini and Aye Right in the Cotswold Chase here in January, but still has plenty to find and the upwardly mobile Protektorat looks the best of the home guard.

Tornado Flyer sprang a 28-1 surprise at Kempton Park on Boxing Day - accident-prone stable-companion Asterion Forlonge was staying on into second when falling at the final fence - and Danny Mullins’ partner still has time to show his ‘nearly man’ days are behind him.






WINGED LEADER spanked favourite Billaway when the pair met at Thurles in January and receives the vote to come out on top once more.

The eight-year-old, trained in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, by David Christie, has taken his form to a new level this season,

On the back of a 30-length supremacy in a Necarne point-to-point the previous month, Winged Love’s son lifted a hunters chase at Listowel the following month.

After five months off, my selection had to share the spoils with Gordon Elliott’s Mighty Stowaway back between the flags at Loughbrickland in November, but was back to winning ways - and in style - at Thurles last time.

Billaway went off the 10-11 market leader for a seven-runner hunter chase but couldn't live with Barry O’Neill and Winged Leader, who surged away to score by 12 lengths.

Billaway has a history in this race with second placings in 2020 and 2021, but will do well to turn that form around.

Bob And Co, going well when departing 12 months ago, and Dubai Quest have podium claims.






CONCERTISTA, with a Cheltenham Festival record of a win and two narrow defeats, makes plenty of appeal.

Three years ago, the daughter of Nathaniel came within a short head of a winning obstacles debut in the Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, losing out in the photo-finish to stablemate Eglantine Du Seuil, but went made amends by 12 lengths in 2020.

There was another near-miss with a head defeat by Black Tears in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle last season, but the early signs of her chasing career are that Concertista can improve her already impressive tally here.

Making her chasing bow over two miles at Cork at the start of December, the eight-year-old appeared to learn on the job, jumping-wise, in landing a Grade 2 contest by half a length from Jeremy's Flame.

Upped to two miles and six furlongs, Concertista shrugged off a penalty to score by four lengths at the same level.

Paul Townend’s partner has barely scratched beneath the surface in her new discipline and is fancied to take her fencing tally to 3-3.

Stablemate Elimay, second in this last year, isn’t passed over lightly, with Vienna Court fancied to claim the bronze medal.






HOLLOW GAMES has kept some lofty company this year and looks well treated for his first start in handicaps.

After capturing a Down Royal maiden hurdle in October, Gordon Elliott’s Beat Hollow gelding moved up to Grade 3 level to go in again at Navan the following month.

Hollow Games then took in the top-level Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle at the Co Kildare venue at the start of the year, and emerged with plenty of credit with a third to stablemate Ginto.

And there was little wrong with his third, beaten three and a quarter lengths, to Minella Cocooner in another Grade 1 over two miles and six furlongs at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival last month.

The step back to an extended two and a half miles won’t prove an issue for Hollow Games - the booking of top conditional Jordan Gainford is undoubtedly a plus - and there is still the scope for him to improve past his rating of 143.

Adamantly Chosen sits at the top of a long shortlist for the Festival finale, ahead of I A Connect and Cobblers Dream.

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