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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Johnny Ward

Cheltenham Festival 2023 day four tips: A Plus Tard can bounce back for Gold Cup finale

Henry de Bromhead can ice the cake of a week he will never forget and saddle back-to-back Boodles Gold Cup (3.30) wins with A Plus Tard today.

Tuesday's success of Honeysuckle was loaded with emotion, Henry having lost son Jack last year, and that she bounced back from two defeats is encouraging for A Plus Tard, who inexplicably ran a shocker at Haydock on his sole start this season.

This is a deeper Gold Cup than the one he won last year, but he could not have been more impressive then. There is no real issue with Galopin Des Champs' chance other than his price — and it is short enough in a really competitive renewal.

Paul Nicholls' Hermes Allen was disappointing in the Ballymore on Wednesday, but that should not take away from the confidence in Bravemansgame, bidding to emulate stablemates See More Business (1999), Kauto Star (2007, 2009) and Denman (2008). Willie Mullins has a stranglehold on the JCB Triumph Hurdle (1.30), which he won last year with Vauban. It is hard to know whether Lossiemouth or Blood Destiny will go off favourite.

Mullins trains both that pair and third-favourite Gala Marceau, who rather surprisingly wears a hood for the first time. Lossiemouth was desperately unlucky behind her stablemate at Leopardstown and can reverse the form.

Cheltenham Festival tips

Day four

1.30 Lossiemouth

2.10 Filey Bay

2.50 Corbetts Cross (nap)

3.30 A Plus Tard

4.10 Billaway

4.50 Allegorie De Vassy

5.30 Cool Survivor

Mullins has won six of the past 13 renewals of the County Hurdle (2.10), and it is fascinating to see the high-class Sharjah as top weight. He runs four this year, but his nephew, Emmet, may have the answer in Filey Bay.

The son of Fame And Glory has had only three starts for Emmet, just touched off in the Betfair Hurdle, and he should remain very competitive. A fascinating alternative is young hurdler Path D'oroux, who has a touch of class.

The Albert Bartlett (2.50) has featured horses winning at big prices in recent years.

Very Wood (33-1), Kilbricken Storm (33-1), Minella Indo (50-1) and Vanillier (14-1) all showed the importance of stamina, and this will take a bit of getting. Corbetts Cross fits the bill.

Like Filey Bay, sold by Paul Byrne to JP McManus but remaining with Emmet Mullins, Corbetts Cross did really well to get away with a marked drop in trip to win at Naas last time. The rain is a massive positive and, given that it was up for debate as to whether or not he may run, the hint can be taken.

Barry O'Neill and David Christie bid for a belated winner in the St James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase (4.10), with Winged Leader narrowly denied by Billaway last year. The duo rely on Vaucelet this time, though he may want better ground. Billaway never disappoints and is a solid each-way for Willie and Patrick Mullins.

Today marks the third renewal of the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase (4.50), with Allegorie De Vassy hard to oppose, for all that Impervious is a proper danger. McManus also bought her earlier this season, but the Mullins runner is marginally preferred.

The Martin Pipe (5.30) is desperately tough and features Cool Survivor, who looks on a good mark. He is vying for favouritism with stablemate Imagine and the Mullins-trained Spanish Harlem, Ireland likely to dominate the last race.

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