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Lucky Loader’s Day 4 Cheltenham 2024 Preview: “Fillies have a really good record in the Triumph”

After 17/2 and 10/1 winners on Thursday, Lucky Loader is back for more with his preview for Cheltenham Gold Cup day, which includes a big-price fancy in the Martin Pipe.

1.30 Triumph Hurdle

The race has blown wide open since the news that Sir Gino won’t run; however, that does leave me with a confident selection in Kargese. She sets the standard on the Irish form, and I thought she was well on top when winning the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival last month. Furthermore, fillies have a really good record in the Triumph, where they filled the first three places in last year’s edition, and the 7lb allowance she’ll get from all the geldings will also massively help. I think she’ll go very close.

Selection:

Kargese – EW (11/2)

2.10 County Hurdle

You could throw a few darts at this race and still not find the winner, but Dan Skelton also knows how to train the winner of this race, as he’s won the race four times. I think his L’eau Du Sud has a massive chance. He ran a blinder in the Betfair Hurdle to finish second, where the form has already taken a massive boost from the likes of Go Dante and Favoir. If he can replicate that run, the six-year-old gelding can go very close.


I know I’m not being very original looking towards the top of the market, but if you wanted one at a big price, I think Aucunrisque for Chris Gordon can outrun his odds. He’s now only 1lb lower than when he won the Betfair Hurdle last year, and his trainer often likes to throw one in the County Hurdle, and he’s had a few placed horses in this race at big prices. The son of No Risk At All now returns from a little break, which might just have done him the world of good.

Selections:

L’eau Du Sud – EW (5/1)

Aucunrisque – EW (33/1)

2.50 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

I put up Readin Tommy Wrong when he won the Lawlors of Naas in January, as I thought he was overpriced and would improve for the trip, which he did. Willie Mullins has decided to roll the dice again and step him up to 3m. Even though I do like him a lot, I think this is a deep race, and he looks too short.

If you would want to take him on, I think Captain Teague could be the one. He looked a proper stayer when winning the Challow Hurdle at Newbury on really bad ground. The son of Doyen has always been a promising horse for Paul Nicholls, and he ran a cracker in last year’s Champion Bumper to finish third. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in or around the money.


I also have to have a saver on The Jukebox Man, who finished third behind Captain Teague. I put him up that day, and he looked every inch like a stayer. He’ll love the step-up  trip and the mud, and I think he can figure here.

Selections:

Captain Teague – EW (8/1)

The Jukebox Man – EW (20/1)

3.30 – Cheltenham Gold Cup 

For the last couple of months, I’ve wanted to be against Galopin Des Champs, but now that the day has come, I’m struggling to find anything strong to take him on with. I think Galopin Des Champs has improved even further this season, especially after his win in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. If he runs up to his form of last season’s Gold Cup victory, he’ll take all the beating.


One horse that might be able to run well at a nice each-way price is Corach Rambler. He’s got a perfect record at Cheltenham, and his win from last year’s Ultima is really strong, where he beat Fastorslow. Lucinda Russell usually has her horses spot on at this time of year, and I think he can throw his hat into the mix for the places.

Selections:

Galopin Des Champs – Win (EVS)

Corach Rambler – EW (14/1)

4.10 – St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase 

One of my favourite all-time horses runs in this race, and that is Shantou Flyer. He has done me many favours over the years, and he ran a belter to finish third in this race last year. The 14-year-old gelding is getting on a bit, but he arrives here in decent shape after a couple of wins in the point-to-point sphere. He knows Cheltenham likes the back of his hooves, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him figure once again.

 Billaway, too, has plenty of experience in this race, and he won it for Willie Mullins in 2022. He ran well on his return at Naas last month, which often serves as a springboard to come here. Again, he’s another who makes my shortlist.

Selections:

Billaway – EW (15/2)

Shantou Flyer – EW (33/1)

4.50 – Mares’ Chase 

Dinoblue will be many people’s idea of a banker today, but she’ll have to prove her stamina at this trip after being campaigned over 2m. Having said that, Willie Mullins has proven plenty of people wrong this week with that statement.

However, I’m going to take a huge flyer on one here, and that’s Carole’s Pass for Amy Murphy. I think she’s turned a bit of a corner since she was an eye-catching third at Doncaster in December. She was still going as well as anything when she was brought down at Huntingdon before winning in good style at Exeter last month in the testing ground. I know she has miles to find on official ratings, but novices have a good record since the inception of this race, winning two of the last three renewals. For me, I can see her surprising a few people.

Selection:

Carole’s Pass – EW (33/1)

5.30 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

My strongest fancy of the day runs in the lucky last, and that is Sequestered for Paul Gilligan. He looks to have been plotted out for this race, and his connections know what kind of horse you need after they got Buddy One placed here last year. The son of Malinas caught my eye when he finished tenth at Leopardstown last month after coming from an unpromising position. Last summer, he progressed really well to win at the likes of Sligo and Galway, and after those wins, I think they targeted this race.

The horses at the top end of the market might come from fancy connections, but I haven’t seen anything extraordinary as of yet, so that’s why I am willing to take a swing with one at a big price.

Selection:

Sequestered – EW (40/1)

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