Betting Tips

Cheltenham Friday Preview & Tips

The unexpected 21mm of rain on Wednesday has changed the dynamic of the Cheltenham Festival somewhat – stamina will be the name of the game for the remainder of the Festival.

The racing is on the New Course don’t forget, which will suit FIL DOR who will absolutely thrive in conditions in the Triumph Hurdle, and I expect him to be ridden positively and try and draw the stamina out of Vauban and Pied Piper. He looks to have rock solid claims. The potential joker in the pack could be DOCTOR PARNASSUS for the Dan Skelton team. Admittedly, his form is nowhere near the level required yet, but he hasn’t been given the chance to try and strut his stuff at the top level. The opposition didn’t see which way he went at Taunton last time out and I think he could be a real player here.

I like WEST CORK in the County Hurdle. He should handle the ground and the form of his Greatwood Hurdle win looks magnificent. He is ticking a lot of the right boxes for me. At bigger prices in the same race, I cannot ignore BALLYADAM at a huge price. He has been out of sorts in recent times, but is now attractively handicapped and could out run his odds for the Henry De Bromhead and Aidan Coleman combination.

Dan Skelton has a strong hand on Friday. PROTEKTORAT can run a big race in the Gold Cup. The unexposed seven-year-old pulverized the opposition at Aintree back in December, and although the form in the strictest sense is questionable, he did it so effortlessly that he gives the impression there is so much more to come, and testing ground should hold no fears. If anything, he looked as though he thrived for soft ground and a proper trip last time out, and I think he is right in the mix here with far less miles on the clock than others.

In the finale, it is hard not to be attracted to the Gordon Elliott trained HOLLOW GAMES, who will love the ground, stays all day, and takes a big drop in class here. Under rules, he has form figures of 1113 on Soft/heavy ground, with the latter of those coming in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas. In context, that looks very smart form, and off an official mark of 143, he really can make his class tell in this Conditional Jockeys’ event. The excellent Jordan Gainford takes the ride, and I think the stamina demanding nature of this race will suit Hollow Games to a nicety for the stable that have won this a couple of times in recent years.

* Cheltenham betting odds correct at the time of publication. Odds subject to change.