Cheltenham Festival - Day 4

    Well, after a great start to the week things took a turn for the worse today and I need a winner on Gold Cup day, a day where imo my two strongest bets run.

    Gibralfaro isn't one, and I thought he wasn't running after his poor effort last time out. I'm not confident and I'm not topping up.

    With Desoto County balloted out of the County my one tracker horse to appear at the Festival is Starchitect in the same race. He's bred to enjoy faster ground and his form behind Agrapart in the Betfair Hurdle has been franked a number of teams since, including by Yorkhill in the Neptune. It's a tough race, one of the most competitive of the week, but I always have more confidence in tracker horses than other handicap fancies.

    My ante-post position on Shantou Village looks incredibly strong now. He hated the ground last time out behind Yanworth and whilst it's hard to be overly confident in such a large field conditions event I came into the week as hopeful and buzzy about this horse as I was about Altior. I expect a huge run - and I have covered on Barter's Hill via a free bet.

    Onto the Gold Cup. I've fantasised about Don Poli winning this since he drifted to a backable price for the race after his poor run at the Punchestown Festival last April. He's a lazy horse who jumps as well as Vautour and stays all day. He loves the track and he won't get dangerously outpaced, remember he won a competitive handicap hurdle over 2m4 as a novice. I think he's bombproof tomorrow - Djakadam I fear, Cue Card a little less so, Don Cossack not at all. I have a good price ante-post and he makes my Festival a great one if he wins.

Triumph Hurdle:
Gibralfaro £10w @ 175/10 (lost)

County Hurdle:
Starchitect £35w @ 145/10 (lost)

Albert Bartlett:
Shantou Village £35w @ 102/10 and £10 @ 10/1 any race (pu)
Barter's Hill £25fb @ 4/1 via Yanworth (lost)

Gold Cup:
Don Poli £70w @ 774/100 (3rd)
Vautour  NR £10
Holywell NR £5

£5ew Double:
(CH/County) Nichols Canyon(won)Starchitect(lost) @ 9/2 & 16/1


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