Cheltenham Festival Day Four Tips: Jamie Codd’s 66/1 Martin Pipe fancy and two picks in the Albert Bartlett

Cheltenham Festival Day Four Tips: Jamie Codd’s 66/1 Martin Pipe fancy and two picks in the Albert Bartlett

Our Cheltenham columnist Jamie Codd highlighted multiple winners this week, and is back to preview every race Festival race including a 66/1 shot in the Martin Pipe.

1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle

I’m going for STORM HEART to kick things off on Gold Cup day. It’s interesting that Paul Townend has decided to stick with him despite his Leopardstown reverse, and I think he’s the kind of horse who could be well suited to a Triumph. He kept on well behind Kargese in the Spring Juvenile despite not being completely fluent at the final two flights and Paul clearly feels there is still some improvement in him. Tiger Roll and Farclas were both winners of this for Gigginstown in recent years, and they buy horses for the race who they think will be staying types. Storm Heart looks just that to me, and he gets my vote.

2.10pm BetMGM County Handicap Hurdle

I really fancy MAGICAL ZOE to give Henry de Bromhead another Cheltenham winner on what’s been a memorable week for the yard. She’s been in very good form this season, winning on her reappearance before being second to Irish Point at Down Royal’s headline meeting in November. She returned from a short break to run really well in the big handicap hurdle at Leopardstown, and has a very solid profile for this. She came home strongly to finish runner-up in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle last year, and I’d say she’ll be ridden for a bit of luck again this time around.

Captain Teague gets ahead of Lookaway in the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury

2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

This is a really competitive race full of quality horses who will surely have bright futures over fences in time. I’ve always been a fan of Paul Nicholls’s CAPTAIN TEAGUE, and his Champion Bumper third from last year is looking all the more solid now following Fact To File’s big win in the Brown Advisory on Wednesday. He’s had a solid campaign over hurdles, and has been off since grinding out his Grade 1 victory in Newbury’s Challow Hurdle late last year. He’s a game horse with a touch of class who’ll handle the track and the ground, with the step up to three miles a positive in my view. I also like LECKY WATSON for Willie Mullins, who was narrowly beaten by Slade Steel earlier in the year before finishing third behind Readin Tommy Wrong in the Lawlors Of Naas in January. That form looks solid with Ile Atlantique and Firefox in and around him, and he’s another strong staying type who might find this sort of race suiting him.

3.30pm Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase

I love seeing good horses win and I do believe that Galopin Des Champs is a hell of a horse. His win at Leopardstown was breathtaking, but I have a funny feeling that this race could set up well for FASTORSLOW. He’s beaten the favourite twice already, and will likely come on from his run when second in the Irish Gold Cup. If Martin Brassil has him in peak condition, he’s definitely the main danger and if there’s pace on, I expect he’ll be ridden quietly enough by JJ Slevin to have a pop at Galopin Des Champs late. Of the others, Gentlemansgame is a fascinating contender for a genius trainer in Mouse Morris. He’s only run three times over fences, but has already beaten Bravemansgame in that time. Mouse knows how to ready one for the big day, and this horse is big on talent and completely unexposed.

Fastorslow and JJ Slevin on their way to victory in the John Durkan
Fastorslow and JJ Slevin on their way to victory in the John Durkan

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

I have to say that I’m very disappointed to see just 12 runners line up here. I can’t remember seeing so few runners in this race, and it’s a little bit scary to see, as it’s usually a full field. That’s been the case in many Festival races this week, which is a big worry. I’d love to see Ferns Lock run a big race for Barry O’Neill and David Christie, who’s a massive supporter of point-to-points in Ireland. The smaller field will likely help him given his aggressive run style, but I’m still with ITS ON THE LINE. Emmet Mullins, Derek O’Connor and JP McManus are already on the board this week, and this one is difficult to oppose having looked very good this term. He was second in this race last year and has looked much better for that experience. He’s been unbeaten since, getting the better of both Ferns Lock earlier in the season and Billaway in a thriller last time. I feel he was better than the margin that day and still just a seven-year-old he’s still got plenty of upside.

Allegorie De Vassy and Sean O'Keeffe win the BetVictor Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse
Allegorie De Vassy and Sean O’Keeffe win the BetVictor Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse

4.50pm Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

Dinoblue is the class horse in the race, but she’s very pacey and might find this test a little more difficult up in trip on softer ground. ALLEGORIE DE VASSY was second to Impervious last year and bounced back from a poor mid-season effort with a confidence-boosting win last time. She’s shown glimpses of real talent in her career, and we know she stays the trip and handles dig in the ground. She might just be able to get the better of Dinoblue here.

5.30 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

MEL MONROE is a huge price in this (66/1) but she’s got snippets of form which make me think she could run into a place for Ben Harvey and Gordon Elliott. She kicked off her season with a good second to Encanto Bruno at Cheltenham and has been in good form since, including when placed behind solid horses such as Croke Park and Brighterdaysahead. We know she stays and handles the track and ground and I think she’s capable of running well off this sort of mark. Danny Gilligan is an excellent young rider and BETTER DAYS AHEAD (10/1) is another who surely has a good chance based on his runs behind subsequent Supreme winner Slade Steel and Asian Master, who was fourth in the same race. He’s a winner over just shy of three miles this year too, and will be keeping on at the finish provided he gets the gaps in running.

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