So that’s that — the final day of the Cheltenham Festival has come and gone and we say goodbye to the Cotswolds for another year.
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Most importantly — leave your tips in the comments section. We’re broke.
13.11 – Here we go again. Welcome to the fourth and final day of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival and, most importantly, the chance of a long overdue Irish winner in the Gold Cup. If Sir des Champs is coming up that hill shortly after 3.20pm this afternoon, all of those beaten dockets (and there’s no shortage of them in TheScore.ie HQ) will be forgotten.
Before that, we’ve plenty of action to get through, starting with the Triumph Hurdle at 1.30pm. Stay with us for all of the action — and most importantly, send us your tips. Either that or send us a sandwich.
13.17 – Of course, our thoughts are with Irish amateur jockey JT McNamara who was put into an induced coma following a horror fall in the Kim Muir yesterday. The Injured Jockeys’ Fund has released a statement within the last hour to say that JT has fractured two vertebrae in his neck and is currently undergoing surgery in Frenchay Hospital, Bristol. No more information will be known until tomorrow.
Best of luck, JT. Get well soon.
13.25 – Here’s the line up for today’s card:
- 1.30: JCB Triumph Hurdle
- 2.05: Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
- 2.40: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
- 3.20: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cuo
- 4.00: CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cuo
- 4.40: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
- 5.15: Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
13.27 – Don’t panic. If you think about it, they’re doing you a favour.
13.32 – We’re just about ready for the Triumph Hurdle. All of the money is coming for Nicky Henderson’s Rolling Star.
Betting: Rolling Star 5/2, Our Conor 4/1, Far West 4/1, Diakali 11/1, Bar 12/1
13.33 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE TRIUMPH HURDLE. Diakili leads over the first; mistake already by Far West.
13.35 – Diakili leads by four lengths to Our Conor and King of Dudes. David Casey trying to stretch them out here.
13.36 – Our Conor looms on the bend and takes the lead…
13.38 – OUR CONOR WINS THE TRIUMPH HURDLE
13.39 – RESULT: 1. Our Conor 2. Far West 3. Sametegal
It’s oh so easy for Our Conor and Bryan Cooper who win by 15 lengths. That will do very nicely for any of the Irish still in Cheltenham — and for 20-year-old Cooper who rides his second winner of the week.
13.46 – Is it too much of an exaggeration to call a novice hurdler sensational? No? Good because that’s precisely what that was by Our Conor. Diakali really tested him with the pace but when it came to the crunch, he was far and away the best horse in the field. A great win for trainer Dessie Hughes whose yard has been in great form this week.
13.48 – Bryan Cooper on Our Conor: “I’ve never ridden a Champion Hurdler so I’d never know but he’s given me the feel of one anyway.”
13.52 – I’d say that’s some feeling. The hype machine has already started and Our Conor is as short as 6/1 already for next year’s Champion Hurdle. 6/1!
13.55 – Speaking to Clare Balding on Channel 4, Richard Hughes (son of trainer Dessie) says Our Conor’s potential reminds him of Golden Cygnet. High praise indeed.
14.02 – Five minutes to the off in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle. This has gone to Irish trainers three times in the last four years and the boys in green saddle Ted Veale (Tony Martin), Tennis Cap (Willie Mullins), Princeton Plains (Eddie Harty) and Shadow Catcher (Gordon Elliot) among others.
I fancy the last as a decent bit of each-way value, if you’re asking.
14.05 – At the head of the market, Cotton Mill and Ifandbutwhynot are disputing favouritism. Cotton Mill does have that good second to Mytentoryours in the Betfair Hurdle in the form book, but he’s racing off 5lbs higher today.
14.07 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE COUNTY HURDLE
14.08 – If you’ve backed Brampour, look away now. He’s struggling out the back. Tennis Cap leads them through half way by two-and-a-half lengths.
14.10 – Tennis Cap leads Dan Breen by two as they turn for home. Ted Veale is coming…
14.11 – TED VEALE WINS THE COUNTY HURDLE — ANOTHER WIN FOR BRYAN COOPER
14.14 – Result: 1. Ted Veale 2. Tennis Cap 3. Manyriverstocross 4. Shadow Catcher
14.17 – Somewhere out there, I bet Michael O’Leary is wondering if he can persuade AP McCoy to get off Sir des Champs in the Gold Cup and let Bryan Cooper on. What a start to the day for the Tralee youngster.
14.20 – A mud-spattered Bryan Cooper: “I have to pinch myself, it’s a bit hard to believe.”
14.23 – The going has officially been changed to Soft, Good to Soft in places. To be fair, it looks pretty soft out there.
14.32 – Alright, we’re on a roll now. Ten minutes to go until the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and we’re missing a major contender in Willie Mullins’ Ballycasey. He’s a non-runner.
That means that there’s a huge amount of money going on to At Fishers Cross. He’s in to 11/8 now after opening at 7/4 .
14.35 – We’re short on Irish challengers to keep the winning start to day four going here. Inish Island and Ruby Walsh represent the Willie Mullins yard while Paul Carberry is on Our Vinnie for Charles Byrnes. The latter was third to Pont Alexandre in Leopardstown in January but that form looks a bit wobbly after Pont’s disappointing third on Wednesday.
14.41 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE ALBERT BARTLETT but nobody really wants to make the running. O’Faolains Boy obliges eventually.
14.44 – This is a three-miler so it’s still to early to get excited. O’Faolains Boy leads from Le Bec and Virginia Ash. Ruby has a strong hold on Inish Island at the back of the field.
14.45 – FALLERS at the sixth. I Shot The Sheriff goes down and brings Our Vinnie with him.
14.46 – At Fishers Cross and African Gold make their move as the field turns for home. Half a mile to go.
14.48 – AP McCoy has his first Festival winner. At Fishers Cross wins; tight for second between African Gold and Inish Island.
14.49 – RESULT: 1. At Fishers Cross 2. African Gold. 3. Inish Island
14.53 – Well, how about that for a timely boost ahead of the Gold Cup. AP McCoy — who has the ride on Sir des Champs next — drives At Fishers Cross up the hill to win from African Gold. It was a brilliant finish as the two crossed the final flight neck and neck before McCoy pulled away to see it out.
A lovely moment at the finish as well as Sam Twiston-Davies and Ruby Walsh congratulate AP.
15.00 – A very poignant moment on Channel 4 is JP McManus, owner of At Fishers Cross, almost breaks down as he talks about the injured JT McNamara.
Look who’s at the races for Gold Cup day? I wonder who Kate is backing…
15.08 – With 10 minutes to go until the off in the Gold Cup, it’s soft, soft, soft out there. Look at Bryan Cooper after winning the second race:
15.13 – Ok, it’s nearly time. The great Kauto Star is paraded ahead of this race which he made his own for so many years. Here are the horses who would be king:
- Bobs Worth 5/2
- Long Run 4/1
- Sir Des Champs 4/1
- Silviniaco Conti 9/2
- Cape Tribulation 12/1
- Captain Chris 14/1
- The Giant Bolster 14/1
- Monbeg Dude 40/1
- Wayward Prince 100/1
15.16 – Point of information: The Gold Cup was first run in 1924. I know this because it was one of the questions at an impossible table quiz TheScore.ie team was at last night. The less said about that, the better.
15.19 – More money for Long Run as the rain continues to fall. He’s into 7/2 but Bob’s Worth is the rock solid favourite at 11/4.
15.21 – Who are we all backing? Get in to the comments section now so nobody can accuse you of after-timing!
15.22 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE GOLD CUP. Long Run hits the first. Plus ca change.
15.24 – After six, Long Run leads The Giant Bolster from Silviniaco and Sir des Champs.
15.25 – As they complete the first circuit, Long Run leads. Sir des Champs moves up on the outside to second. Silviniaco, The Giant Bolster and Bob’s Worth not far off.
15.27 – Long Run and Sir des Champs travelling well in first and second. Bob’s Worth and Silviniaco still in with a shout and Captain Chris moves up to join them.
15.29 – BOB’S WORTH WINS THE GOLD CUP FROM SIR DES CHAMPS AND LONG RUN
15.31 – Result: 1. Bob’s Worth 2. Sir des Champs 3. Long Run
15.34 – That’s as good a renewal of a Gold Cup as we’ve seen in recent years. When Silviniaco Conti fell a few from home, Bob’s Worth looked to be badly hampered but came from way back under Barry Geraghty to dispute the lead. A fantastic ride and a powerful finish to hold off Sir des Champs, who stayed well under AP McCoy, and Long Run.
15.41 – Congrats to anyone making money out there today. Just try not to give it straight back.
Leslie Alan Rock: Had sir des champ ew and had our Conor to win. Happy man. Treat her goodself to a nice chinese and some vino.
15.50 – There are just three races left in Cheltenham 2013 and next up in the Foxhunter Chase over three miles and two furlongs.
Salsify is bidding to become the seventh horse to win multiple renewals of this race and will take some beating.
15.57 – This looks a two-horse race on paper but the ground isn’t ideal for either Salsify or Chapoturgeon so if you know something we don’t, hop into the comments section below and let us know.
16.03 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE FOXHUNTER CHASE with Coombe Hill causing some trouble but they do get away first time.
16.05 – Creevytennant, despite some suspect jumping, is still the leader after eight fences.
16.08 – Creevytennant leads from Oscar Delta and Cottage Oak after the open ditch. Salsify is at the back of the field but is running well.
16.13 – SALSIFY WINS THE FOXHUNTER CHASE after Oscar Delta unseats his rider after jumping the last.
There was no way Salsify was going to pass Jane Mangan’s mount and you have to feel sorry for all involved after the horse bolted upon seeing a gap in the side rail.
16.19 – Full result from the Foxhunter Chase is as follows:
1. Salsify 2/1 fav
2. Divine Intavention 50/1
3. Cottage Oak 9/1
4. Doctor Kingsley 40/1
There were only four finishers out of the 23 that started the race.
16.20 – Here’s the moment when Jane Mangan was unseated by Oscar Delta:
Image: Racing UK screengrab
16.29 – With all the drama at the end, nobody could accuse the Foxhunter’s of being after the Lord Mayor’s show.
Next up is the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle which sees Gevrey Chambertin – brother of Grand Crus – look to make it 4/4 over hurdles.
Fittingly, the race is named after Martin Pipe, father of Gevrey Chamertin’s trainer, David.
16.32 – Lovely picture of Barry Geraghty with the Cheltenham Gold Cup from earlier:
Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
16.40 – The odds coming in to the Martin Pipe Hurdle are: 7/2 Gevrey Chambertain; 8/1 Make Your Mark, Village Vic; 9/1 Ma Filleule.
Someone in TheScore.ie towers is throwing the last of their Cheltenham money on Tony Martin’s Edeymi.
If it doesn’t come in, send bread and water please.
16.42 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE MARTIN PIPE HURDLE and First Avenue has been left standing at the start and is about 15 lengths behind the rest of the runners.
16.45 – And of course Edeymi falls!
16.50 – SALUBRIOUS WINS THE MARTIN PIPE and in doing so gives Paul Nicholls his first win of this year’s festival in the penultimate race after staying on well over the last couple of fences.
16.53 – Full results from the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle:
1. Salubrious 16/1
2. Nagpur 33/1
3. Double Ross 14/1
4. Make Your Mark 8/1
17.00 – And so we’re nearly there, the final race of Cheltenham 2013. It’s been an exciting few days but tinged with sadness too.
The last race is the Grand Annual Handicap Chase where a win for the favourite Alderwood would break the record of most Irish wins at Cheltenham.
The last 13 winners of this race have carried 11st or less for those of you who follow trends.
17.06 – Nicky Henderson has no less than six runners in this race with Kid Cassidy leading the way, piloted by Jeremiah McGrath. Other horses to look out for are Ulck Du Lin with Ruby Walsh on board and Alan King’s Kumbeshwar.
17.14 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE GRAND ANNUAL CHASE, the last race of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
It’s 13 all between Ireland the Britain in terms of winners this week, and Ireland only have one runner in this.
17.18 – At the water jump Stagecoach Pearl holds a slight lead from Petit Robin
17.19 – Kid Cassidy and Alderwood look like they’ll fight it out for this one.
17.21 – ALDERWOOD WINS CHELTENHAM FOR IRELAND in taking the Grand Annual Handicap Chase and making it a record 14 winners this week for the Irish.
17.24 – Full results from the Grand Annual Handicap Chase:
1. Alderwood 3/1 Fav
2. Kid Cassidy 12/1
3. Oiseau De Nuit 33/1
4. Drumshambo 20/1
17.33 – And that’s it from TheScore.ie‘s coverage of Cheltenham 2013 and it’s been a record breaking year for the Irish raiders.
For all the highs though, all thoughts must go to JT McNamara who fractured two vertebrae in his neck in yesterday’s horror fall at Cheltenham.
As always, thanks for joining us and hope you made more money than we did.