Cheltenham Festival LIVE: All the action, updates, tips and insight from the final day of racing as Galopin Des Champs looks to make it three from three for Willie Mullins in the Gold Cup

Cheltenham Festival LIVE: All the action, updates, tips and insight from the final day of racing as Galopin Des Champs looks to make it three from three for Willie Mullins in the Gold Cup

Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for day four of the Cheltenham Festival. We will be bringing you all the updates of today’s races – including the Gold Cup – as well as  sharing some tips and odds along the way. 

Host commentator

Russell said: ‘The thing that held him back previously was that he was a total lunatic. He used to get totally wound-up by the excitement of being at the races, but he’s growing up.

‘The most impressive people you meet have a confidence about them and that’s what he’s like. He’s a very confident horse, he’s very aware of his own ability and power and tries to intimidate other horses.

‘Even when he’s on his way out to the gallops he’ll try to intimidate them just by his size and sheer strength. He’s not an aggressive horse, he’s very kind, but he’s proud of himself.’

Ahoy Senor is looking to become the first Scottish-trained horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cu and Lucinda Russell is confident in his ability. 

Russell has heaped praise on Ahoy Senor’s strength and power’ ahead of the blue riband event – claiming they are lucky to have him. 

‘He’s a fabulous horse,’ Russell told the BBC. ‘Very strong, immense power and strength, a great talent and we’re lucky to have him. Staying is a big part of his forte and you need to be a stayer to contend in a Gold Cup.’

Impaire enjoying a well deserved carrot as he arrives safely back in his box! 🐎👑 #ImpaireEtPasse #DoubleGreen #CheltenhamFestival

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh said: ‘Spanish Harlem has improved this week, but so has Cool Survivor and Imagine. This is a competitive race and one of the novices will win it. I hope it is Spanish Harlem as that would round out an incredible week for Michael O’Sullivan. 

‘But at a price, Spirit of Legend. I’d be with Spanish Harlem, but for double digit value, Spirit of Legend.’

The waiting is nearly over.

The Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup, live at 3.30pm on Racing TV 🙌 #CheltenhamFestival

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh said: ‘There’s a worry about Alegorie De Vassy jumping right but she’s been jumping straight of late so hopefully she does that again on Friday.

‘She’s the class horse in the race. If you wanted to oppose her, you’d have to go really big on someone like Riviere D’etel. 

‘I hope it’s in the balance for Paul Townend to be leading rider and he has to go out and make a huge effort. If he does that, she [Alegorie De Vassy will win].’

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh said: ‘I’m a Vaucelet fan. Billaway at 8/1 is an each way shout but Chris’s dream at 10/1 is the value. Vaucelet is a big, big runner.’

"She's the mare with experience and hopefully that will count."

Gavin Cromwell on the chances of Jeremys Flame in a competitive Mares' Chase 👊#GreenTeam 💚 | #CheltenhamFestival

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh said: ‘I’ve always been a Galopin Des Champs fan and I’m not going to desert him now. I couldn’t win a Gold Cup for Willie Mullins, but Paul Townend could be on the verge of winning a third for him.’

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh said: ‘I’m with Corbetts Cross. He’s longer than Three Card Brag in the betting now which really suits me. He’s a potential super star and I’m with him.   

‘Three Card Brag has done nothing wrong. Sandor Clegane ran well behind Goodland at Leopardstown but Goodland flopped in the Ballymore.

‘I’ve been with Corbetts Cross from the word go and I’m not going to turn my back on him. Whether he wins the Albert Bartlett or not, he’ll be a Gold Cup horse at some stage.’

🏆 2022
❓ 2023

💕 A quiet moment with A Plus Tard and @rachaelblackmor ahead of their bid to land back-to-back victories in the Cheltenham Gold [email protected] | @CPStudOfficial | @CheltenhamRaces

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh said: ‘If I was going for a tip, I’d be with Ballyadam. I thought he ran well behind Gaelic Warrior and at 25/1, he’s probably overpriced.’

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh said: ‘If heavy appears in the going, it suits Blood Destiny because then it becomes a stamina race.   

‘I don’t see pace in this race to make it a slog but if the ground gets really testing and the track makes it a slog, it definitely goes in Blood Destiny’s favour’

Ireland won all seven last day races last year and the signs are ominous again. They lead GB 15-6 this week already. In the last 3 years, out of the 21 day 4 races run, GB has a measly tally of 2 wins.

Bravemansgame is in the building! 😍#ITVRacing | #TheOpeningShow

Other Paddy movers include: Pembroke (2.10) – 5 from 11-2; Corbetts Cross (2.50) 5-2 from 11-4; Ahoy Senor (also Gold Cup 3.30) 16 from 22-1; Cool Survivor (5.30) 4 from 9-2

Paul Nicholls has described Bravemansgame as the best horse he has trained for some time and he is attracting Gold Cup support with Paddy Power (13-2 from 7-1).

A Paddy Power customer landed a £50k windfall off the back of a £1 each way 5-fold accumulator bet on Thursday when he bravely cashed out before hot-favourite Luccia lost to You Wear It Well in the Jack De Bromhead Mares Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The UK based punter had backed the first four winners of the day, with Stage Star (1st race), Good Time Jonny (2nd race), Envoi Allen (3rd race), Sire Du Berlais (4th race) all clicking.

Gold cup day ⁦@CheltenhamRaces⁩ ⁦@itvracing⁩

At 6ft 7in tall, former England footballer Peter Crouch knows plenty about long odds. And on Thursday the retired striker was celebrating a big win at the Cheltenham races.

On day three of the annual horse-racing festival, the 42-year-old punched the air and waved his arms as he watched his 9-1 bet Good Time Jonny romp to victory in the second race of the the day – the 2.10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle.

The ex-footballer roared the Irish horse home from his seat high in the main grandstand above the finishing post. He was seen enjoying the races alongside former Portsmouth team-mate Glen Johnson. 

😂 Galopin Des Champs is in a cheeky mood this morning with @aconnolly199 #ITVRacing | #CheltenhamFestival | @sagrassick

In A Plus Tard’s absence, Galopin Des Champs has leapt to the head of the Gold Cup market with impressive wins in the John Durkan at Punchestown and the Irish Gold Cup.

Blackmore respects the Willie Mullins-trained runner, but feels anyone who underestimates her mount does so at their peril.

‘I don’t know if there was an overreaction after Haydock, but we didn’t overreact. They’re racehorses and they can have these days. I was disappointed, but I’m not too worried,’ she added.

‘A Plus Tard was incredible last year, he really was. I got a lovely ride off him the whole way round and the way he quickened up after the last was pretty sensational.

‘There’s going to be a lot of depth in the race this year, Galopin Des Champs looked very good at the Dublin Racing Festival, but I’m very much looking forward to the Gold Cup again.

‘I’m not too bothered that people are forgetting about A Plus Tard – that doesn’t make any difference to me going into the race. I certainly haven’t forgotten about him.’

Who wins the Gold Cup? 🤔 🏆@MCYeeehaaa- Galopin Des [email protected] Minella [email protected] – A Plus Tard.#ITVRacing | #TheOpeningShow

A Plus Tard returns to Cheltenham with a few questions to answer, but Blackmore has not lost any faith.

She said: ‘He was obviously very disappointing in the Betfair Chase, but a few niggly issues were found and they seem to be straightened out now.

‘He got the knock at Christmas, but I’d be very happy with him. He seems very well at home and all roads lead straight to the Gold Cup.

‘He hasn’t had the preparation we’d have liked, but I have no doubt Henry will get him there in perfect order for the day.’

A Plus Tard was nothing short of sensational in last year’s Gold Cup as he powered 15 lengths clear of stablemate and previous winner Minella Indo in the style of a horse set to dominate the division.

Few could have imagined at that stage that A Plus Tard would be an 8-1 shot to make it back-to-back wins in the blue riband, but that is the case following a troubled campaign.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding produced a listless performance when defending the Betfair Chase title at Haydock, while a late setback denied him of the opportunity to bounce back in Leopardstown’s Savills Chase at at Christmas.

A PLUS TARD is ready to defend his crown 👑#CheltenhamFestival @boodles @HenrydeBromhead @rachaelblackmor

In 2021 Blackmore was the star attraction at a Festival that had to be run behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, not only becoming the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle aboard the brilliant mare Honeysuckle but also picking up the Festival’s leading rider award with six winners.

With the small matter of a Grand National success sandwiched in between, she enjoyed another memorable week back at Cheltenham last March as Honeysuckle successfully defended her Champion Hurdle crown before A Plus Tard produced an impressive display under Blackmore in the Gold Cup.

Speaking ahead of the Festival, Blackmore said: ‘It all comes back around very quickly. Things don’t really ever stop in this sport and it’s mad to think we’re getting close to Cheltenham again.

‘You love to get on the board early. When you’re riding for such a powerful stable like Henry de Bromhead’s and have such good rides, you’re hoping to get at least one on the board, but it’s a very difficult place to ride winners. It’s extremely competitive, but we’ll be trying our best.

‘The minute Cheltenham 2022 finishes, people are talking about 2023. That’s just the way Cheltenham is I think and you have to try to not get too wrapped up in it all and let it kind of creep up on you.

‘This is a really enjoyable and exciting time of year. There’s incredible racing and it’s an enjoyable time when you’re getting to ride the horses that are competing at this level.’

  • 1.30pm – JCB Triumph Hurdle
  • 2.10pm – McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle
  • 2.50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
  • 3.30pm – Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
  • 4.10pm – St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase
  • 4.50pm – The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase
  • 5.30pm – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Hewick is looking well back in the stables at Cheltenham

The conversation in the Gold Cup parade ring between Michael O’Leary and jockey Davy Russell, who rides his runner Conflated, might be interesting. 

Earlier this week, in an ITV interview, O’Leary made comments which were interpreted as critical of 43-year-old Russell’s decision to come out of his 18-day retirement to help out trainer Gordon Elliott while his No 1 jockey Jack Kennedy recovers from a broken leg. 

Russell responded on Thursday, telling ITV: ‘I have as much respect for Michael O’Leary’s opinion as he has for my opinion.’ Ouch! 

"An aeroplane, an absolute machine" ✈️

"I ride him every day and he goes around the gallop like he'd stay going all day" 💪#BehindTheHorse with the shortest price Gold Cup favourite in years 🏆@CheltenhamRaces | @WillieMullinsNH

Trainer Paul Nicholls has his most important runner of the week with Bravemansgame in the Gold Cup. 

But his mind will also be on the following St James’s Place Hunters’ Chase, when his daughter Olive makes her Festival riding debut on Shantou Flyer. 

A first British winner in the Gold Cup for five years ⁉️

We spoke with the man who knows Bravemansgame best ❤️#BehindTheHorse | @PFNicholls | @CheltenhamRaces

One punter has missed out on a possible £1 million from a stake of just £5 at the Cheltenham Festival.

A betslip shared by the Sun shows details of a seven-race punt with the potential to land £1,151,851.74, with the first five races already won.

The full total is off now, though, as Shishkin could only manage second in the County Plate Chase.

The horse initially looked as though it had timed it’s run well but failed to recover after a mistake at the 15th fence.

Despite this setback, the punter could still be on for an impressive win of up to £200,000 if Galopin Des Champs, who is down as, 7/4 favourite, wins the Gold Cup.

The first ever Scottish trained @CheltenhamRaces Gold Cup winner ⁉️

We sent @chrishughes_22 to meet @lucindavrussell and Ahoy Senor and to ride out in the spectacular Scottish countryside 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Watch the full #TrainingPlaces episode at the link below 📺

Prominent racers are often favoured on the New Course over fences so Ahoy Senor, Stattler and Minella Indo will probably be among those that take the field along.

Galopin Des Champs is usually settled in midfield alongside the likes of Protektorat, A Plus Tard and Bravemansgame who looks sure to keep himself in touch courtesy of his precise jumping.

I’m willing to trust trainer Henry De Bromhead will have A Plus Tard ready to go after a disappointing season. 

Last year’s Gold Cup winner could be the forgotten horse in the race.




🗣️ "Stepping up to 3m will really suit him… I think he's overpriced"

🐴 Blood Destiny
🐴 Sharjah
🐴 Seabank Bistro
🐴 Stattler
🐴 Billaway

🎤 Patrick Mullins runs us through his Friday rides at the #CheltenhamFestival

We started the meeting with a superstar performance from Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday and we can round it off with a stellar run from another outstanding horse in Galopin Des Champs.

A winner over hurdles at the 2021 Festival, the only time Galopin Des Champs has not won in six steeplechase starts was at last year’s meeting, when he fell at the last while apparently heading to certain victory in the Turners Novices’ Chase.

He did enough when winning last month’s Irish Gold Cup to prove he has the required stamina and we know he has speed.

I am really excited to see what he can do this afternoon.




🤩 Stattler is a beauty!

Great to see him earlier this morning ahead of his Gold Cup bid!#CheltenhamFestival

It would be wrong to say I am confident that Ahoy Senor will win today’s Boodles Gold Cup but I am as confident as I can be that he will run a very big race.

Last year’s winner A Plus Tard is probably the best horse in it, but he has hardly had an ideal preparation, having not run since a poor effort in November.

The Gold Cup is run over three-and-aquarter miles and it is the last quarter-mile which sorts out the men from the boys. 

Don’t forget it was a step too far for brilliant horses such as Florida Pearl and One Man.

I am sure Ahoy Senor will stay the distance. He is in fine shape and his form has improved throughout the season. He has got his game head on!

He is the best horse my partner Lucinda Russell and I have trained and we believe we have a genuine chance of winning this great race.




Old-fashioned stayer who landed the National Hunt Chase here last year. Put in his place by stablemate Galopin Des Champs at Leopardstown. Hard to see him reversing the placings.

🏆 The one, the only, the @Boodles Gold Cup.

Today's the day…#CheltenhamFestival

Has gone under the radar courtesy of quietly progressive performances at Aintree, Wetherby and here last time, where he kicked for home too soon. There are worse each-way shouts. 

Performed creditably in this race last year when fifth, but would arguably need a monsoon to figure given his best form is on deep ground around Haydock. 

We all have that friend who goes full kit w**ker for any sporting event…#Cheltenham | #CheltenhamFestival

🔞18+ BeGambleAware

Impressive winner of the Betfair Chase and placed in this event 12 months ago. Below-par on Trials Day in January, but trainer took the blame for that display.

Sprung a 50-1 shock in last year’s Grand National and has continued to thrive. Should love this test and has huge chance of placing. 

The Irish contenders on Day 4 at @CheltenhamRaces 🇮🇪#GreenTeam | #CheltenhamFestival

Festival regular since 2019 and Cheltenham form figures read 1212, which include a victory in this race two years ago. Looks sure to be involved once more. 

Progressive chaser who loves a stamina test but usually on his favoured fast ground. Could easily outrun his odds if the rains stay away. 

Who better to ask about the Gold Cup than @BarryJGeraghty? 🏆

The two-time winner runs us through this year's card and picks a charity tip in aid of @InjuredJockeys @thetotecom | @ToteRacing | #GreenTeam 💚

Would boast an unblemished record in six chase starts but for a last-fence fall here 12 months ago. Has carried all before him since then. 

Has consistently finished behind the likes of Bravemansgame and Protektorat. Suspicion is he will come up short again. 

"He's the people's horse. If he wins, don't look for me until next Wednesday!"@jhanlonracing looks ahead to the Gold Cup – the next chapter in Hewick's fairytale story 📖#GreenTeam 💚 | #CheltenhamFestival

Impressed at Leopardstown over Christmas, but will need to improve markedly on a five-length defeat of Kemboy. Stamina questionable, too. 

King George winner whose precise jumping should stand him in good stead as he tries to translate that form to undulating track. 

"He travelled over well and everyone seems happy with him."@HenrydeBromhead on A Plus Tard's prospects of back-to-back Gold Cup wins and the "mighty form" of Minella Indo 💪#GreenTeam 💚 | #CheltenhamFestival

Star of this race last year, posting the biggest winning margin since 1995, but abject comeback before Christmas. Yard in better form now. 

Stable have enjoyed a great week and, given two of his best efforts over fences have been saved for this venue, he is tough to write off. 

"I think he's more settled this year. He's in good nick and I'm happy with him."@gelliott_racing previews Conflated's Gold Cup chances 👇#GreenTeam 💚 | #CheltenhamFestival

Cheltenham looks to be losing its ‘war on wee’ as punters were seen relieving themselves in the town’s streets despite a crackdown by the police and local council. 

Dozens of extra marshals have been recruited to prevent people from taking the al fresco option as part of a wider war on antisocial behaviour, which spikes during the annual festival. 

But it doesn’t seem to be helping much. Mayne today will be better but who knows? We will have to wait and see…

Hewick runs in the @Boodles Gold Cup. 💪

You heard it here first 📞#CheltenhamFestival

A Plus Tard, trained by Henry de Bromhead, won the 2022 Gold Cup. He jumped the final fence well to take lead and sprint 15 lengths clear from second place Minella Indo.

A Plus Tard was ridden by Rachael Blackmore, who made history at last year’s Gold Cup. She became the first female jockey to ever win the Gold Cup.   

🗣 "Outlook for today – we could be dry or end up with some sporadic showers."

Jon Pullin discusses ground conditions ahead of the final day of the #CheltenhamFestival with fresh ground on the chase course

Soft, Good to Soft in places currently

Unlike McNeill, Harry Redknapp enjoyed a brilliant day at the races as his nine-year-old bay gelding Shakem Up’Arry came in third behind Seddon and Fugitif.

‘He’s ran a blinder today, a great run and I’m really pleased,’ the former football manager said.

‘I’m a bundle of nerves watching races, I worry about the horses. I just want them to come back safe. I love them. 

‘As long as they get round I’m happy. If they fall I’m distraught. I’ve got some nice horses, I love the sport, it’s my big passion.’

🗣️ "We would have liked to see less rain…"

🦈 @jhanlonracing says he will make a decision on Hewick's Gold Cup participation after walking the course with his owner later this morning #CheltenhamFestival

When he offloaded Seddon last August, little did horse owner Max McNeill know he would come to deeply regret it seven months later.

McNeill could only watch on in despair on Thursday as 20/1 Seddon, the horse he named after his late mum before selling it to the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate, claimed a stunning victory in the Magners Plate Handicap Chase.

‘I bought the horse and named her after my late mum,’ he told ITV Racing after the gut-wrenching moment.

‘First and foremost I’m delighted for the current owners, but I think my mum would be looking down on me saying, “you silly sod!”‘

💬Ruby Walsh thinks Galopin Des Champs will win the Gold Cup.

📺Watch our full Cheltenham Preview Night Live on the PP Racing YouTube:

Any returning punters feeling slightly green around the gills have been able to stock up on headache tablets at Cheltenham’s very own pharmacy this week.

According to manager James Powell, ibuprofen has been the most popular item up until lunchtime. After that, foot blister products have been selling like wildfire. 

Splashing out on a new pair of shoes for Cheltenham must have felt like a great idea at the time…

🦈 SHARKPOWER – Episode 2 💪

"He'll be fit for Cheltenham" @Franmberry joins Paddy to check in on @jhanlonracing's stable star, Hewick, as Cheltenham prep gets serious…

📺 Watch on YouTube now:

18+ | BeGambleAware | #Cheltenham | #CheltenhamFestival

Capacity for this year’s event may have been capped at 68,500 – a result of racegoers complaining it was too busy in 2022 – yet official attendance figures suggest festival chiefs needn’t have bothered.

Only 50,387 fans rocked up on day three, which is down 14,044 on last year. Tuesday’s crowd was also just 60,284, a drop of 8,283.

The uncertainty of public transport this week has of course played a part in that decline, while the current cost-of-living crisis is another obvious factor.

Though more significantly, last year’s huge numbers were likely inflated by the post-Covid bounce back as people looked to restore their pre-lockdown habits.

"He's a cool customer." @jhanlonracing discusses Hewick's Gold Cup preparations in the latest episode of Shark Power.

📺 Watch the full episode on YouTube now:

18+ | BeGambleAware | #Cheltenham | #CheltenhamFestival

What impact could Hewick competing in the Gold Cup have on @[email protected] chats to Paddy about this in the latest episode of Shark Power.

📺 Watch the full episode on YouTube now:

18+ | BeGambleAware | #Cheltenham | #CheltenhamFestival

Willie Mullins has won two of the last three runnings of the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle with up-and-coming novices and he unleashes another one today in the shape of Hunters Yarn (2.10).

Mullins was successful with Saint Roi in 2020 and State Man last year. The latter finished runner-up to Festival wonder horse Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday.

Were he in any other stable, Hunters Yarn would probably have run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on day one. But such is the strength in depth that Mullins possesses, he can shuffle his pack.

Hunters Yarn was a comfortable winner of a Listed Novices’ Hurdle at Navan last month and it is hard for the handicapper to assess him.

In the Boodles Gold Cup, it goes against the grain to pick a horse who pulled up last time, but I can’t forget how easily A Plus Tard (3.30) won last year.

There were reasons for that poor last run. A prep race would have been preferable, but horses trained by Henry de Bromhead have been running well and Rachael Blackmore can bring it home again.

Corbetts cross (2.50) has won over two miles and stays three miles, and not many in this Albert Bartlett field can say that. He looks a cut above the rest.

I was really taken with blood destiny (1.30) when he won at Cork. Paul Townend has opted to ride Lossiemouth after an unlucky run at Leopardstown but it must have been a tough choice and I’m with the former in the opener.

Filey bay (2.10) was unfortunate to finish second in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month. He is a little higher in the handicap now, which is not ideal, but he could still be improving.

Henry de Bromhead’s Chriss Dream (4.10) has won a couple of point-to-points and that should set him up nicely for the Hunters’ Chase.

Allegorie de Vassy is fancied in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase but she jumps badly right, which doesn’t suit at this track. Impervious (4.50) is a rock-solid jumper and she’ll handle the ground, too.

Cool Survivor (5.30) is unexposed and has to be a huge player with brilliant young pilot Sam Ewing on board.

Trainer Willie Mullins is responsible for seven of the 15 runners in the JCB Triumph Hurdle – it should almost be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission – and he can take the race with Lossiemouth (1.30)

Lossiemouth had triumphed in France before he arrived at the Mullins stable and then easily won at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown in December.

She was beaten by stablemate Gala Marceau — who reopposes today — in the Grade One Juvenile Hurdle at last month’s Dublin Racing Festival but she had really bad luck in running and still almost rescued victory when making up loads of ground from a hopeless position.

Stable jockey Paul Townend has chosen to ride Lossiemouth and, let’s face it, he was spoilt for choice. She also receives a valuable 7lb mares’ allowance.

In the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle, I am really keen on First Street (2.10). He was third in the race last year and has had treatment to help his breathing since a below-par run last time.

Gordon Elliott-trained Three Card Brag (2.50) is the novice hurdler I have most been looking forward to seeing this week and he is my pick for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

He has been running well over two-and-a-half miles, but doing it in a style which shouts that he will be better when upped to this afternoon’s three-mile trip. He is also proven on soft ground, so should cope with anything thrown at him today.

Adrian Heskin’s mount easily beat Spanish Harlem — who runs in the concluding Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle — on his last start at Fairyhouse.

His run before that produced a second place behind Inthepocket at Naas and that opponent didn’t harm the form when he was a very creditable fourth in Tuesday’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Speaking to RacingTV she said: ‘I’m only doing three and a half days a week there and it works very well. The course is going well and it is a good one to do as I can base a lot of it on the racing industry. It is very interesting and I’m sure I will be using lots of it in years to come.

‘I just have ongoing assignments all the time so instead of having normal exams at the end of A-levels I have constant exams which I suppose it is a bit easier to manage as opposed to having lots to manage in one go at the end.

‘They are very supportive at the school and they understand that I can’t be there the whole time and that there will be days I’ve got to be racing at all sorts of ends of the country.

‘They have been a huge support in helping me balance both things. They have to work with me to make it work and they definitely do that.

‘My form teacher at school who I’m with every day is possibly the most excited out of everyone put together. They are not horsey or into racing but they are all so supportive.’

Honest reaction from an aspiring jockey and @Boodles Gold Cup contender HEWICK’s groom 🤣#CheltenhamFestival

Speaking to RacingTV, Nicholls said: ‘I’m so excited to be able to take these opportunities and be able to be partnered with the horses that I am at the moment.

‘Dad purchased Shantou Flyer off David Maxwell and he is really keen to support Sam Loxton who trains him. He is an older horse and he is really suited being at Sam’s and he has done really well there. It has been great to learn lots of experience aboard him.

‘I don’t think it particularly changes our dynamic between me and dad, with him being the owner and not the trainer. He is competitive whether he has anything to do with the horse or not.

‘He wants me to do well just as much as I do and it is great to have his support and knowledge behind me. You are so much wiser going out with his words behind me.

‘It would be fantastic if I could win in dad’s silks. I had my first ride in them and over the last year or so I’ve had so many days in those silks it would just be amazing to do that as a family as a lot of them will be here to watch me.’

17-year-old rider Olive Nicholls is putting her studies on hold to line up in the St James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase.

Best of luck and to all runners and riders in tomorrow's race 🤞

To rub salt in the wound, Paddy Power have slashed their price for an Irish clean sweep on St Patrick’s Day.

The Dublin firm are offering odds of just 11/4 for Ireland to win every single race this afternoon, which speaks volumes about their dominance at this year’s festival.

If they pull it off, it will go down as the biggest Prestbury Cup victory by some distance since its inception nine years ago, with their 19-9 triumph in 2017 the current record.

Hewick has been named a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender but… I wonder if this incident at the seaside may have affected him.

The fan favourite was among a group of horses to the beach to exercise at the start of the month. However, he managed to get loose and run into the waves after Paddy Hanlon fell off.

Shark Hanlon is adamant it will not hinder his performance during the Festival. But, check it out for yourself… 

Boodles Gold Cup contender HEWICK giving Paddy Hanlon a dip 🫣🌊

Angels Dawn’s victory in the concluding Kim Muir Chase on Thursday sealed the Prestbury Cup for Ireland with an entire day of racing to spare, meaning they have now claimed the prize at four of the last five festivals.

The UK have taken quite a battering in their annual grudge match this year, only producing six winners across 21 races from Tuesday to Thursday. 

They have not came out on top in the Prestbury Cup for a demoralising eight years and counting, with the 2019 edition ending in a tie.

Let’s hope for better fortunes in the rugby this weekend… 

Hewick loves it down the pub! 🍻😂

📸 @jhanlonracing

A Paddy Power customer landed a £50k windfall off the back of a £1 each-way 5-fold accumulator bet when he bravely cashed out before hot-favourite Luccia lost out to 16/1 shot You Wear It Well in the Jack De Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

The UK based punter had backed the first four winners of the day, with Stage Star (1st race), Good Time Jonny (2nd race), Envoi Allen (3rd race) and finally Sire Du Berlais (4th race) all clicking.

He skipped the Magners Plate at 4.10pm, and had Luccia won the sixth race of the day, the punter would have netted a whopping £283,672.

However, the shrewd customer cashed out on the final leg of his bet before Luccia ran, and he had the last laugh when the hot favourite finished fourth.

Paddy Power spokesperson Rachael Kane said: ‘This punter must have been clairvoyant to pick the first four winners, suddenly avoid a race, access the satiation and decide to cash out for a brilliant £47,823.27. The backer has enjoyed an excellent day and sure he could have won a cool quarter of a mill, but he came the right side of the result.’

😍 Galopin Des Champs#TheOpeningShow | #ITVRacing

Siding with Irish novices that have run in graded novice hurdles has been a good route to profit in this race, so Cool Survivor could be the answer to a typically complex finale.

Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old fits the profile of a number of recent winners and he emerged with plenty of credit at the Dublin Racing Festival when poorly placed before running on strongly in the race won by Good Land. 

A drop into handicap company and a stamina test like today’s should be ideal and he is expected to be there at the business end.

Spanish Harlem doesn’t have graded form on his c.v. but his stable have won four of the last 12 renewals and he is likely to progress further granted today’s assignment. 

Mollys Ollys Wishes has few secrets from the handicapper but is talented on her day and appears overpriced.




James Du Berlais all set for the Turners! 🐎🤞🏼 #DoubleGreen #CheltenhamFestival

Impervious laid down a strong marker for this race with a taking victory at Punchestown in Grade Three company and he can see off main market rival Allegorie De Vassy.

The daughter of Shantou is yet to be beaten in three starts over fences and she relished the step up in trip last time as she stayed on too powerfully for Journey With Me. 

The runner-up has since bolted in at Naas to boost the form, so Impervious is preferred this afternoon to Allegorie De Vassy, who has displayed a tendency to jump right occasionally — far from ideal around Cheltenham.

Jeremys Flame is solid and reliable and arrives on the back of a smooth Huntingdon win, so is shortlisted, while last year’s winner Elimay could be revitalised by the blinkers after a couple of subdued efforts.




Is this the 2023 Gold Cup Winner? 🏆

Galopin Des Champs. 🐎#ITVRacing | #TheOpeningShow

Vaucelet has not quite hit the heights of last season, when he nearly beat Billaway at Punchestown before scoring well at Stratford. 

However, his entire season has centred on this event and he looks poised to peak.

His stamina at this trip is assured and he is a pretty safe conveyance at his fences, so should give crack amateur Barry O’Neill a great spin.

Billaway, the last-gasp winner of this race 12 months ago and runner-up twice, has been equipped with blinkers to encourage him to travel a little more kindly.

He only got up in the dying strides last year but looks sure to be on the scene once more this afternoon.

Go Go Geronimo has plenty to find on official figures but he could barely have been any more impressive in two points win since Christmas and could outrun his sizeable odds here.




Happy Gold Cup Day! 🏆

Here's @rachaelblackmor with A Plus Tard having a pick of grass this morning. 🥰#ITVRacing

Galopin Des Champs has looked a Gold Cup winner in waiting for two seasons and he can vindicate that view this afternoon. 

Much has been made of his suspect stamina at today’s trip, but Paul Townend took an age to pull him up after he won the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival and he hit the line hard that day, so he could even improve for a step up in distance here. 

Ahoy Senor left Protektorat in his wake in the Cotswold Chase in January, but trainer Dan Skelton blamed himself for the latter’s defeat. 

Skelton felt he didn’t have Protektorat fully tuned for that assignment, but if he can return his eight-year-old to the form which saw him rout his Betfair Chase rivals at Haydock in November, he could improve on his third place in this event 12 months ago. 

Ahoy Senor has only run twice at today’s venue, finishing second in last season’s Brown Advisory Chase and winning here again earlier this season.  His yard are in great form and he should excel at one of his favourite venues again.




"This day last year I was in Uttoxeter with him." 🗣 John Joseph Hanlon.

Hewick – The £800 horse up for a £625k prize in the Gold Cup. 🏆#ITVRacing | #TheOpeningShow

HIddenvalley Lake hails from a yard who have enjoyed a terrific week and there are plenty of reasons for believing he can regain the winning thread after a shock reverse at Clonmel on his last start.

The ground that day was testing and the selection cut out the running in a small field — arguably not the ideal tactics — before being picked off by stablemate monty’s star. 

Hiddenvalley Lake is arguably better judged on his wide-margin win at Cork before Christmas, when he spread-eagled a competitive field in stunning fashion after the final hurdle.

This track may suit him more than Clonmel and he is fancied to reverse placings with the giant Monty’s Star, who should still run well given his top attribute is stamina.

Corbetts Cross is another for the short-list having won over a trip short of his optimal one last time.




Riding out Hewick again at Cheltenham ahead of walking track

First Street ran a fine race to chase home Champion Hurdle runner-up State Man in this event 12 months ago and could go one better now he has had a wind operation and been equipped with a tongue tie.

He underperformed at Wincanton last time, but appears much better suited by a big-field handicap than a small conditions race.

Filey Bay is also sporting a tongue tie for the first time and there was much to admire in his fine second to Aucunrisque in the Betfair Hurdle last time, as the duo pulled 11 lengths clear of Teddy Blue in third.

He has clearly been laid out for a tilt at this race and looks to still be improving.

That comment doesn’t necessarily apply to ballyadam but he ran a blinder behind Gaelic Warrior last month at Leopardstown and was fifth in this contest in 2022.




🚨 Exclusive 🚨@Ruby_Walsh for @hriracing 'interviews' Galopin Des Champs!#GreenTeam 💚 #CheltenhamFestival

Willie Mullins does not have the best success rate in this event, but he won it last year and has a strong hand again with three strong contenders and a lightly raced stablemate completing a powerful assemble.

Blood Destiny narrowly gains the nod over talented filly Lossiemouth as he could barely have been any more impressive at Fairyhouse on his second start in Ireland.

That form has already worked out brilliantly with fifth-home Jazzy Matty lifting the Boodles Handicap earlier in the week and Nusret (third) landing the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton.

The classy Lossiemouth lost little in defeat when unlucky at Leopardstown and had previously appeared the ideal type for this test.

Zenta created a good impression on her Irish bow, hacking up at Fairyhouse to book her place in the field.




Cheltenham bars will have to brace themselves for chaos if Hewick can complete his fairy-tale rise by claiming Gold Cup glory! 

Hewick has been named as one to watch at this year’s Festival after winning the bet365 Gold Cup, the Galway Plate and the American Grand National in 2022.

Plus, legendary Irish trainer Shark Hanlon – who paid just £800 for the eight-year-old Bay Gelding – is confident Hewick will perform given his ‘cool and calm demeanour’. 


This race is restricted to horses with a BHA rating no higher than 145 but Champagne Classic, Killultagh Vic, Don Poli, Sir Des Champs and Galopin Des Champs have all gone on from success here to score at Grade 1 level. 

This race is a Grade 2 run over two miles four and a half furlongs. This race was introduced in 2021 in place of the novice handicap chase which was dropped from Cheltenham. 

And yep, you guessed it, Willie Mullins has been dominating this event ever since. He saddled 1-2 in the inaugural running of the race in 2021, with Colreevy edging out Elimay. 

The St James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase is another exciting race. It is run over the same course-and-distance as the Gold Cup but it is for amateur riders.

In order to qualify, a horse must be aged at least five and finished either first or second in hunter chases, won two open point-to-points or won one point-to-point and finished first or second in a hunter chase throughout the season.

Yes, it’s the race we’ve all been waiting for. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is regarded as the most prestigious contest in jump racing. It’s a championship event for long-distance chasers and a true test of stamina over 3m2½f.

Next up we have the County Handicap Hurdle. Surprise, surprise, Willie Mullins has dominated this race ever since it was moved from its traditional slot as the final race of the meeting to its current placing as the second race on Friday in 2009.

Mullins has won the race six times since then, including last year’s well-backed winner State Man. But, Mullins faces stiff competition this year. 

We will kick start the day with the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle. This is regarded as the championship event for four-year-old juvenile hurdlers. It’s an iconic race with the likes of Tiger Roll bursting onto the scene in 2014 with the first of his five festival wins. 

Enough with what happened yesterday… let’s take a look at what we have in store for today! We have a couple of cracking races coming up. It will be a great way to round off the Cheltenham Festival!

Sam Curling’s Angels Dawn ensured a clean sweep of the St Patrick’s Thursday handicaps went to Ireland when holding off Stumptown to claim the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase by a neck.

The eight-year-old unseated her rider when sent off favourite for Punchestown’s Grand National Trial last month, but bounced back in style here, travelling with real menace in the hands of Patrick King and showing plenty of guts when challenged by Gavin Cromwell’s 7-2 favourite in the closing stages.

Gavin Sheehan gave You Wear It Well a fine front-running ride to claim the Jack De Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Despite having a strong book of form to her name – including a second in the Challow Hurdle and a victory in the Grade Two Jayne Seymour last time out – she was sent off an easy to back 16-1, with 5-4 favourite Luccia was the only horse punters wanted to be on.

Keen to put her proven stamina to good use Sheehan went straight to the front aboard the Jamie Snowden-trained six-year-old and never saw another rival as she showed a tremendous attitude to keep galloping and responding to her rider’s urgings when the pack began to bare down on her in the closing stages.

Henry de Bromhead’s Magical Zoe performed with great credit to take the runner-up spot in the race named in memory of the trainer’s late son, who tragically lost his life in a pony racing accident in September.

An error at the last cost Tony Mullins’ Group One-winning Princess Zoe finishing any closer than fifth.

The winner follows in the footsteps of Love Envoi who triumphed at Sandown before scoring at Prestbury Park, while for Snowden it was somewhat fitting that his second Festival success came in the same colours of Sir Chips Keswick as his maiden winner at the big meeting Present View, ending a long nine-year wait between drinks. 

Seddon put in a dominant performance to claim victory during the Magners Plate Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

The horse, rode by Ben Harvey, cruised to victory on Day Three of the festival and managed to win ahead of Fugitif and Shakem Up’arry – who finished second and third respectively.

It was an incredibly close finish for Shakem Up’arry, which is the horse owned by former football manager Harry Redknapp, as he managed to pip Gevrey at the finish.

Sire Du Berlais ground down Dashel Drasher late on in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle as the big-race outsiders fought out a thrilling finish to the Cheltenham Festival’s day three feature.

At one stage it looked as if Flooring Porter was about to join the Festival immortals and secure his third straight victory in the race, but his tank emptied quicker than in the previous two years and he was passed heading to the last by Dashel Drasher who set sail for home in the hands of Rex Dingle.

A length to the good jumping the final flight, Jeremy Scott’s admirable 10-year-old stuck his head down as the Gordon Elliott-trained pair of Sire Du Berlais and Teahupoo were breathing down his neck.

But while the 5-2 favourite could not get by in the hands of Davy Russell, Dashel Drasher had no answer to the late thrust of the JP McManus-owned 33-1 shot who edged his way to a three-quarters of a length verdict.

Dashel Drasher was a brave second at 40-1 and Teahupoo a further neck back in third – but there was a change to the placings in the stewards’ room as it was deemed Dashel Drasher had caused interference at the last that was sufficient to deny Teahupoo second spot.

A runner-up behind Flooring Porter in this in 2021 and also a dual winner of the Pertemps in both 2019 and 2020, the 11-year-old Sire Du Berlais was somewhat the forgotten horse of the race and handed Cullentra House handler Elliott his first victory in this premier staying hurdling contest.

Envoi Allen produced a huge upset in triumphing in the Ryanair Chase in the third day of the Cheltenham Festival’s third day, finishing two-and-a-quarter lengths clear of Shishkin in second, with Hitman coming in in third.

Pre-race favourite Shishkin (evens) stumbled three hurdles from the line to leave it all to do coming into the finish, and was unable to live up to early billing. 

Nico de Boinville somehow managed to stay in the saddle, but despite managing to somehow recover to a second-place finish, Rachael Blackmore guided Envoi Allen (13-2) to a surprise victory.

The horse coming in at evens had looked frenetic throughout the early stages of the race, while Envoi Allen’s run was timed well, remaining near the front of the pack in good position before racing clear at the line. 

It was a case of mission complete in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle as Good Time Jonny stormed to Cheltenham Festival success.

Trained to perfection by Tony Martin, he qualified for the big race by finishing third to Maxxum at Leopardstown over Christmas, before tuning-up for his Prestbury Park assignment over an inadequate two miles at the Dublin Racing Festival.

The money had been coming for the eight-year-old building up to the meeting and he was sent off at 9-1 as the tapes went up.

Given a brave steer by Liam McKenna up the inner, Good Time Jonny was out the back as the field headed for home. But his young rider held his nerve to pounce late and deliver his mount with precision, returning a three-and-a-quarter-length winning verdict.

It was a fitting reappearance in the Festival winner’s enclosure for Martin, who has proved synonymous with handicap success in the past and was securing his seventh success at the four-day showpiece.

Stage Star triumphed in the Turner Novices’ Chase on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival and ended Paul Nicholls’ three-year drought at the meet.

On the first race of St Patrick’s Thursday, jockey Harry Cobden guided the 15-2 bet to victory by a little more than three lengths ahead of Notlongtillmay in second after an assured jumping performance.

Pre-race favourite Mighty Potter, ridden by Davy Russell, was third, with Appreciate It in fourth.

Cobden, the first to ride a Nicholls winner at Cheltenham since Politilogue in the 2020 Champions Chase, said: ‘It’s lovely. I thought it was easy when I rode my first winner here at the age of 18. The second came quickly but since then it’s been a four-year drought.’ 

Hello and welcome to Sportsmail’s coverage of the Cheltenham Festival. Today marks the end of the Cheltenham Festival but there is plenty of action to get stuck into before we say goodbye.

We will be bringing you all the updates of today’s races – including the Gold Cup – as well as sharing some tips and odds along the way. So, make sure you stay tuned!

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