Gary O'Brien: The value lies with Conflated in the Gold Cup
The leading racing broadcaster runs through his picks for every race on the fourth day of Cheltenham Festival 2023.
13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle
Lossiemouth and Blood Destiny are two good horses, and it looks like it’ll be between them in the Triumph Hurdle – a race that the Mullins yard has had good success in over the years.
With cut in the ground, I’m going to have marginal preference for BLOOD DESTINY . He’s a little less proven in terms of form but has looked very good in two starts for the yard and could give a lot more going forward. I certainly think he’s the better long-term prospect.
14:10 Country Hurdle
The County Hurdle is always a fiercely run race and I think FILEY BAY is one to keep on side.
I thought he ran really well at Newbury last time – he was the only horse to make inroads on the winner, Aucunrisque, and may well have won if not for a mistake two out. He’s put up 8lb for that run, which won’t make life easy, but I think he’s improving and can shrug that off.
14:50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
The Albert Bartlett looks wide open and could be a good renewal. I thought it was interesting that Emmet Mullins declared CORBETT’S CROSS as they’d commented recently that it could come too soon after his last run. He’s a talented horse and is the most likely winner.
There are plenty in the race with potential upsides and I’ll highlight Search for Glory, Three Card Brag and Embassy Gardens on the list. They all look the right type for this and should run with credit.
15:30 Gold Cup
The Gold Cup is the highlight of the week and I really hope we see the real A Plus Tard . If he bounced back to form, it would add that extra bit of spice to the race. He was exceptional when winning the race last year, but it’s hard to have great confidence in him in the way the season has gone.
I’ve got huge respect for the top two in the market, but I think the value lies with CONFLATED . He’s a real stayer and I think he’s a much classier horse than Noble Yeats and Stattler, who are also dour stayers.
I think Conflated is slightly underrated, and I think he’ll go very well. He’s been kept for this since his win in the Savills Chase over Christmas.
16:10 Foxhunters Chase
I don’t have a strong view on this race, but I would love to see Vaucelet win for David Christie. He’s built up a strong team of horses in this sphere and he’s the one to beat.
16:50 Mares Chase
Willie Mullins has won both renewals of the Mares Chase to date and could well make it three with ALLEGORIE DE VASSY , who is simply the most talented of this field. If she puts in an error-free round, she should win.
I’ve got lots of respect for Impervious , who is good, but I think the favourite will have the class edge.
17:30 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle
And, just like that, the last race is upon us.
I liked the way that COOL SURVIVOR stayed on in a Grade 1 at the Dublin Racing Festival. He’ll stay all day and this race usually suits a stayer as they go very fast, which sets it up for a finisher.
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