RACING fan Gerry Taylor (@thefurlongpole) shares his NAP, his next best and his each-way fancy on Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
The NAP, the next best and the each-way on Day 4 at Cheltenham Festival
The best four days of the racing year are upon us and racing fans have a feast of action to look forward.
The Prestbury Park meet gets underway on Tuesday and I’ll be looking at my NAP of the day, my lay of the day and a horse to back at a nice each-way price on each day of the meeting.
The NAP: Zanahiyr (5/4 Unibet) in the Triumph Hurdle (1:20)
Similar to other novice hurdlers this week, Appreciate It and Bob Olinger, there is a fair chance that Zanahiyr could be vastly superior here.
The unbeaten four-year-old from the Cullentra House stable has jumped well, and been ultra-impressive in graded hurdles at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown.
Alan King knows what it takes to win a Triumph – he has the McNeill family's Tritonic. He won the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, but the 147 rated Sea the Moon gelding will need to step up to trouble the selection.
Quilixios is the other danger to Zanahiyr, but again the Henry de Bromhead is a few lbs inferior to the favourite on the ratings. So Unibet's 5/4 on Zanahiyr, rates a strong NAP for the final day for the Festival.
The Next Best: Al Boum Photo (3/1 Bet365) in the Gold Cup (3.05)
For a while i've had this between the three heading the market. I'm ruling out A Plus Tard, as I think the drying fast ground is going against it. Champ is a serious rival, but his jumping would need to be flawless to win a Gold Cup like this. Native River and Royal Pagaille really want soft ground, so I can't be backing them.
The one who should really be on the premises, and looks to have less questions against him, is the current Gold Cup dual winner Al Boum Photo. So the lightly raced Willie Mullin's 9 year old is my next best at a decent 3/1 to win his third Gold Cup with Bet365.
The Each-Way: Shattered Love (15/2 Paddy Power) in the Mares Chase (4.15)
Most punters will be piling into Colreevy or Elimay (given the Alaho form), I understand that – the 8 year old and 7 year old are both on the up for Willie Mullins.
As readers of my column this week will realise, I don't like odds-on horses that have never set foot on the track. Elimay could turn out to be a special mare, but at the prices, I'll let others pile in.
I wouldn't put anyone off Colreevy – she is around 4/1 – and her recent form was franked by the extraordinary win of Mount Ida in the Kim Muir.
The one I fancy to be in the mix here, at a more appealing price is Shattered Love:
- She gets to run off 5lbs lower than Colreevy, and 3lbs lower than Elimay here.
- The Cullentra mare is a previous course and distance, festival winner over fences.
- The 10 year-old was held in high enough regard to run in the Gold Cup in 2019.
On her previous run, Shattered Love was comfortably beaten by Elimay – but it was over an inadequate 2 mile trip, and in soft ground. That looked like a prep run to me, and this race has been the target for a while, and conditions are different.
An improved run wouldn't surprise me for the Gigginstown mare. An each-way punt at 15/2 with Paddy Power is the suggestion.
Triumph Hurdle – Zanahiyr (5/4 Unibet)
Gold Cup – Al Boum Photo (3/1 Bet365l)
Mares Chase – Shattered Love (15/2 each-way Paddy Power)