DAVY RUSSELL EXCLUSIVE

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DAVY RUSSELL blog: Cheltenham Festival FRIDAY

Onto the final day of the meeting….

FRIDAY

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL

1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle

I don’t have a ride in the Triumph Hurdle and I must admit I was a bit surprised that Willie (Mullins) declared seven of his considering the trouble Lossiemouth encountered from a stablemate at the Dublin Racing Festival. He does hold all the aces though with three really strong chances. Lossiemouth remains the one to beat on the back of that performance, but she may not want it to turn into a real slog. That may just suit stablemate Blood Destiny ? a bit better as he looks a proper stayer. The other filly Gala Marceau will need to settle a bit better in a hood if she’s to get home. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET


PIED PIPER 2.10pm McCoy Contractors County Hurdle

My first ride of the afternoon comes in the County Hurdle where I partner Pied Piper ? (pictured below) who will find this easier than the Grade One company he has been keeping this season. That said, he’s got a hell of a weight and wouldn’t want too much rain. If the forecast is wrong, he can run well. Filey Bay bumped into one at Newbury and can go well again, while Willie saddles two likely ones in both Hunters Yarn and Sharjah. If it were to get really soft keep an eye out for Dan Skelton’s Pembroke. The stable have some record in the race and he can go well. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET


SEARCH FOR GLORY 2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Gordon saddles three in this and I ride Search For Glory ? who needs to step up a little on his recent Grade Three third. The one thing this lad does though is stay and that will stand him in good stead if it gets hard work. The pick of Gordon’s trio is definitely Three Card Brag who will love every bit of rain that falls. I won at Galway on him back in October and he should love the trip and the ground. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET


CONFLATED 3.30pm Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup

The feature race of the day, if not the week, where I ride Conflated ? for Gordon. He won the Irish Gold Cup for me last season and he was great in the Savills at Christmas when Jack rode him. Gordon opted to miss the Dublin Racing Festival to bring him here fresh and he’s felt in great form at home. He’s always shaped like he’d get this trip and he should give me a good spin. This does look competitive though with Galopin Des Champs setting the bar pretty high. He jumps better now and the ground shouldn’t be a bother either. If conditions get bad then there are a host of stayers that come into this too headed by Grand National winner Noble Yeats, Stattler and Protektorat to name just three. It promises to be the race of the week. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET


4.10pm St James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup

Gordon saddles my old friend The Storyteller here with Jamie (Codd) riding. He’s a grand old horse who hopefully can go well with pieces on for the first time. This trip may stretch him a little though. Vaucelet ? looks the obvious one while I wouldn’t be in a hurry to rule out Chris’s Dream if its wet. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET


RIVIERE D’ETEL 4.50pm Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase

My last ride of the meeting is Riviere D’Etel ? (pictured below) in the Mares’ Chase. She disappointed in Carlisle the last day and is better than that – don’t forget she finished fifth to Edwardstone in last year’s Arkle. Whether she is up to winning a race like this is the question as there are some smart mares in here. Allegorie De Vassy will have to brush up her jumping but has plenty of class. Impervious has been good all season and won’t be far away. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET


5.30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

The final race of the meeting and a race that is always close to Gordon’s heart. He saddles a couple of nice types in here headed by Cool Survivor ? who is ridden by Sam Ewing. He’s a lovely staying type who seems at ease on any ground. Imagine is another smart type who has a fair bit of speed. Whether he’d want a real slog is questionable but they are two strong cards to play. ⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET

Good Luck
Davy


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