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2019 Cheltenham Festival placepot tips - Selections and permutations for day four of Cheltenham and the Tote Placepot

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Tote betting slips on display during Day One of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 14, 2016 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

Brian Healy looks through the final day racecard on day four of the Cheltenham Festival and gives his selections and permutation for the Placepot.

Sadly another fruitless day on the Placepot front as none of our trio of runners in the Pertemps Final managed to make the frame and so put us out of the race for the remainder of the day.

Thursday’s Placepot dividend returned a very respectable £2,439.20 to a £1 stake despite four favourites making the frame throughout the day; however, the big prices of the first three home in the Mares’ Hurdle - where Epatante and Posh Trish would have been popular picks - will have skewed the dividend with starting prices returned at 50/1, 66/1 and 40/1.

Indeed, of the first seven horses home in the Grade Two contest the shortest price returned was 25/1 so the race would have scuppered many a ticket in the final leg.

With one final chance to get amongst the Placepot winners, Brian Healy gives his selections and permutation for Gold Cup day, the last day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

1:30 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 (4yo) 2m1f

PIC D’ORHY (9) makes his stable debut for Paul Nicholls in this race, which could prove significant; the Turgeon gelding boasts some high class form in French Graded company, going close the last twice at Auteuil in Grade Two and Grade One races respectively behind Beaumec De Houelle.

Softer ground clearly suits, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see a big run representing powerful connections on his UK debut.

TIGER TAP TAP (13) has twice finished behind race-favourite Sir Erec, who reopposes here, and while Willie Mullins’ charge may come up short again behind that rival he can go well himself to make the frame.

A winner on soft ground on the flat in France, he was beaten a neck by the hot favourite on his debut at Leopardstown over Christmas; subsequently fourth to the same rival back there in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, he may appreciate this slower ground where he can post another solid run.

2:10 - Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m1f

WE HAVE A DREAM (2) hasn’t quite managed to build on his highly successful campaign last term where Nicky Henderson’s charge won twice at Grade One level, winning at Chepstow and Aintree in an unbeaten five-win season.

Third on his return in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton, he finished fourth on subsequent starts behind If The Cap Fits at Ascot, and stablemate Brain Power here in the International Hurdle before getting back to winning ways at Kelso in the Morebattle Hurdle.

Switching to a handicap, this initial mark could prove workable.

We Have A Dream could go well in the County Hurdle.

CH’TIBELLO (5) was placed several times in Graded company last term, emerging as a possible Champion Hurdle contender, and Dan Skelton’s charge finished eighth to Buveur D’air in that race twelve months ago before disappointing on better ground at Ayr on his final start.

The Sabeburg gelding hasn’t been at his best on quicker ground this term, but he took a step back in the right direction when finding only Midnight Shadow too good at Aintree on a softer surface, and he could find more improvement for a wind operation.

That form has been franked by the winner going on to claim the Relkeel Hurdle, and this mark on his first run back following wind surgery looks very workable.

CUT THE MUSTARD (15) wasn’t able to take the step up in class behind Laurina in two starts last term having earlier won at Punchestown; but Willie Mullins’ charge has returned from a break in decent heart, not beaten far on her reappearance behind Wonder Laish at Fairyhouse.

The Al Namix mare stepped up on that return to finish runner-up on subsequent outings at Leopardstown, latterly behind Sassy Diva who had been keeping good company. This is tougher, but she looks fairly weighted and has the services of Noel Fehily.

2:50 - Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Spa Novices' Hurdle) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m

COMMANDER OF FLEET (6) suffered his sole defeat over hurdles to date over a trip that was far too sharp for him when finishing last of four runners behind Quick Grabim in the Royal Bond Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott’s charge bounced back over a considerably longer trip next time at Leopardstown to beat Rhinestone in the Nathaniel Lacy Hurdle, looking a strong stayer; he could have more to offer over this even longer trip, and while the form of Gordon Elliott’s runners this week is concerning, he can give a good account.

DICKIE DIVER (9) won a point-to-point before being bought by JP McManus and sent to Nicky Henderson, and the Gold Well gelding has made a good start to his hurdling career with a head-second behind the classy Lisnagar Oscar at Chepstow prior to going one better there next time out.

He won the latter race impressively, scoring by just over two lengths hard-held despite a last-flight mistake; this is clearly much tougher, but he looks full of potential and could well improve further.

3:30 - Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m2

CLAN DES OBEAUX (5) probably needed the run behind Bristol De Mai and Native River in the Betfair Chase, but Paul Nicholls’ charge is 2-2 since with wins in the King George VI Chase and the Denman Chase.

He had proven no match for Might Bite at Aintree last April, and there remains a niggling feeling that while he appeared to win his King George VI Chase with something in hand that that race fell apart to some degree; while he was entitled to beat Terrefort as he did at Ascot last time.

A strong-travelling sort, he may find it tougher to outbattle the like of Native River or Presenting Percy at the business end, while his Cheltenham record is 0-4; nevertheless he remains a big player who should post a solid run. 

Defending Gold Cup champion Native River can go close in defence of his crown.

Defending champion NATIVE RIVER (12) hasn’t been seen at his best in two runs this term, but Colin Tizzard’s charge has had excuses both times and the Indian River gelding can bounce back returned to the scene of his greatest triumph.

This more galloping track will suit better than Kempton, and the rain earlier in the week has ensured that the ground will be more to his liking having looked a half-yard off the pace on quicker ground the last twice.

It is hard to forget the performance he put up twelve months ago to defy the reopposing Might Bite, and while he’ll need to be at his best he can bounce back to form here.

4:10 - St. James's Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase Cl2 (5yo+) 3m2

HAYMOUNT (10) was a smart performer for Willie Mullins, contesting at Graded level, and the Presenting gelding has Festival form having finished third in the 2017 National Hunt Chase behind Tiger Roll.

He hasn’t been altogether straightforward since, but he arrives here on the back of a pair of wins in the point-to-point sphere for current handler Tom Ellis, and a big run wouldn’t come as a surprise from the ten-year old who remains relatively low mileage over the larger obstacles.

SHANTOU FLYER (17) has an excellent record at this venue, and Richard Hobson’s charge can give a good account.

A smart performer for Rebecca Curtis, winning here on New Years’ Day 2017 prior to finishing runner-up behind Cue Card next time, he pulled up in that season’s Grand National prior to joining this yard.

He has largely been in decent form since, bouncing back from some lesser efforts to bag four successive silver medal finishes; three of those came at this venue behind Ballyhill, Frodon and Coo Star Sivola in last season’s Ultima Handicap Chase.

He comes into this race on the back of hunter chase wins at Kelso and Fontwell, and a return to this venue and the softer ground are positives; he should go well. 

UCELLO CONTI (24) has been rejuvenated by the switch to point-to-points and hunter chases since unseating in the Grand National behind Tiger Roll; Willie Mullins’ charge has won all three starts since, beating Coastal Tiep latest at Navan.

The Martaline gelding scored readily by almost four lengths despite not always jumping fluently; he had a bit in hand though, and while this is a more competitive assignment he appears back to his best and should give another good account with the booking of Jamie Codd a huge positive to his chances. 

Shantou Flyer goes well at Cheltenham and can post a big run in the Foxhunters Chase.

4:50 - Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m

There is room for improvement for WHATSWRONGWITHYOU (8) over fences, with Nicky Henderson’s charge not always proving foot-perfect at his obstacles; but he arrives here on the back of a pair of wins at Ffos Las and Fontwell, and he can find further progress.

Both wins have come against just two rivals each time, while he was beaten by Brelan D’as at Haydock in December.

He does have big-field experience though, having finished third over hurdles in last season’s Imperial Cup, and with the potential to do better in this sphere he looks fairly handicapped so every chance he can find another jolt of improvement.

BRELAN D’AS (19) has been beaten on all three previous starts at this venue, but Paul Nicholls’ charge arrives here in good form having won at Fakenham latest and the Crillon gelding is handicapped to go close.

All three defeats here have come over longer trips, but he is 2-3 over two miles and being kept to this shorter trip for this contest looks a good move by the Ditcheat handler. He had finished fifth to Siruh Du Lac here in January, turning in with chances before running out of steam; that form took a boost on Thursday, and he races here off that same mark having been raised only 1lb for that Fakenham success.

He should go well, and he can get involved under history-making Bryony Frost.


1.30 - PIC D’ORHY (9), TIGER TAP TAP (13)






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2019 Cheltenham Festival placepot tips - Selections and permutations for day four of Cheltenham and the Tote Placepot

Brian Healy looks through the final day racecard on day four of the Cheltenham Festival and gives his selections and permutation for the Placepot.

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