Your tips for the final day at Cheltenham courtesy of Hayley O'Connor of Ladbrokes
By Hayley O'Connor.
I've had a good few days and the punters have cleaned up this week. On the final day of the Festival day, can Ruby land the opener three days in a row?
The money this morning for Footpad in the Triumph Hurdle at 1.30pm suggests he can.
I fancied Apples Jade for weeks before the festival, she actually beat Footpad in December, but reports that she's had training problems is a big turn off so I am going to ride on Ruby in opener. The current favourite in the race is the impressive Zubayr, but as we're refunding stakes as a free bet if the SP favourite wins, opposing him makes sense to me.
The County Hurdle has been a good raid for the the Irish, who've won seven of the last 10 editions. Ruby (again) has won three in a decade, but his mount Dicosimo is rated 150, and anything above 145 hasn't even been placed in ten years, so I'm going down the handicap, and opting for Modus who is trained by Paul Nicholls, successful in this three times in this contest since 2006.
This is a very difficult race so each way is definitely the route to go down, and at a massive price Francis Of Assisi and Draco would be worth a fiver each way and 50/1 or bigger.
The Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at 2.50pm has a worthy favourite in co favourite in Barters Hill, but his front running preference could leave him a bit vulnerable. At a bigger price, I'm going to have an each way play on JP McManus' Bleu Et Rouge at 10/1 who impressed me in a Grade One. Ladbrokes are giving money back as a free bet if you horse finishes second in this so it a bit of insurance to be brave.
The Gold Cup looks totally amazing, Cue Card would be a romantic winner of the race and has had a wonderful resurgence this season. He's been popular this morning and vibes are also very warm on Don Cossack, who arguably was going the best when falling in the King George, but Djakadam has been on my short list since winning impressively at Punchestown.
His fall last time is a big worry, but that was my reason for not backing Black Hercules yesterday, and look how that turned out! I'll keep my money will be on Djakadam to give Willie Mullins his first Gold Cup success.
I'm backing Nina Carberry in the Foxhunters Chase at 4.10, who rides On The Fringe, and I'm hoping the talented young Jack Kennedy will ride his first winner here on Squouateur in the Handicap Hurdle at 4.50pm.
After that, I'll be raising my white flag. It's been a long week, but nothing that could happen today could equal Sprinter Sacre who gave us a sporting moment I will never, ever forget.