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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 21 July, 2018
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Liveblog

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Hello and welcome to our final day of coverage from Cheltenham.

Consider this liveblog your one-stop shop to keep on track of all the action at Prestbury Park.

The premise is simple. If you’re stuck in work or college or just not near a TV to watch the racing, we’ve got you covered.

Just subscribe to our results service using the button below (for mobile devices only) and we’ll send you on the results of each race as they land.

It’s been an incredible week for the Irish, securing six wins out of seven on both Wednesday and Thursday to add to their three on Tuesday which means we comfortably retain the BetBright Prestbury C

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

up no matter what happens.

Of course, today is all about a very different kind of cup, the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

When the flag drops at 3.30pm, Might Bite will go off the 7/2 favourite for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville.

Last year’s winning jockey and trainer — Robbie Power and Jessica Harrington — might not have Sizing John in the race, but Our Duke has been tipped by many to guide them back into the winner’s enclosure.

All eyes will be on Willie Mullins, however. The Irish trainer made it a record 61 wins at the festival yesterday but has famously never managed to win the Gold Cup.

Today he sends Bachasson (28/1) Djakadam (33/1) and Total Recall (22/1) but the best of them all is probably Killultagh Vic (8/1) with Paul Townend on board.

Here’s a reminder of today’s full schedule, with the Grade Ones highlighted in bold.

  • 1.30pm: JCB Triumph Hurdle
  • 2.10pm: Randox  Health County Handicap Hurdle
  • 2.50pm: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
  • 3.30pm: Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup
  • 4.10pm: St. James’s Palace Foxhunter Chase
  • 4.50pm: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
  • 5.30pm: Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Chase

If you’re looking for a preview of today’s action, you’ll find it here:

First up we have the JCB Triumph Hurdle with Apple’s Shakira (6/5) many people’s banker of the week.

However, she’s far from the only horse to come into this race with an unbeaten record to protect and the likes of Redicean (7/1), Stormy Ireland (7/1), Mr Adjudicator (15/2) and Saldier (14/1) will all fancy their chances.

They’re off at 1.30pm.

Farclas wins the Triumph Hurdle

Farclas was just too good for them all there. Jack Kennedy, Gordon Elliott and the Gigginstown connections win another Grade One at the festival.

What a week the Irish are having. Jack Kennedy is level with Davy Russell on four winners in the race for top jockey.

Mr. Adjudicator and Paul Townend gave them some trouble after the last fence but the 8/1 shot had too much in the tank. The rank outsider Sayo did well to finish third.

2018 Cheltenham Festival - Gold Cup Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Jack Kennedy is getting used to celebrating this week. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Full results:

1. Farclas (9/1)
2. Mr. Adjudicator (8/1)
3. Sayo (33/1)

Next up is the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle, one of the most competitive handicaps of the festival.

Willie Mullins saddles three towards the top of the market, Bleu Et Rouge (8/1), Whiskey Sour (9/1) and Meri Devie (12/1) all having solid chances.

Flying Tiger (15/2) for Nick Williams as been widely tipped — particularly in emails to this liveblog — but has failed to come anywhere close to his Fred Winter success at this festival last year.

Mohaayed wins the County Hurdle

That was a cracking finish from Mohaayed for Dan Skelton with Bridget Andrews on board, holding off Remiluc and Whiskey Sour.

What a story in the County Hurdle where Bridget Andrews has a winner on a ride her partner Harry Skelton only jumped off because of the conditions. And the horse is trained by Dan who is Harry’s brother.

Full results:

1. Mohaayed (33/1)
2. Remiluc (50/1)
3. Whiskey Sour (9/1)
4. Chesterfield (16/1)

Coming up in 10 minutes is the second Grade One of the day, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

Santini is the 3/1 favourite for Nicky Henderson who needs a win to draw level with Willie Mullins with 61 all-time winners at the festival.

Chris’s Dream (8/1) is probably the best of the Irish as Henry de Bromhead looks for a second win of the week but Dortmund Park (12/1) can’t be ruled out because of the form of both Davy Russell and Gordon Elliott.

Kilbricken Storm shocks them all to win the Albert Bartlett

Out of nowhere Kilbricken Storm, a 33/1 shot for Colin Tizzard wins the Albert Bartlett with a storming run up the hill from Ok Corral and Santini.

That’s a win that will be celebrated by the bookies with jockey Harry Cobden saying the victory was “dream come true.”

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Full results:

1. Kilbricken Storm (33/1)
2. Ok Corral (16/1)
3. Santini (11/4F)

Next up is the blue riband race of the festival. Here’s our preview:

At the time of writing, Willie Mullins has won a record 61 Cheltenham festival races and yet he’s failed to win the blue riband race at Prestbury Park, the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

It’s not that he hasn’t tried, finishing second on six occasions but while Killultagh Vic (8/1) does not have the star power of previous raiders like Djakadam (25/1), Don Poli or Sir Des Champs, he might just be the horse to do it.

Our Duke (9/2) is the Irish favourite while many think Might Bite (4/1) is the class of the field. Don’t sleep on Native River (5/1) after finishing third in this race last year.

We asked you this morning who you thought would win and you were very split:

Poll

Native River wins the Gold Cup

Native River wins the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Might Bite tried his best after the last but Native River had too much for the favourite. After a week where he’s had to watch other trainers make all the headlines, that was a decent 40 minutes for Colin Tizzard.

Full results:

1. Native River (5/1)
2. Might Bite (4/1F)
3. Anibale Fly (33/1)

It might feel a bit like after the Lord Mayor’s Show but there is more racing to come and next up is the Foxhunter.

These are all amateur riders with Burning Ambition the 4/1 favourite.

Wonderful Charm was an unlucky loser last year while Foxrock is looking to belie a dodgy record at Prestbury Park.

Pacha Du Polder wiins the Foxhunter

Winner of this race in 2017, winner of this race in 2107. Pacha Du Polder matches On The Fringe’s achievement of going back to back in the St. James’s Palace Foxhunter Chase.

That’s a first win of the week for Paul Nicholls as Pacha Du Polder gets ahead of Top Wood — who made all of the running — at the death.

There’s the first death heat of the festival with nothing to separate Cousin Pete and Barrel Of Laughs in third.

Full results:

1. Pacha Du Polder (25/1)
2. Top Wood (50/1)
3. Barel of Laughs (14/1)
=3. Cousin Pete (66/1)

The penultimate race of the festival is the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle.

For conditional jockeys, no trainer has won it more than Willie Mullins (three).

We’re big fans of Carter Mckay (12/1) in this one for the Carlow-based trainer but it’s Gordon Elliott’s Flawless Escape (13/2) who leads the market as the pair battle it out for the trainer’s title.

Blow By Blow wins the Martin Pipe

It’s an Irish 1-2-3-4 as Gordon Elliott takes the Martin Pipe with Blow By Blow (11/1).

That might be enough for Gordon Elliott to take the top trainer’s title outright as he claims his eighth winner of the week with Blow By Blow storming home.

Full results:

1.1 Blow By Blow (11/1)
2. Discorama (33/1)
3. Early Doors (9/1)
4. Sire Du Berlais (10/1)

27 races down, one to go. The final race of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival is the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Chase, or the Grand Annual.

Named in honour of Nicky’s father, Henderson has only won it twice, the last victory coming in 2012 with Bellvano.

Jessica Harrington’s Rock The World (20/1) capped a great Friday for the Kildare-based trainer last year, and he’s back again this year but at six pounds worse off.

North Hill Harvey is the clear favourite (15/2), while Harrington’s other charge, Don’t Touch It (14/1) might have better chances than the defending champion.

If Willie Mullins is to draw level with Gordon Elliott in the race for top trainer, he’ll need 16/1 shot Townshend to do the business while Davy Russell can take the top jockey crown outright if he wins on Kerry Lee’s Top Gamble (9/1).

Le Prezien wins the Grand Annual

It’s a lucky last for Barry Geraghty as his pilots Le Prezien to victory in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Chase.

Paul Nicholls waits all week for a winner and then trains two of the last three.

And that is it for us.

Thanks for checking in with us this week. Hopefully you had a successful week!

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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