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The42′s Winning Post: Everything you need to enjoy the final day of Cheltenham

And hopefully pick you a winner.

Can Killultagh Vic land Willie Mullins a Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Can Killultagh Vic land Willie Mullins a Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Updated Mar 16th 2018, 9:04 AM

Three big talking points…

1. WILLIE OR WON’T he? 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 (Friday, 3.30pm).

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

2. Who will Triumph? A race restricted to four year olds, the JCB Triumph Hurdle opens Friday’s proceedings (1.30pm) and has traditionally been a source of winners for Nicky Henderson.

He saddles the favourite Apple’s Shakira (6/4) in this one with the Irish challenge coming from Stormy Ireland (6/1) and Farclas (7/1) as Mullins and Gordon Elliott renew their battle for this week’s trainer’s title.

2017 November Meeting - Day Two - Cheltenham Racecourse Apple's Shakira has a lot of fans. Source: Julian Herbert

3. Can Chris’s Dream come true? While Henderson also trains the favourite in the Albert Bartlett (Friday, 2.50pm) in Santini (9/2), Chris’s Dream (13/2) looks a horse made for this race and follows Monalee’s form line from 2017 into the Grade One.

Enniscoffey Oscar (20/1) is also in with a shout at a bigger price while Chef Des Obeaux (5/1) has to be respected.

NAP of the day…

It’s not just that Apple’s Shakira (6/4) has arrived with an unbeaten record to protect, it’s the manner of her wins that makes her the pick of the day in the opener. We hit on this Thursday and hopefully another mare will do the business on Friday.

Amy Morrissey onboard Carter McKay Carter McKay working out earlier this year. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

An each-way fancy…

Willie Mullins tends to run some of his better horses in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Friday, 4.50pm) and though Deal Destruval and Burrows Saint have claims, Carter McKay (16/1) has taken well to hurdles and finished a good third in a Grade One at Leopardstown last time out.

Accumulator…

With it being the last day of the festival, we’re going all-in with our each-way Lucky-15.

With that in mind, the quartet of Apple’s Shakira (6/4), Chris’s Dream (13/2), Killultagh Vic (8/1) and Vaniteux (11/1) in the Grand Annual (Friday, 5.30pm) will return €59,703 for a €15 ew stake. 

Penhill makes history for Willie Mullins to win the Stayers’ Hurdle

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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