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3 top tips for Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham

Johnny Ward makes his selections for the final day of this year’s festival, along with the latest William Hill odds.
Mar 16th 2022, 3:55 PM 10,084 0

THE BIGGEST WEEK in the racing calendar, the Cheltenham Festival, has nearly reached its finale. 

Thanks to William Hill, racing journalist Johnny Ward has been bringing you his best tips and here are three to consider for Friday, 18 March…

Galvin — 10/3 (Gold Cup, 3.30)

file-photo-dated-28-12-2021-of-galvin-ridden-by-davy-russell-goes-on-to-win-the-savills-chase-during-day-three-of-the-leopardstown-christmas-festival-at-leopardstown-racecourse-in-dublin-ireland-gor Galvin and Davy Russell. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

One wouldn’t have thought, even after he won the amateurs’ novice race (that was limited to professional riders last season) that Galvin would be this price for the Gold Cup.

If you back him with Hills, do not be afraid to wait for the market on the day, as he will likely go a bit bigger than this at some stage.

He clearly loves Cheltenham and he got an unbelievably good ride from Davy Russell to beat A Plus Tard at Leopardstown at Christmas.

That was a shade surprising but there was no real fluke about it and one has to fancy him confirming that beating at Cheltenham, with the hill more suitable for Galvin.

The Irish should take this, with Gordon Elliott likely to shed a tear if his old buddy Russell, who turns 43 this year, can bring the Gold Cup back to County Meath.

Vauban — 15/8 (Triumph Hurdle, 1.30)

vauban-ridden-by-paul-townend-wins-the-second-race-during-day-one-of-the-dublin-racing-festival-at-leopardstown-racecourse-in-dublin-ireland-picture-date-saturday-february-5-2022 Vauban, ridden by Paul Townend. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Do some detective work and you pretty much conclude this horse will win. The same connections’ other well-fancied juvenile this week, Gaelic Warrior, was essentially beaten by inexperience in the Fred Winter on Tuesday.

Vauban and Pied Piper are hard to split on form but Vauban did plenty wrong when they clashed at Punchestown.

The chat was that the Elliott team considered Fil D’or superior to Pied Piper and, despite the modest pace not suiting him, Vauban destroyed Fil D’or at Leopardstown.

The only concern is that he can jump a bit right but he has a really striking turn of foot.

Colonel Mustard — 10/1 (County Hurdle, 2.10)

file-photo-dated-17-01-2021-of-colonel-mustard-right-whose-connections-are-set-to-bypass-the-cheltenham-festival-after-finding-sir-gerhard-a-little-too-hot-to-handle-at-leopardstown-on-sunday-issu Colonel Mustard (right). Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Lorna Fowler, a brother of former rider Mark Bradbourne, has a lively hope here in the experienced Colonel Mustard.

He’s shaped well in races won by Jonbon and Sir Gerhard this season, both of them running very well this week, and his mark seems relatively fair for an Irish raider.

You’d have to think if he were in a bigger yard he would have a higher mark and he is preferred to State Man, who has a similar profile to the 2020 winner Saint Roi.

William Hill odds above correct at the time of writing. New online customers get €30 in free bets when they bet €10 with William Hill. Just use the promo code H30. For all the latest prices, visit williamhill.com. 18+, always gamble responsibly. For more information, see gamblingtherapy.org    

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