Cheltenham Festival 2021: A preview of day four’s Grade 1 races

The final day of the Cheltenham Festival is the biggest of the four days. It is the host of the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup and attending the Friday meeting is certainly at the top of many sports fans wish list. This year, unfortunately, the likelihood is that we will be checking the racing results from the comfort of our own homes, as opposed to filing through the historic concourses of Prestbury Park.

However, the show must go on. So, as you count down the days to the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, why not familiarise yourself with day four’s Grade 1 races with our preview below. Read on to find out more!

1:30: Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1)

The final day of the Festival gets underway with the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle. A £125,000 purse if up for grabs in the two-mile race. Last year, 5/2 favourite Goshen looked certain to land father and son duo of trainer Gary Moore and jockey Jamie Moore victory. However, almost 10 lengths clear of his nearest competitor, the five-year-old agonisingly unseated his rider with a mistake at the last hurdle. That opened the door for Willie Mullins-trained Burning Victory (12/1) to steal the win. This year, Zanahiyr is heading into the Festival as the early favourite. The Gordon Elliott-trained four-year-old is in fine form, winning all three of his last three races, including the Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.

2:50: Spa Novices’ Hurdle (Grade1) (GBB Race) (Class 1)

Following on from a break in Grade 1 races for The County Handicap Hurdle, we are then treated to the Spa Novices’ Hurdle at 2:50. In terms of the Cheltenham Festival, the race is a relatively new addition. The three-mile race was only added to the Prestbury Park meeting when a fourth day was introduced in 2005, and at first it was a Grade 2 outing before being given Grade 1 status three years later. Monkfish’s victory over Latest Exhibition by little more than a neck last year gave Mullins his second victory in the race, drawing him level with Jonjo O’Neill with the most winners. This year though, it is trainer Paul Nicholls who is expected to land a victory. His Bravesmangame is the early 6/1 favourite. However, Mullins could land a third winner with his Stattler coming in at second favourite (10/1).

3:30 The Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) (Class 1)

Up next is the Festival’s showpiece, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The trophy is the most sought-after piece of silverware across the entire four days of racing and without a doubt the most illustrious race across the entire Jumps seasons.  Many of the sports finest horses have won the prestigious event throughout the race’s fine history, including Arkle, Best Mate and Kauto Star. This year, Al Boum Photo will be hoping to sketch his name into the history books as the Mullins-trained horse seeks a hattrick of victories. The nine-year-old held off stiff opposition from Anibale Fly and Santini in the last couple of years, and will need to do the same against the likes of Minella Indo and A Plus Tard if he is to become the first horse since Best Mate to win the race on three successive occasions.

The St. James’ Place Challenge Cup Hunter Steeple Chase and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle wrap up the action packed four days of racing.