Sportstalk got the views of some of the top names in horse racing ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Emmet Kennedy from The Final Furlong Podcast and Talksport, Johnny Ward – broadcaster and journalist, Katie Young who works at Gordon Elliott’s yard, Brian Gavin – racing pundit, Mikey Fogarty – jockey and Aaron McCarthy from Betdaq.
Day 4 – Friday 18th March
Triumph Hurdle – 1.30pm
Emmet – “It’s a very competitive race. They’re going to be paying four on the day; each-way. Il Etait Temps is rock solid.
“Knight Salute gets no love and is a bit of a terrier, so if you want an each way bet. Il Etait Temps he’s could be the one that’ll cause a bit of a surprise.”
Brian – “Knight Salute. The course might suit Fil Dor. Pied Piper looked very good in Cheltenham.”
Katie – “To be honest Pied Piper was visually very good at Cheltenham. Has come on an awful lot.
“Fil Dor is a stayer. He might have gone under the radar. I won’t be surprised if he’s in the mix on the day.”
Johnny – “Vauban is going to be odds on. He’s going to collapse in price. This track will suit him. I think he’ll be smashed on the day. It’s a two horse race.”
Mikey – “The two horses I like are Vauban and Pied Piper. I’d just go with Pied Piper.“
Spa Novices’ Hurdle – 2.50pm
Brian – “Hillcrest is rock solid.”
Emmet – “Hillcrest has tons of experience. Hillcrest is very exciting and made for this.”
Johnny – “Minella Cocooner should’ve been shorter. It’s him for me each-way.”
Libertine Mares Chase – 4.50pm
Johnny – “Elimay each-way. This race shouldn’t be run.”
Emmet – “Elimay will be Willie’s (Mullins) number one.”
Katie – “I like Mount Ida. I think she’s the one to beat.”
Brian – “Elimay is the best of the Irish. The Glancing Queen finished well last year. The Glancing Queen each-way for a bit of value.”
Cheltenham Gold Cup – 3.30pm
Johnny – “I was tipping Galvin. He’s very solid. I don’t like it as a betting race. It’s very tough.
Katie -” Galvin is my bet for the week. He’s done nothing wrong this year. This is going to be his year.”
Brian – “It’s a very open race. I don’t think the English have much of a chance. Is there a forgotten horse here in Tornado Flyer. He’s the value horse to me.”
Emmet – “I couldn’t agree more. Tornado Flyer is the stand-out bet in this race.”
Mikey – “A Plus Tard. I wouldn’t have Tornado Flyer. Galvin will run a solid race but I don’t think he’ll have that Gold Cup x-factor.
Foxhunter Chase – 4.10pm
Brian – “Willie (Mullins) has got it spot on with Billaway. If the ground is good, Winged Leader is an animal.”
Katie – “For me Billaway is the stand-out. I can’t see much coming close to him.”
Emmet – “I totally agree. He’ll take all the beating (Billaway).”
Johnny – Billaway. Rock solid each way.”
Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle – 5.30pm
Mikey – Adamantly Chosen wouldn’t be a bad each-way bet; champion trainer and a top condition ride.