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Cheltenham Festival Tips

The tips on are provided by Tom Lee of RTE and Channel 4 Racing. Tom shares his expert opinions and knowledge of the form book together with whispers he's heard from his connections and industry contacts on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Toms Tips for Day Four

JCB Triumph Hurdle - Petite Parisienne (each way) 9/1 at Skybet

Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle - The Game Changer (each way) 9/1 at BetVictor

3.20 - Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup - Road To Riches (each way) 11/1 at Bet365

4.40 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle - Jolly's Cracked It (each way) 20/1 at Bet365

5.15 - A.P.McCoy Grand Annual Handicap Chase - Grumeti (each way) 25/1 at William Hill

Day Four Tips - Friday 13th March 2015

1.30 - JCB Triumph Hurdle

The last 4 winners of Leopardstown's Grade 1 Spring Juvenile have finished 2, 2, 1, 3 in the Triumph Hurdle, and this year's winner Petite Parisienne looks every inch as good.

She was good value (and well backed) for her length and three quarters defeat of stablemate Kalkir in that key trial at Leopardstown in February, and when you consider that French imports have won three of the last six runnings of this race, it's not hard to construct a powerful case for backing her each way.

Fillies won this three times between 1996 and 2005, and a quick look back at the 2011 running sees Dermot Weld's Unaccompanied finishing second in the Triumph after winning the Spring Juvenile.

She'll have to be good though, with the four-year-olds at the top rung of the ladder looking really good this year...

Nicky Henderson's strength in depth in this department is well documented, with favourite Peace And Co at the head of affairs in the bookies' lists after clear cut wins at Doncaster and Cheltenham, while stablemate Hargam has also won at Cheltenham on his way here and is rated by AP McCoy as his best chance of a winner on the day, taking the December Triumph Trial before following up at Musselburgh at the start of last month.

Amazingly, it doesn't stop there either! 'Hendo' also has Top Notch, unbeaten in all five lifetime starts, and a ridiculously easy winner at Haydock Park last time out.

The opposition isn't limited to the contingent from Seven Barrows either, with the Robert Stephens-trained Beltor coming in for sustained support in recent days after his ready win in Kempton's Adonis Hurdle.

Prior to that win in the other key trial he was an unconsidered 40/1 chance - now you won't get at anything like that, with the 10's available in the aftermath of the Adonis quickly taken.

They will all have plenty of supporters, but at the likely prices it's hard to overlook how impressive Petite Parisienne was at Leopardstown, and that on just her second spin over timber.

With improvement to come and the seven pounds mares' allowance to throw in the mix, she might well be the one.

JCB Triumph Hurdle - Petite Parisienne (each way) 9/1 at Skybet

2.05 - Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle

If not entirely out of the bag, then the cat managed to at least wave a paw or two on Monday morning when Irish-trainer Gordon Elliott mentioned my selection in the jury section of the Racing Post.

He was busy talking up a strong trends based selection, one due to make his first start for the County Meath-based Elliott stable in this race, in the shape of former Charlie Swan inmate The Game Changer.

Certain to make the cut with plenty to spare, this six-year-old son of Arcadio has loads of ability and may have improved for the switch of stable.

A fantastic third in last summer's Galway Hurdle off a mark of 134, he acts on a testing track and has no problem whatsoever on faster ground.

He followed up his Galway run with an emphatic handicap win at Killarney in August, and was last seen being placed in a graded race at Tipperary in October.

Elliott will have him ready to go after a break, admitting that he's working the house down, and he has big field handicap form in the book, not only from Galway but also from last April at Punchestown.

Stats followers will also enjoy knowing:

Irish-trained horses have won six of the last eight runnings of this race

10 of the last 11 County Hurdle winners were first or second season hurdlers

Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle - The Game Changer (each way) 9/1 at BetVictor

3.20 - Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup

We didn't see this coming, but the stock of the Galway Plate continues to rise and rise, chiefly thanks to the exploits of last two winners Road To Riches and Carlingford Lough, who've moved on from their exploits in the Ballybrit summer highlight to take high rank at jump racing's top table.

There are some many likeable horses in this year's race - worth a hulking £550,000, and it's a dream heat for the bookies with the inevitable huge spread of business in the field.

Silviniaco Conti who has taken the Betfred Bowl at Aintree, the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the King George since being fourth last year, former winners Bobs Worth and Lord Windermere, the aforementioned Carlingford Lough, Hennessy hero Many Clouds (his trainer Oliver Sherwood last won at the Festival with Coulton way back in 1995), Holywell, Djakadam, Sam Winner and Coneygree (who would be the first novice to win this since Captain Christy in 1974) are all legitimate contenders, but I nominated Road To Riches on The Morning Line back in January, and see absolutely no reason to change that line of thinking now.

He wins left-handed, right-handed, on seemingly any ground nature can throw at him, and may still have further improvement to come.

Given that he already has a pair of Grade 1's in the bank this season that could spell trouble for his rivals, and best off in such an open race he's a good price too.

Knowing what we know now he was some good thing at Galway at the end of July, sent off 14/1 off a mark of 149 for the Galway Plate!

He was deeply impressive when when the Champion Chase at Down Royal at the start of November, and continued the good work when seeing off last season's Gold Cup second On His Own in Leopardstown's Lexus Chase in December, since when he has been put away for this.

The stats do plenty to strengthen the claims of Road To Riches too:

- 14 of the last 15 winners appeared in either the Lexus Chase or King George

- 12 of the last 14 winners either won or were second on their previous outing

- 9 of the last 13 winners hadn't appeared in the same calendar year

- 9 of the last 15 winners began their racing life in the Irish Point-to-Point scene

- 12 of the last 23 winners were second season chasers

In a wide open race, a double figure price about an improver like Road To Riches looks the way to go.

3.20 - Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup - Road To Riches (each way) 11/1 at Bet365

4.40 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle

The penultimate race of the Festival can go to a rising star of the training ranks in the shape of Harry Fry, with his six-year-old Astarabad gelding Jolly's Cracked It the pick in the hands of Michael Nolan.

The Wincanton bumper winner is already a dual scorer over timber, netting a pair of races at Ascot back in November.

He was then considered good enough to run in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown Park, a bold move which yielded a lucrative second to L'Ami Serge.

His subsequent handicap debut produced an excellent staying on fifth in Newbury's Betfair Hurdle, and switched to a more demanding track he could well put up a bold show here.

Three times in five seasons this race has gone to a horse in the top six in the handicap, and his experienced pilot can only be an asset.

4.40 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle - Jolly's Cracked It (each way) 20/1 at Bet365

5.15 - A.P.McCoy Grand Annual Handicap Chase

Second in this race 12 months ago off a 4lbs lower mark, Noel Meade's Ned Buntline will be a warm order to give AP MCCoy a winner on his last ever Cheltenham Festival mount.

Seen only once this season, he'll appreciate the return to better ground, but doesn't represent great value in a typically difficult Cheltenham handicap.

What's more, in the last 15 renewals of this race a massive 14 of them were won by horses carrying less than 11 stone - Ned Buntline carries 11st 1lb.

A big value alternative could be Alan King's Grumeti.

King enjoyed a huge win for his stable when Uxizandre took the Ryanair on Thursday, sporting a first time visor instead of his usual cheekpieces, and in Grumeti we've got a nicely weighted contender (11 stone exactly), from an in-form team in first time blinkers.

Novices have won this prize in four of the last six years, and in Grumeti we've got a horse who fits that bracket, and is making his handicap debut off 141.

Considered good enough to run in the Champion Hurdle a year ago, he was also third in the Triumph in 2012, and has done well over fences so far.

Two wins and two placed efforts from just four starts leave plenty of room for improvement.

5.15 - A.P.McCoy Grand Annual Handicap Chase - Grumeti (each way) 25/1 at William Hill

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Cheltenham Festival - Betting Tips

Tom LeeFollowing on from last year, we are delighted to announce that we are featuring horse racing tips from Channel Four Racing presenter, Tom Lee.

Tom appears on Channel 4's Morning Line & covers live Racing in the afternoon as well fronting RTE's Racing coverage in Ireland, his Cheltenham Festival Tips and previews of each day's Racing will be available during the Festival and supported with opinions and views from our Racing writers.

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