Today’s Irish raiders at Cheltenham

After a magnificent Thursday for Irish raiders, Jordan McCarthy looks at the Irish challengers on the final day at Cheltenham...

On The Fringe.
On The Fringe.

JCB Triumph Hurdle

Mega Fortune stands out as the leading Irish challenger following his top level success at Leopardstown. Any significant rainfall would aid his chances.

Bapaume was third to Mega Fortune the last day, but has already accounted for him this season. He should step up on that latest effort here.

The filly, Dinaria Des Obeaux, was third in the Leopardstown race. That run was sandwiched between two winning efforts and she is a worthy contender here, in receipt of weight from the boys. She is likely at her best with give in the ground.

Landofhopeandglory was rated 103 on the level and is another worth consideration.

Best of the Irish:

Mega Fortune

Alternative:

Bapaume

Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle

Mick Jazz would appear to be the main player for the Irish. He finished second to subsequent Supreme winner, Labaik, earlier this season and won a Listed contest at Punchestown last time out. He makes massive appeal.

Tell Us More is an interesting runner on his hurdles return. He won a Grade Three Chase at Naas last time out and runs here off a mark three pounds lower than his highest winning rating over fences.

Ivanovich Gorbatov won on this card in 2016. He has failed to build on the promise he showed in that Triumph success, though he is an interesting prospect in handicap company.

Arctic Fire was second in a Champion Hurdle here before, but he is burdened with top weight.

Best of the Irish:

Mick Jazz

Alternative:

Tell Us More

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Ante-post favourite Death Duty could be exceptional and he gets the nod to come out on top in this three-mile contest.

Gordon Elliott’s runner is a perfect four from four this season and has progressed nicely on each start. He seems very straightforward, should take the step up in trip in his stride, and can justify his trainer’s tall expectations.

Monalee has already won at three miles. He would need to step up from his win at Clonmel but looks like the type that could do so. He has outstanding each-way claims.

Augusta Kate was travelling well when coming down at the last in a race won by Death Duty. She warrants respect.

Best of the Irish:

Death Duty

Alternative:

Monalee

Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase

Djakadam bids to make it third time lucky in the Blue Riband event. Second in the last two editions behind Coneygree and Don Cossack, the eight-year-old appears capable of going one better here.

He has had a better preparation this time around and seems to show his best form at the festival.

Sizing John won the Irish Gold Cup in good style. He does have course experience, having been placed in both a Supreme and an Arkle, and he is open to the most improvement at this trip. He should make a bold bid.

Outlander won the Lexus at Christmas but disappointed at Cheltenham last year. He certainly warrants respect but may find a few too good.

Champagne West has been in good form since joining Henry De Bromhead. He won the Thyestes in excellent fashion and adds further strength to the Irish challenge.

Best of the Irish:

Djakadam

Alternative:

Sizing John

St James’s Place Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

On The Fringe has dominated this division for the past two seasons and he looks banker material for the raiders.

Enda Bolger’s charge completed the ‘festival treble’ in 2015 and 2016, and he remains on course for a repeat bid.

He made a really good seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown, has been pleasing connections in his work and has had a smoother preparation this year. He should land the prize again this afternoon.

The Michael Barry-trained Sweet As A Nut could be another key player for the visitors. He was an impressive winner of a hunter chase at Limerick and took a Tallow maiden in good style last time out. He could have much more to offer in this type of contest.

Best of the Irish:

On The Fringe

Alternative:

Sweet As A Nut

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Willie Mullins appears to have a strong hand in a race which he has won three times in the last six years.

Battleford has run well at Cheltenham before and should likely be suited by this trip. Last year’s Champion Bumper second can put in a big run here from the bottom of the handicap.

Castello Sforza also ran into a place in the Champion Bumper in 2016, and although still in search of a win over hurdles, he has shaped with much promise on his three starts. He holds massive each-way claims.

Best of the Irish:

Battleford

Alternative:

Castello Sforza

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup

Dandridge is the pick of the Irish in the final race of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.

Arthur Moore’s charge ran a cracker in this last March when second, and ran another great race when runner-up in a similar event at Aintree off five pounds higher. Back on spring ground, he is fancied to be in the mix again.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Rock The World was third in this event 12 months ago, and is just one pound higher in the ratings this time around. He should shape better than he has shown so far this term and could well make the frame.

Velvet Maker finished down the field in this race last year, following a mistake at the last, but can give a better account of himself off a similar mark 12 months on. He could nick a place.

Best of the Irish:

Dandridge

Alternative:

Rock The World

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