Cheltenham Festival 2023
Day Four - Gold Cup
Friday 17th March
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|Gold Cup - Friday 17th March
13:30 - JCB Triumph HurdleWillie Mullins and Rich Ricci combined to win this race with Vauban last year and the same connections seem to hold to key again with Lossiemouth. She headed the Triumph market before her debut for Ireland's champion trainer and has been impressive in both her starts, easily winning two Graded hurdles.
14:10 - County HandiCap HurdleThis race has frequently been won by Irish challengers, in fact Paul Nicholls (twice) and Dan Skelton (three) are the only British trainers to have taken this race since 2007 and in that time Willie Mullins has six wins to his name. That includes last year's winner State Man, who is a live contender for the Champion Hurdle.
14:50 - Albert Bartlett Novices HurdleWillie Mullins claimed a record third success in this contest last season thanks to an 18-1 upset with The Nice Guy, who led home a one-two for the trainer. Several members of his powerful string could be in contention here in a race won by future Gold Cup stars Minella Indo, Bobs Worth since its inception in 2005.
15:30 - Cheltenham Gold CupThe festival's premier race and the most prestigious of the jump racing calendar has been won by Henry de Bromhead for the past two years with Minella Indo and A Plus Tard, but the pair will now have to take on last year's top novices. Bravemansgame leads the British charge but it is Galopin Des Champs who sets the standard and could be the one to break De Bromhead's Gold Cup stranglehold.
16:10 - Festival Challenge Cup Hunters ChaseThe hunters' chase is the festival's annual amateur contest, run over the same course and distance as the Gold Cup. Last year's running went the way of favourite Billiway for Patrick Mullins, but the race is known to throw up big-price winners and many of last year's contenders are sure to reappear.
16:50 - Mares ChaseWillie Mullins capped an incredible 1,518-1 five-timer in this Grade 2 race last year with Elimay, who claimed the festival's newest race on the second time of asking. She may return to defend her crown alongside stablemate Allegorie De Vassy, who scored impressively on her chase debut last month.
17:30 - Martin Pipe H'Cap HurdleThe final race of the meeting belongs to the conditional jockeys but is known to throw up plenty of future top-level talent. Sir Des Champs, Don Poli and Galopin Des Champs are some of the subsequent Grade 1 stars to land the 2m4½f contest which traditionally belongs to the Irish, who have claimed seven of the last ten runnings.