The Horse Whisperer signs off Cheltenham week with his look at the final day’s racing, and gives his tip for the big race of the day, the Cheltenham Gold Cup


St Paddy’s day didn’t bring a pot full of leprechaun’s gold for the Horse Whisperer at Cheltenham, but my nap, Thistlecrack, didn’t disappoint with a surging victory in the big race of the day, the World Hurdle.

On the back of their new partnership with the Jockey Club, rumour has it four Bentleys have been sold on the racecourse - the insurance boys must be doing well, even if the Whisperer only just managed to keep the shirt on his back.

It was good to see Sharon Bishop, CEO Premium Finance, Banking Division at Close Brothers Group, enjoying the racing yesterday.

Close Brothers sponsored the final race on day one, the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase, and Whisperer was delighted to see another insurance-related sponsor at the festival.

Sharon Bishop

Sharon Bishop, CEO Premium Finance at Close Brothers Banking Division

Today is Gold Cup day and the climax of a tremendous week of racing.

Don Cossack and Cue Card head the betting for the famous old race. In any normal year, a grey would be the Gold Cup favourite and it would indeed be a fairy tale if Alan King’s grey Smad Place won the big race today after his 12-length triumph in the Hennessy.

Enough of fairy tales. Whisperer’s tips for today are:

  • My Nap is Don Cossack in the Gold Cup at 3.30pm. Ladbrokes have the Don at 3-1, but punters looking for value may wish to go each way on Smad Place, currently 8-1 with the same bookie.
  • My win bet is Zubayr, with Fortress’ Nick Scholfield on board for the Paul Nicholls-trained horse. The bookies have Zubayr down at 9-2 favourite for this, the first race of the afternoon, the JCB Triumph Hurdle at 1.30pm.
  • I like the look of Long Dog in the 2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Willie Mullins is the trainer with Ruby Walsh on board, and those two have been the toast of Cheltenham this week, after Ruby won his 50th Cheltenham race yesterday. Long Dog is my each way bet, currently at sevens with Ladbrokes.