CHELTENHAM BREAKFAST: Ireland win Prestbury Cup with DAY to spare

CHELTENHAM BREAKFAST: Ireland clinch the Prestbury Cup with a DAY to spare, one brave punter masters a huge £50k cash-out… and it’s back of the net for ‘Arry! Plus Paddy Power’s CHEAT SHEET to beat the bookies on Gold Cup day

  • Angels Dawn’s win in the Kim Muir Chase sealed the Prestbury Cup for Ireland
  • But this year’s attendance figures make grim reading for Cheltenham officials
  • Click here for the latest Cheltenham Festival news, schedule and race results

It’s flown by like a racehorse storming down the home stretch, but the Cheltenham Festival is nearly complete for another year as we head into today’s Gold Cup finale.

Day three provided plenty of twists and turns as the likes of Envoi Allen, Sire Du Berlais and Seddon defied the odds to prevail – and this afternoon promises to be just as dramatic.

Ahead of the fourth and final day, Sportsmail takes a look at what’s happening on and off the track in its last helping of Cheltenham Breakfast.

Brave punter scoops £50k  

A Paddy Power customer landed a £50k windfall off the back of a £1 each-way 5-fold accumulator bet when he bravely cashed out before hot-favourite Luccia lost out to 16/1 shot You Wear It Well in the Jack De Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

The UK based punter had backed the first four winners of the day, with Stage Star (1st race), Good Time Jonny (2nd race), Envoi Allen (3rd race) and finally Sire Du Berlais (4th race) all clicking.

One brave punter correctly called the first four winners on day three at Cheltenham, including Sire Du Berlais (pictured), before successfully cashing out for £50k

He skipped the Magners Plate at 4.10pm, and had Luccia won the sixth race of the day, the punter would have netted a whopping £283,672.

However, the shrewd customer cashed out on the final leg of his bet before Luccia ran, and he had the last laugh when the hot favourite finished fourth.

Paddy Power spokesperson Rachael Kane said: ‘This punter must have been clairvoyant to pick the first four winners, suddenly avoid a race, access the satiation and decide to cash out for a brilliant £47,823.27. The backer has enjoyed an excellent day and sure he could have won a cool quarter of a mill, but he came the right side of the result.’

Ireland seal Prestbury Cup

Angels Dawn’s victory in the concluding Kim Muir Chase on Thursday sealed the Prestbury Cup for Ireland with an entire day of racing to spare, meaning they have now claimed the prize at four of the last five festivals.

The UK have taken quite a battering in their annual grudge match this year, only producing six winners across 21 races from Tuesday to Thursday.  

Angels Dawn’s victory in Kim Muir Chase saw Ireland retain Prestbury Cup with one day left

They have not came out on top in the Prestbury Cup for a demoralising eight years and counting, with the 2019 edition ending in a tie.

Let’s hope for better fortunes in the rugby this weekend… 

Is St Patrick’s Day dominance in store? 

To rub salt in the wound, Paddy Power have slashed their price for an Irish clean sweep on St Patrick’s Day.

The Dublin firm are offering odds of just 11/4 for Ireland to win every single race this afternoon, which speaks volumes about their dominance at this year’s festival.

If they pull it off, it will go down as the biggest Prestbury Cup victory by some distance since its inception nine years ago, with their 19-9 triumph in 2017 the current record.


PADDY POWER’S CHELTENHAM CHEAT SHEET: Galopin Des Champs backed to deliver in the Gold Cup for Willie Mullins while Mick Fitzgerald forecasts his 1-2-3 for the week’s showpiece

Cheltenham punter misses out on £1MILLION after his seven-race accumulator falters with Shishkin’s second-place finish in the County Plate Chase… but they could still win up to £200,000 off a £5 bet if Galopin Des Champs places in the Gold Cup 

Cheltenham Festival delight for Peter Crouch as the former England and Liverpool star roars home his winning 9-1 bet Good Time Jonny in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle 

Angels Dawn WINS the Challenge Cup by a nose as Stumptown is pipped on the post in the enthralling final race of day three at Cheltenham… while Mr Incredible finishes third 

Meet the world’s TALLEST jockey! 6ft 4in Jack Andrews makes his Cheltenham Festival debut today and towers over his much-shorter rivals… but will his 5ft 7in sister, riding in the same race, ruin his day? 

You Wear it Well WINS the Jack de Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle after the 16-1 horse romps home in the penultimate race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival 

Attendance figures make grim reading

Capacity for this year’s event may have been capped at 68,500 – a result of racegoers complaining it was too busy in 2022 – yet official attendance figures suggest festival chiefs needn’t have bothered.

Only 50,387 fans rocked up on day three, which is down 14,044 on last year. Tuesday’s crowd was also just 60,284, a drop of 8,283.

The uncertainty of public transport this week has of course played a part in that decline, while the current cost-of-living crisis is another obvious factor.

Though more significantly, last year’s huge numbers were likely inflated by the post-Covid bounce back as people looked to restore their pre-lockdown habits.

Only 50,387 fans rocked up on day three of the festival, which is down 14,044 on last year

Capacity for this year’s event was capped at 68,500, but festival chiefs needn’t have bothered

Sore heads and feet galore  

Any returning punters feeling slightly green around the gills have been able to stock up on headache tablets at Cheltenham’s very own pharmacy this week.

According to manager James Powell, ibuprofen has been the most popular item up until lunchtime. After that, foot blister products have been selling like wildfire. 

Splashing out on a new pair of shoes for Cheltenham must have felt like a great idea at the time…

‘You silly sod!’

When he offloaded Seddon last August, little did horse owner Max McNeill know he would come to deeply regret it seven months later.

Seddon’s triumph in Magners Plate Handicap Chase left former owner Max McNeill in despair

McNeill could only watch on in despair on Thursday as 20/1 Seddon, the horse he named after his late mum before selling it to the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate, claimed a stunning victory in the Magners Plate Handicap Chase.

‘I bought the horse and named her after my late mum,’ he told ITV Racing after the gut-wrenching moment.

‘First and foremost I’m delighted for the current owners, but I think my mum would be looking down on me saying, “you silly sod!”‘

Harry Redknapp’s Shakem Up’Arry came third

Delight for ‘Arry 

Unlike McNeill, Harry Redknapp enjoyed a brilliant day at the races as his nine-year-old bay gelding Shakem Up’Arry came in third behind Seddon and Fugitif.

‘He’s ran a blinder today, a great run and I’m really pleased,’ the former football manager said.

‘I’m a bundle of nerves watching races, I worry about the horses. I just want them to come back safe. I love them. 

‘As long as they get round I’m happy. If they fall I’m distraught.

‘I’ve got some nice horses, I love the sport, it’s my big passion.’

Beat the Bookies on day two – The CHEAT SHEET!

Mick Fitzgerald, Ruby Walsh and Jane Mangan cast their eyes over day four of the Cheltenham Festival as they pick their winners for the final day of the week.

In Paddy Power’s daily cheat sheet, the three experts have picked out their tips for Friday’s seven races. 

Mick Fitzgerald

1.30pm – Triumph Hurdle, 2m 1f

I was really taken with BLOOD DESTINY when he won at Cork. Paul Townend has opted to ride Lossiemouth after an unlucky run at Leopardstown but it must have been a tough choice.

2.10pm – County Handicap Hurdle, 2m 1f

FILEY BAY was unlucky to finish second in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month. He is a little higher in the handicap now which is not ideal, but he could still be improving.

2.50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, 3m

CORBETTS CROSS has won over 2m and stays 3m and not many of this field can say that. He looks a cut above (NAP).

Mick Fitzgerald is also backing A Plus Tard to repeat last year’s Gold Cup success on Friday

3.30pm – Cheltenham Gold Cup, 3m, 21/2f

I’m willing to trust that trainer Henry De Bromhead will have A PLUS TARD ready to go after a disappointing season. Last year’s Gold Cup winner could be the forgotten horse in the race.

1. A Plus Tard

2. Stattler 

3. Galopin Des Champs

4.10pm – Hunters’ Chase, 3m 2f

Henry de Bromhead’s runner CHRIS’S DREAM has won a couple of points-to-points and that will set him up nicely for this Hunters’ Chase.

4.50pm – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, 2m 41/2f

Allegoire de Vassy jumps very badly right which will not suit at this track. IMPERVIOUS is the one I like as she is a rock-solid jumper and has put up some good performances this season. She’ll handle the ground too.

5.30pm – Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, 2m 2f

COOL SURVIVOR is unexposed and has to be a huge player with brilliant young pilot, Sam Ewing, on board.

Galopin Des Champs – the huge favourite – is the only horse for Ruby Walsh in the Gold Cup

Ruby Walsh

1.30pm – Triumph Hurdle, 2m 1f

The softer it gets the bigger chance that gives BLOOD DESTINY. It’ll definitely suit if the going is heavy.

2.10pm – County Handicap Hurdle, 2m 1f

I’m with BALLYADAM. He ran really well behind Gaelic Warrior at the Dublin Racing Festival and he’s probably overpriced.

2.50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, 3m

I’ve been with CORBETTS CROSS since Christmas and I’m going to stay with him.

3.30pm – Cheltenham Gold Cup, 3m, 21/2f

GALOPIN DES CHAMPS all day, every day and I would love to be riding him. Noble Yeats could up being his biggest danger.

4.10pm – Hunters’ Chase, 3m 2f

I am a VAUCELET man. He is a big, big runner. CHRIS’S DREAM is the value.

4.50pm – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, 2m 41/2f

ALLEGORIE DE VASSY is the class horse in the race. If you want to oppose her you’d have to go big and that’s maybe Riviere D’etel.

5.30pm – Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, 2m 2f

It’s a really competitive race and one of the novices will win it. I hope it’s Spanish Harlem as it would round out a big week for Michael O’Sullivan but, at a price, SPIRIT OF LEGEND could run a big race

Lossiemouth is Jane Mangan’s pick for Triumph Hurdle having impressed in her career so far

Jane Mangan

1.30pm – Triumph Hurdle, 2m 1f

I have been a fan of LOSSIEMOUTH ever since her Irish debut at Fairyhouse. It’s hard to know what Blood Destiny has beaten. I’ll stick with the beautiful grey mare.

2.10pm – County Hurdle, 2m 1f

Just the 26 runners but I fancy Dan Skelton to continue his brilliant record in this race courtesy of PEMBROKE. He could be well handicapped.

2.50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, 3m

Every time I watched THREE CARD BRAG this season, I always thought he’d be a proper horse over three miles. Now is the time for him to prove his worth!

3.30pm – Cheltenham Gold Cup, 3m, 21/2f

I’m hoping that GALOPIN DES CHAMPS can show us how good he really is by powering up the hill ahead of this quality field. So unlucky in last year’s Turners Novice Chase, when falling at the last with the race won – this is his time to shine brighter than all of the other stars on show.

Mangan is also backing Galopin Des Champs to claim victory in the Gold Cup on Friday

4.10pm – Hunters’ Chase, 3m 2f

Patrick Mullins and Billaway picked Barry O’Neill’s pocket on Winged Leader last year and stablemate VAUCELET may get his revenge for connections now.

4.50pm – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, 2m 41/2f

Despite having just two runs over fences to date, ALLEGORIE DE VASSY has the potential to be top class. She was good enough to beat Brandy Love over hurdles and I hope she shows us her ability now.

5.30pm – Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, 2m 2f

The Festival Finale and while IMAGINE has been campaigned over 2M this season the step up to 2m 4f and trainer Gordon Elliott likes to target this race.

Gold Cup odds

Galopin Des Champs – 11/8

A Plus Tard – 4/1

Bravemansgame – 17/2

Noble Yeats – 10/1

 Stattler – 10/1

Conflated – 14/1

Minella Indo – 14/1

Ahoy Senor – 18/1

Protektorat – 18/1

Sounds Russian – 28/1

Hewick – 40/1

Royale Pagaille – 80/1

Eldorado Allen – 100/1 

Odds provided by Paddy Power 

Paddy Power

1.30pm – Triumph Hurdle, 2m 1f

The market suggests GALA MARCEAU was really fortunate to beat Lossiemouth at the Dublin Racing Festival but I’m far less sure. I think she represents great value with the first time hood hopefully helping her settle.

2.10pm – County Hurdle, 2m 1f

MAGNOR GLORY has a really good record fresh and was a good winner at Listowel when last seen in a race that has worked out well. Put away after that win, he has man of the hour Michael O’ Sullivan taking off 3lbs and drying ground is no negative for him.

2.50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, 3m

This race regularly throws up a big price winner but it will take a decent effort to turn over both Three Card Brag and Corbett Cross. I just favour THREE CARD BRAG who is bred to excel at this trip.

3.30pm – Cheltenham Gold Cup, 3m, 21/2f

SOUNDS RUSSIAN has improved with every start this season and he looks to have decent each-way claims at a huge price.

4.10pm – Hunters’ Chase, 3m 2f

ROCKY’S HOWYA has been turned inside out since joining Declan Queally winning his 5 point to points by wide margins, last time beating the highly rated Chatham Street Lad by 45 lengths.

4.50pm – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, 2m 41/2f

ALLEGORIE DE VASSY may jump a little right but I’m convinced she has a huge engine and I think she will take plenty of beating here.

5.30pm – Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, 2m 2f

IROKO is 2-2 in handicaps, winning last time by 14 lengths at Wetherby. The 10lb rise for that win may underestimate him. He could be better than a handicapper.

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