How to bet £20 on the support races on Cheltenham Gold Cup day

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Thu 14 Mar 2019

Anybody who took Andy's How To Bet £20 advice on Thursday, with early prices taken, would have made a profit of £360.

Unbeatable. The next Istabraq. Biggest banker of the week. Look away now if you are a fully signed up member of the Sir Erec Fan Club.

I’m not saying he cannot win the JCB Triumph Hurdle but, at about Evens, I do think he has to be taken on.

Much has been made of the fact that he has a Flat rating of 109 after finishing a close third to Stradivarius in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day but the form of that slow-run race is suspect to say the least (it was run in a time 14.5 seconds outside standard) and the six runners predictably ended up in a heap after a dash in the home straight.

Switched to hurdles, Sir Erec has twice got the job done at Leopardstown but on the first occasion the son of Camelot did not make a great shape over his hurdles and the second time, early on, he was not much better in the first half of the race despite being allowed to dictate a sluggish pace.

He sprinted away at the end but the other jockeys in the race played completely into his hands.

Sir Erec is going to have to jump a lot slicker this time because the prolific Quel Destin, excellent in that department, will be taking no prisoners.

Quel Destin should make a bold bid but the bet in the race looks the Wilie Mullins-trained Tiger Tap Tap at 10-1 with bet365.

A useful performer on the Flat in Germany, he travelled like the best horse in the race when edged out by Sir Erec over Christmas before disappointing behind him last time - Mullins saying afterwards he had probably been too easy on him beforehand.

I’m happy to put a line through that latest run – he is a strong traveller and was probably completely unsuited by the dawdling pace – and, with his work load also increased, make him a big price to bounce back and confirm the immense promise of that first run when heavily supported in the betting.

Mullins has landed the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle four times since 2010 and fields three runners, with Whiskey Sour (third last year) and Mr Adjudicator looking the pick.

I prefer the younger legs of the latter, who finished runner-up in the Triumph Hurdle last year and had the unenviable task of trying to concede weight to Espoir D’Allen on his return. He arrives here fresh and makes his handicap debut off what could be a lenient mark of 149.

Commander Of Fleet impressed when beating a big field at the Dublin Racing Festival last month and the 7-1 available about him for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle looks big.

He should relish the combination of three miles and soft ground, being a son of Fame And Glory (won a soft-ground Gold Cup at Royal Ascot) out of a dam who won on heavy ground over hurdles.

Caid Du Berlais has plenty going for him at 10-1 in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase – he was a close fifth last year when the very deep ground found him out late on – while Whatswrongwithyou, a novice who promises to be well served by an end-to-end gallop, has all the qualities required for the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase.

My one niggle with the latter is his jumping but if he gets in an early rhythm he could take some stopping.

If you arrive at the final race of the meeting, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, chasing your losses then it might be time to wave the white flag.

The progressive Dallas Des Pictons is undoubtedly the right favourite – he’s won his past two starts and before that chased home City Island at Leopardstown – but I’ll also be trying to end the meeting with a bang via Casa Tall, who is an outlandish 66-1.

Tortured followers of this column will recall (maybe not) that I was sweet on him for the Fred Winter last year at a big price but he looked rusty and in need of a longer trip on what was his British debut.

He’s since continued to operate under the radar but, re-equipped with a hood, ran much better behind a well-handicapped rival at Chepstow last time. He should enjoy moving up in distance and, with the headgear retained, is a massive price to at least make the frame.

How To bet £20 on the support races on Cheltenham Gold Cup:

OPTION ONE:

1.30: Tiger Tap Tap £3 win at 10-1 with bet365

2.10: Mr Adjudicator £2 win at a general 12-1

2.50: Commander Of Fleet £4 win at 8-1 with bet365

4.10: Caid Du Berlais £3 win at a general 8-1

4.50: Whatswrongwithyou £3 win at a general 9-1

5.30: Dallas Des Pictons £2 win at a general 7-2

5.30: Casa Tall £1 win and £1 each-way at a general 66-1

OPTION TWO:

£1 Win Lucky Fifteen (costing £15)

2.50: Commander Of Fleet

4.10: Caid Du Berlais

4.50: Whatswrongwithyou

5.30: Dallas Des Pictons

10p Win Heinz (£5.70 – borrow 70p from a mate)

Above quartet plus:

1.30: Tiger Tap Tap

2.10: Mr Adjudicator

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