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Cheltenham Festival tips: Best value bets for Gold Cup day on Friday March 17

It's been a fine week for Matt Brocklebank so far with Cheltenham Festival winners at 25/1 and 11/1 - don't miss his Gold Cup day preview and tips.

  • The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK and Ireland.
  • Following all of Matt’s tips to advertised stakes/odds since he took over from Ben Linfoot in June 2020 would have produced well over 100pts profit.
  • His winners this year include Aucunrisque in the Betfair Hurdle at 14/1, Saturday’s 11/1 Wolverhampton pick Dubai Station, Wednesday's Grand Annual winner Maskada at 25/1, and Stage Star at 11/1 on Thursday.

Value Bet tips: Friday, March 17

1pt win Magnor Glory in 2.10 Cheltenham at 18/1 (Coral) - NON-RUNNER

1pt win Might I in 5.30 Cheltenham at 10/1 (General)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Already advised antepost

Cheltenham Gold Cup day doesn't always lend itself to being particularly punter-friendly and that looks the case again this Friday, certainly when it comes to the meeting’s feature race as the pieces of the puzzle have largely all been in place since the Dublin Racing Festival well over a month ago.

It would be surprising if the now extremely mature market didn’t have things just about spot-on by this stage and it’s hard to argue that anything is wildly out of line with what you might expect.

I’ve been sweet on Stattler for the race for a little while and won’t be dissuaded by what unfolded in the Irish Gold Cup, while the chance of more swirling showers through Thursday evening and into raceday itself would – in theory – possibly help the giant son of Stowaway bridge an eight-length gap with stablemate Galopin Des Champs from their early-February clash at Leopardstown.

Old mate Noble Yeats is the one I like from the Cotswold Chase and I’d expect him to improve quite a lot on that bare form from Trials Day, but all the while we’ve got Betfair Chase flop and reigning Gold Cup champ A Plus Tard lingering in the shadows, and if he’s suddenly back to peak form for Henry De Bromhead then there’s an argument to suggest he should be right up at the head of the market.

I’ll sit it out at this stage and hope the long-range bet on Stattler hits the target, but expectations aren’t exactly sky-high, it has to be said.


There are better bets to be had elsewhere on the card, although I’ll have to rely on the antepost position on Sandor Clegane in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle too as the ground looks to have just gone against David Pipe’s outsider Thomas Mor (50/1 or thereabouts at time of publication), who had crept onto the shortlist after the horse he hammered in an Ascot handicap last month – the pair 13 lengths clear of the third – hacked up at Warwick on Sunday.

The JCB Triumph looks a race best left to Willie Mullins and many might put the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle into the same bracket, although you’ve got to be looking to take on a horse like Hunters Yarn purely on his lack of handicap experience.

We saw with Dinoblue on Wednesday, and others throughout the history of the meeting, that being obviously well-treated isn’t necessarily enough in these competitive handicaps, and of all the Mullins brigade in here I’d prefer the claims of top-weight Sharjah, who looks to have been done a bit of a favour by the British assessors.

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He’s bound to go close off 155 if getting the splits but at a bigger price I'm drawn to the profile of MAGNOR GLORY for trainer Terence O’Brien, who has had just three runners so far this month, two of whom have won (11/1 and 6/1).

O’Brien is 0-3 with his runners at Cheltenham but a couple of those finished third (including Articulum at 25/1 in the 2019 Arkle) so I’m intrigued by Magnor Glory having his first start since the end of September, particularly as his record after a layoff of 50 days or more reads 15111.

He absolutely dotted up when last sighted, beating a host of quality hurdlers and subsequent winners like Fils D’oudairies, My Mate Mozzie, Dads Lad and Effernock Fizz.

It was one of the first big prizes Michael O’Sullivan landed over in Ireland when still claiming 7lb and it’s obviously a huge plus to see he’s maintaining the partnership with what looks quite a quirky horse at Cheltenham.

He’s up to a career-high mark of 136 over here but was raised to 134 by the Irish handicappers anyway so doesn’t appear to have been treated that harshly at all, and if it’s not hit home yet that O’Sullivan is a complete steal still getting the 3lb then you’ve presumably spent all week under a rock.

A strong traveller who might have ideally wanted genuine spring ground to be seen at his very best, he is a son of Fame And Glory and has actually won on soft – by 16 lengths no less – at Wexford a couple of years ago, so I’m willing to look beyond the conditions.

He’s also won over two and a half miles so you’d expect him to be coming home strongly and if his super-cool rider can play his hand as late as possible off the guaranteed strong gallop then we could be in business.


The other big betting race is the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and it’s MIGHT I – another son of Fame And Glory, who has enjoyed Festival success in the past as a sire courtesy of The Nice Guy and Commander Of Fleet – who appeals above anything else.

Harry Fry has been extremely patient with this horse who has presumably not been the easiest to train, and he spoiled any chance he might have had of staying three miles when racing far too freely in a valuable handicap over that longer trip at Haydock in November.

The fact he went off the 100/30 favourite that day shows just how well treated he looks on the pick of his novice form with the likes of Constitution Hill, Jonbon and Three Stripe Life from last year, and he’s only 3lb higher now despite a cracking effort when just run out of it by Hacker Des Places over two miles and one furlong here on Trials Day.


The third Pikar has franked that form with a subsequent success back in novice company at Warwick and he was over three lengths adrift of the front two, who fought out a terrific finish.

Hacker Des Places, another progressive type who has more to offer, sat much handier and ultimately got first run on Might I, whose effort can be upgraded quite considerably as he came from near the back of the pack.

The relatively experienced Lorcan Murtagh might well still be ruing not getting up on that occasion, losing by a neck, but he’s got a good record on this horse in general and is backed to gain compensation on the biggest stage.

Preview posted at 1600 GMT on 16/03/23

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