Tony Keenan’s Cheltenham Day Four tips
Proven Lagostovegas can embellish Willie Mullins’s record in County Hurdle
Lagostovegas, with Conor Hoban up, on their way to winning the Shabra Charity Handicap at Leopardstown. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images
1:30 – Mr Adjudicator
One of the challenges of Cheltenham is rating the respective quality of the UK and Irish novices that haven’t run against each other prior to the meeting. Veneer Of Charm winning the Fred Winter offered a hint that the Irish four-year-olds may have an edge yet it is UK-trained runners that dominate the market which makes Mr Adjudicator appealing. Though hardly bred for the job, his trainer has a habit of getting horses to outstay their pedigree and he was strong at the finish in a well-run Spring Juvenile Hurdle, the overall time faster than Samcro over the same track that day.
2:10 – Lagostovegas
Willie Mullins has won the County Hurdle four times, the depth of quality in his yard meaning he can run a graded class animal in this handicap. Both Sandsend and Whiskey Sour fit that profile and hold leading chances but perhaps Lagostovegas is the pick. Proven in big-field handicaps on the flat, the ground has come right for her and she should improve for the outing last time, form that was boosted by run of Identity Thief in the Champion Hurdle.
4:50 – Early Doors/Diese Des Bieffes
Winners of the Martin Pipe often go on to Grade One success subsequently but Early Doors actually brings top-level form into the race; his second in the Royal Bond looks decent in light of Mengli Khan’s Supreme third and he could prove better than a mark of 142. Diese Des Bieffes is the pick of the home team, his last run working out well, and like Early Doors with JJ Slevin, he has the benefit of one of the more experienced jockeys in the field with James Bowen booked.
Tony Keenan writes a weekly Irish racing tipping column for Betfair as well as data-driven racing analysis on Geegeez.co.uk.