Conditional Jockeys Hurdle Tips - 4:50pm Cheltenham

The curtain comes down on this years’ festival with a competitive two-and-a-half-mile handicap. There are ten flights of hurdles still to be jumped though and all the big yards are set to be represented here. This race presents a major headache for punters as only one favourite in the last ten renewals has won and and seven of the last ten winners have returned at a starting price of 11/1 or bigger.

The race usually attracts a field of at least twenty runners but in an interesting statistic, six of the last ten winners have won on their most recent start. Willie Mullins is the most successful trainer in the race having landed it three times since the race was established in 2009. Paul Nicholls has also won the race twice and has fared best of the home based yards. No horse aged older than seven has won this race since its inception and nine of the last ten winners had at least been placed on their previous start.

Gentleman De Mee will likely need a few runners to come out to guarantee himself a run in this but he is a five-year-old with a bright future. He won on his stable debut for Willie Mullins last month and is likely to improve for the run. This will be his first foray into handicap company and a first run around the track but he will likely be near the foot of the handicap and make the most of any weight concession he receives.

Galopin Des Champs steps up to two and a half miles for the first time here this afternoon and he wasn’t beaten all that far in a Grade One race won by Appreciate It during the Dublin Racing Festival. A repeat of that effort would certainly see him right in the mix, particularly as he was doing all of his best work in the closing stages

Alaphillipe has stamina in abundance and proved that with a win over an extended three miles at Haydock last month when beating Mr Harp. A very tough and consistent sort, he has not finished outside the first two in any race since making his debut under rules for Fergal O’Brien. Underfoot conditions will prove no obstacle to the seven-year-old and he commands respect.

Fire Attack is clearly held in high regard by Joseph O’Brien and has been at least been placed in Grade Three company. He wasn’t beaten far by Thedevilscoachman in a novices’ race at Punchestown last month and may well fare better on what will be his handicap debut should he get in. A return to this trip is likely to see him fare better and could squeeze a little improvement out of him.

Floeur was not disgraced despite being sent off at a big price on his handicap debut at Navan back in January. He ran a credible sixth of twenty when beaten ten lengths by Damalisque at Navan and can be expected to improve on that. He was a decent sort in his native France before transferring to Cullentra and no surprise if he were to put in a much better performance here.

Gabynako ought to fare better now returning to this two-and-a-half-mile trip. He had looked to be a progressive sort prior to his last run at Leopardstown where he found things happening all too soon. He wasn’t beaten too far by Bob Olinger at Naas back in January and there is nothing of that one’s calibre in here. If Gavin Cromwell can encourage him back to his best, he wouldn’t be without a chance.

Leoncavallo hasn’t been seen in a hurdles race since 2019, so it looks significant that he remains entered even at this late stage. He was far from disgraced in the Cesarewitch when beaten by Great White Shark and Summer Moon. If he retains all of that natural speed and an appetite for hurdling, he may well be capable of getting involved. Others are preferred.

Galopin Des Champs may not have to find as much as initially feared if he improves for this step up in distance. To get within nine lengths of Appreciate It in a Grade One is no mean feat as many out here earlier in the week. With many of these looking rather exposed and him open to a bit of improvement, he is the preferred choice in the finale!

Punters Lounge Tip: Galopin Des Champs @ 7/1 E/W at William Hill - Click Here To Bet

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