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Friday 18th March Cheltenham Festival race card - Full schedule for Cheltenham Gold Cup day

Jon Wilde in Fri. 17th March 17 Mar 2016
  • Seven races take place on the final day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival
  • We have details of all the contests scheduled for Friday's card
Don Cossack (left) and Cue Card (right) are among the leading contenders for the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

The fourth and final day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival contains the showpiece race of the entire meeting, the Cheltenham Gold Cup which is sponsored by Timico for the first time.

Trainer Willie Mullins has yet to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, although his father Paddy did with the legendary Dawn Run in 1986, so could this be the year when the all-conquering Irishman finally lands the blue riband event?

Here is the full schedule for the final day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival:

1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle – 2 miles 179 yards

The championship for the ‘babies’ of jumps racing, the Triumph has more quality than quantity these days since the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle was introduced. Aidan and Joseph O’Brien are most readily associated with success on the Flat but saddle a leading contender in Ivanovich Gorbatov.

2.10 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle – 2 miles 179 yards

Always one of the most competitive and hotly-contested handicaps of the meeting, a big field of 26 horses just below Champion Hurdle class goes to post for the County. Willie Mullins and J P McManus must always be feared in such events and combine with a potent force in Great Field.

2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – 2 miles 7 furlongs 213 yards

Two years from now some of the runners in this field could be going for the Gold Cup, with Bobs Worth having won both races in 2011 and 2013 respectively. The favourite is likely to be unbeaten Barters Hill, trying to give trainer Ben Pauling a Festival win in only his third season with a licence.

3.30 Timico Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup – 3 miles 2 furlongs 70 yards

The Gold Cup always produces a race to savour and a fascinating story – whose names will be added to the illustrious roll of honour in the Festival’s main event? The Irish have an extremely strong hand with Don Cossack, Willie Mullins duo Don Poli and Djakadam plus Carlingford Lough.

4.10 St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup – 3 miles 2 furlongs 70 yards

As the dust settles after the Gold Cup, the amateurs get their turn over the same course and distance. Most interest by far this year will surround dual Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton, who partners Pacha Du Polder as the culmination of her ‘Switching Saddles’ project.

4.50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle – 2 miles 4 furlongs 56 yards

Now it’s the turn of the young professional jockeys, with trainer Willie Mullins bidding to win this for a fourth time in six years to cap another unforgettable week for the Irish trainer. He saddles four runners this time, but Gordon Elliott’s Squouateur and Paul Nicholls’ Qualando are also well fancied.

5.30 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase – 2 miles 62 yards

A magical week ends with a race that is back to its previous title this year after being temporarily renamed last season to honour the retirement of 20-time champion jockey Tony McCoy. Next Sensation tries for back-to-back wins after thwarting McCoy’s farewell victory bid in 2015.


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Friday 18th March Cheltenham Festival race card - Full schedule for Cheltenham Gold Cup day

The fourth and final day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival contains the showpiece race of the entire meeting, the Cheltenham Gold Cup which is sponsored by Timico for the first time.

Read more »

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