CHELTENHAM DAY FOUR TIPS: Alan Thomson, former racing editor of the Daily Record, fancies Alaivan, Puyol, Tell Massini, Kauto Star and Tartak will produce for punters on the final day.
TELL MASSINI (2.40) looks the answer to the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle as punch-drunk punters try to bounce off the ropes on the final day of the Festival.
Tell Massini comes here defending an unbeaten record and clearly possesses a powerful engine when his stamina kicks in. Probably his best effort came at Cheltenham’s November fixture when he whipped Reve De Sivolo, who gave the form a very solid look by splitting Peddlers Cross and Rite Of Passage in Wednesday’s Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle. Any overnight rain will assist his cause.
The Irish could dominate the finish of the Triumph Hurdle with ALAIVAN (1.30) taken to reverse Leopardstown Boxing Day placings with Carlito Brigante. Edward O’Grady’s youngster probably ran well below his best that day and has looked a real machine in his other races. Carlito Brigante trotted up at Musselburgh last time and third horse Orsippus (beaten 15 lengths) ran out of his skin in Wednesday’s ‘Fred Winter’ when finishing third to easy winner Sanctuaire.
PUYOL (2.05) should run well at a big price in the County Hurdle if reproducing his Leopardstown victory in a 30-runner handicap in January. Puyol hunted up Dunguib at Punchestown in November and this better ground could eke out some more improvement. Philip Hobbs has enjoyed a terrific three days and Oldrik is lurking at the foot of the handicap after commendable efforts in the Paddy Power Imperial Cup and the Totesport Trophy.
KAUTO STAR (3.20) has the Gold Cup at his mercy unless heavy rain turns the going soft but the Grand Annual, which brings down the curtain on a fantastic Festival, is a much more open affair.
TARTAK (5.15) can complete a memorable day for Tom George (who also saddles Tell Massini) after being set some tough tasks this winter.