As ever, Gold Cup day gets underway with the JCB Triumph Hurdle, in which Defi Du Seuil (1:30) can make it six from six for Philip Hobbs and JP McManus.
Three times a winner here at Cheltenham, he sets a solid standard and, while this looks a potentially strong renewal, he looks a high-class juvenile. In the same ownership Charli Parcs bids to bounce back from his fall in the Adonis, having created a deep impression on his British debut over Christmas.
Another unbeaten hurdler Death Duty (2:50) is fancied to maintain his 100% record in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
Four from four thus far, Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old looks a future Gold Cup horse and the step up to 3m is expected to suit. The concern, or the unknown, is the ground, but I don’t expect it to be an issue and he looks a potential star.
The market looks about right in terms of dangers, with the next four in the market also smart novices in their own right. Of that quintet The Worlds End is an improving young stayer and he can go well at double-figure odds.
This week has been a memorable one for Jamie Codd and he can land the Foxhunter Challenge Cup aboard On The Fringe (4:10) who can complete a remarkable treble in this race, having won it for the past two years.
He might be 12, but he looked as good as ever on his reappearance at Leopardstown last month, in a race that is always used as a stepping-stone to the festival, and Enda Bolger suggests that he has enjoyed a much better preparation this year.