Cheltenham Festival RACING

PREVIEW: Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Festival reaches its fourth and final day this afternoon, with the week of racing reaching its climax with the Gold Cup at 3.30pm

Presenting Percy (4/1), Clan Des Obeux (9/1) and Native River (5/1) are listed as the favourites for the marquee event.

A win for Native River would see the nine-year old retain the title, after winning the Gold Cup last year. If that is to happen, it would be the first back-to-back Gold Cup victory since Best Mate in 2003.

Thistlecrack and Bristol De Mai may be in with an outside chance, but ParkLife Sport’s ‘best of the rest’ pick of the bunch is Willy Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo.

The 3mile 2.5f steeplechase is the most valuable non-handicap race in Britain. Today’s runners are set to pocket a share of £625,000, with the winner set to take home around £350,000 in which is the most prestigious of all National Hunt Chase.

Reporter Liam Potter gives us a full breakdown on all the frontrunners, as Cheltenham gets set for a final day of racing in the town.

For the latest betting tips, check out the video below:

Today’s racing, however, got off to a sombre start with favourite Sir Erec having to be put down after breaking his leg in the opening Triumph Hurdle.

The four-year old became the second horse of the week to die at the festival, after Ballyward suffered fatal injuries in the National Hunt Chase on Tuesday

This year saw the introduction of improved safety measures after six horses were killed on the racecourse at the four-day festival last year. A seventh later had to be put down due to its injuries.

Safety has certainly been improved with two horse deaths out of 498 runners, so far this year, being a marked improvement on the number of deaths at the racecourse. However, there still remains pressure on the racecourse to improve horse safety during the festival week.

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