GORDON Elliott has had a remarkable season. He is set to win his first Irish trainer’s title and is also on course to be crowned leading trainer at this year’s Festival.
Undoubtedly one of his leading fancies this time is Diamond King in this afternoon’s Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Plate (4.10pm).
The nine-year-old was a ready winner of the Coral Cup 12 months ago and needs good ground to be seen at his best.
He looks primed for a big run, but he’s only 5/1 and that is just too short in a race as fiercely competitive as this.
My first selection is TANGO DE JUILLEY for Venetia Williams.
The son of Lesotho has an excellent record fresh and finished second in this race last year. He hasn’t run since then, but that is deliberate.
Williams has won this race three times in the past decade and her horses are in flying form.
Admittedly, this horse would probably prefer slightly softer ground, but it was good when he was second 12 months ago and 3lb claimer Charlie Deutsch is a very talented jockey.
Take the 20/1 each-way with Paddy Power.
Village Vic absolutely loves it around here, although conceding so much weight to his rivals is going to be a very difficult task.
David Pipe has highlighted Starchitect as one of the best-handicapped horses in his yard.
Many thought he would go for Friday’s Grand Annual, but he has been re-routed here.
The yard have taken this contest three times in the past seven years and he has to be respected.
I just can’t bring myself to back any horses at a single-figure price in this so instead recommend an each-way bet on the 10-year-old THOMAS CRAPPER.
He has run well at Cheltenham throughout his career, but has a disappointing win ratio.
Although good ground has always been seen as vital, he hosed up at Newbury two weeks ago on an unfavourable soft surface.
The penalty he got for that win means he’s just sneaked into the line-up and he should go close at 12/1 with Sky Bet.
Tango De Juilley e/w 4.10pm Cheltenham
Thomas Crapper e/w 4.10pm Cheltenham