- Chris Cook’s tips for the final day of the 2019 Festival
- Gambling Commission defends taking no action on BetBright
- Gallery: the Cheltenham Festival in pictures
- And feel free to email Barry or tweet him @bglendenning
Today’s Foxhunter Chase, known as the amateurs’ Gold Cup because it is run over the same course and distance, will take place amid widespread concern that racing’s ruling body is no longer comfortable with amateur participation at the Cheltenham Festival.
The British Horseracing Authority was accused on social media of having an “anti-amateur agenda” after the stewards banned Johnny Barry for 12 days on Thursday in response to his ride in the Kim Muir. Barry’s mount, Drumconnor Lad, was tailed off before falling at the final fence and lying winded for several minutes before rising to his feet. Given that Barry had no hope of reaching a place, as there were 17 others in front of him when his horse fell, sympathy for his position may be limited.
The last race of the Cheltenham Festival is a handicap hurdle for conditional (inexperienced) jockeys. It has been won for the past two years by Gordon Elliott, who worked for Pipe and has said he makes a target of the race. His Dallas Des Pictons, a winner at the Dublin Racing Festival, looks the right favourite, though he has gone up 10lb. Third in this last year, Early Doors might last home a bit better on this drier surface. Representing the Nicholls / Frost team, If You Say Run will find this a lot harder than the mares’ handicap she won in the autumn. Doctor Dex has been progressing at a low level and this is a tough place to start in handicaps. Daybreak Boy is interesting, as a useful Flat racer turned exciting hurdler, who ran away with a Clonmel race in January.