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Spectacular Six Timer Hands Ireland Upper Hand As BetBright Cup Heads Into Gold Cup Day

Friday 18th March 2016
Cheltenham Course

A sensational six Irish-trained winners on St Patrick's Day Thursday has seen the Emerald Isle propel into an 11-10 lead in the BetBright Cup, but as we head into a mouth-watering Gold Cup day the British contingent will be hoping that Cue Card or Smad Place can be the catalyst for a comeback, as they go for glory in the blue riband event.

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh yet again spearheaded the Irish onslaught as Black Hercules, Vautour and Limini handed the Closutton team another hat-trick of winners, and with Mall Dini, Empire Of Dirt and Cause Of Causes also landing success for the Irish then their narrow lead has seen them etched in as 11/8 favourites with Sky Bet for the BetBright Cup.

Thistlecrack's breathtaking victory in the Ryanair World Hurdle halted a clean sweep for the Irish, and Colin Tizzard will be hoping that his other stable star Cue Card can notch one on the board for the British, but the home brigade will go into battle as the 9/4 outsiders with Betfred, while a 14-14 ties is also available at 9/4 with various bookmakers.

With no short-priced favourites on Gold Cup Friday, bookmakers will be hoping that they can bounce back from a torrid three days, but the Gold Cup itself will hold a strong Irish contingent with Djakadam, Don Cossack and Don Poli looking a top notch triumvirate to hand Ireland more success.

The JCB Triumph Hurdle will kick off the day and both teams have some useful youngsters lining up at 1:30pm, while the lottery that is the County Hurdle at 2:10pm is not a race either team can hold too much confidence, while Barters Hill and Shantou Village could hold the upper hand for the British in the Albert Bartlett.

However, On The Fringe will be many Irish punter's banker heading into the Foxhunter Chase at 4:10pm, while Squouateur is trained by Gordon Elliott and is another star performer, who could tot another to the Irish tally at 4:50pm in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

All could be won and lost in the Grand Annual Chase, which draws the curtain on the festival at 5:30pm and last year's winner Next Sensation will aim to bring it home for Britain, but while we are expecting a sensational day's racing at Prestbury Park the BetBright Cup should provide an intriguing sideshow.

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