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“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

The Pharaoh of Galway breaks his quarantine to give his tips

Peter O'Tool

Peter O'Tool


The top Irish Tipster and irregular commentator for Raceweb, Peter O’Tool, aka The Pharaoh of Galway, has managed to smuggle out his Gold Cup day tips, from his quarantined quarters in Barbados. Having never missed a Gold Cup meeting before, his frustration at a constant diet of rum and pineapple, various types of Prawn, Snapper and Chicken, can only be imagined. His current lockdown conditions, apparently prevent him from returning to these shores and have all conspired to impact on the O’Tool frame. His golf handicap, (he is allowed a maximum of 76 holes a week at Sandy Lane), has increased, alongside his waistline, and only the long walk to The Federal bookies on Hinks Street, by the fish market, or The Tote on Marhill Street help clock up the steps on his pedometer and off the Golf buggies.

Here are his thoughts:

13:20 JCB Triumph Hurdle

The hot favourite Zanahiyr is the most likely winner but is at very skinny odds and he faces a couple of other hotpots in Quilixios and Tritonic. Qillixios represents the all-conquering Blackmore & de Bromhead team, and has posted some excellent time figures. Tritonic was a top-class flat horse and looked visually impressive when The most likely outcome is that these three will be the first three past the post.

Those looking for a more speculative each/way odds should consider Adagio. He landed the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial so we know he likes Cheltenham and he progressed to gain an RPR of 143 next time out at Chepstow. He will need to improve further to separate the three hot pots but he just might do that.

13:55 McCoy Contractors County

26 runners in this race and I could pick out half of them and still not find the winner. I think Belfast Banter, Cayd Boy, Éclair De Beaufeu, You Raised Me Up and Ganapathi are among the most likely but I don’t want to get too deeply involved.

I have had a small bet on Mengli Khan who looks overpriced at 50-1. He has finished third twice at the festival – behind Summerville Boy and Kalashnikov in the Supreme in 2018 and in 2019 in JLT behind Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation. He is now with Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows and with Nico de Boinville taking the ride he must come into consideration. I am also interested in Ciel De Niege who will appreciate the better ground and may improve for first-time cheekpieces.

14:30 Albert Bartlett Novices

I like Streets Of Doyen for this. His 5L defeat of Flooring Porter at Gowran Park last year on good ground was already eye-catching form – even before Flooring Porter’s stunning victory in the Stayers Hurdle today. He also beat Minella Encoree over C&D last October so he’ll do for me.

15:05 WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup

Al Boum Photo is a tough adaptable horse. Well suited by the strong pace in 2019 he won impressively. Last year there was a slow muddling pace but he still found a way to win. I think it will be a truer run race and I think he will complete the hat-trick. Lots of other options and I will be having a little each-way on Santini who came so close this year. Nico has gone with Champ who may have improved for a wind-op but I like Aidan Coleman and I am hoping the visor might sharpen up Santini.

15:40 St. James Place Festival Challenge Cup

I can’t get excited about this race with many of these having their first attempt at a Hunter Chase and a surprise winner would not be a surprise. Given Nicholl’s record in the race and his strong RPR I think Bob And Co is certain to go close. Mr Mantilla, a very successful pointer, could be anything and is a good price. Red Indian finished sixth in the 2018 Coral cup and has apparently regained his mojo in point to points recently.

16:15 Mrs Paddy Power Mares

Not too interested in this one either. Willie Mullins has five in it and one of them will probably win.
Zambella might sneak a place at decent odds.

16:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’

Galopins Des Champs caught the eye when running well behind Appreciate It but the market seems to indicate that Gentleman De Mee is the more fancied of Mullin’s runners. My money will be on Gavin Cromwell’s Gabynako who has solid form – if you ignore his last run when a bad mistake affected him. I also want to have an interest in Eglantine Du Seuil who is a festival winner beating Concertista and Black Tears in the Dawn Run in 2019. She is still only seven and if the recent wind surgery brings back heer old sparkle she is great value at 25-1.

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