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Keith Melrose
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Cheltenham Festival betting tips: Jeremys Flame can shine bright on Friday

There are still three competitive races on Friday's Cheltenham card following the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post provides the best bets.

4.10 Cheltenham

Bob And Co @ 14/1
1pt win

4.50 Cheltenham

Jeremys Flame @ 6/1
1pt win

5.30 Cheltenham

Firm Footings @ 16/1
1pt each-way (five places)

Go with Co

Bob And Co went off just 11-2 for last year's Hunters' Chase, but unshipped owner-rider David Maxwell halfway round. 

This year he teams up with promising amateur Alice Stevens, for new trainer Harry Derham who will have left no stone unturned in preparing his first serious chance at Cheltenham Festival glory as a trainer. 

Derham took Bob And Co from his old boss and uncle, Paul Nicholls, who took this horse to win Punchestown's champion hunter chase in 2021, ahead of Billaway who won this race 12 months ago. 

His talent is therefore undoubted, and mostly because of his spill last year he has not yet had a chance to build on his Punchestown win. 

He is lightly raced for a horse of his age and has run well fresh in the past, so has a sporting chance of upsetting a seemingly strong Irish contingent

Flame can burn brightly 

The market in the Mares' Chase is dominated by Allegorie De Vassy, with Impervious joining the party given the very real prospect of soft ground. 

The former is a huge talent with clear and obvious quirks, so the value could be to look behind them and Jeremys Flame looks best place to spring what would be only a minor surprise. 

Jeremys Flame looked a different proposition on her last run, when she came to Huntingdon and swatted aside Zambella, who would be one of Britain's best mares around this trip over fences. 

Zambella beat the rest that day more or less as she was entitled to, so it makes sense to give Jeremys Flame full credit for that win. 

If she repeats the dose, she has more chance of beating the top two in the betting than the market implies.

End Cheltenham on the right foot 

Spanish Harlem has been a long-time fancy to take out the Martin Pipe for the Mullins yard, who have even secured the services of top conditional rider Michael O'Sullivan. 

However, his head carriage has left a lot to be desired so far and I expect O'Sullivan will have to pull off some tricks to get him home in front, unless the horse has significant amounts in hand. 

Gordon Elliott has a good record in the race named after his mentor and Firm Footings looks to have a strong chance this year. 

This horse looks just the type that excels in this race, a slightly slower developing stayer of the future in the mold of Galopin Des Champs and Sir Des Champs. 

He won at the fourth time of asking over hurdles last time, showing clear improvement and an inclination that he will continue to go forward over longer trips. 

His BHA mark is 4lb higher than what he races off in Ireland, and analysis before Cheltenham suggested that the BHA assessors might have struggled to pin down a lot of horses in that bracket. Firm Footings could be one of them.

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