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Award-winning presenter and journalist Lydia Hislop has been an integral part of the Racing TV team since 2004. Lydia’s Road To Cheltenham series has become essential reading for all jump fans. Her Twitter biography highlights that she is prone to obsessions with staying horses plus an annual quest to identify the Melrose winner.

Cheltenham Thursday 
Race 1

3 Galopin Des Champs (FR)
P. Townend | W. P. Mullins, Ireland

5/4

If Bob Olinger is on Galopin’s Des Champs’ tail turning for home, the injection of pace he displayed when winning last year’s Ballymore will be dangerous. But I’m envisaging that Galopin has the race won long before then.

Cheltenham Thursday
Race 2

24 Dunboyne (IRE)
J. W. Kennedy | Gordon Elliott, Ireland

8/1

Although his form figures look unpromising, he was poised to strike when events intervened the last twice. At Leopardstown over Christmas, he got hampered behind a glut of runners before rallying for fifth and it was a similar story last time.

Cheltenham Thursday
Race 2

12 Mill Green
Nico de Boinville | Nicky Henderson

40/1

He was shaping well for a step up in trip when making a chance-ending error three out and yet he still rallied for second. He can make mistakes but he’s managed Cheltenham twice and 33-1 is worth the risk.

Cheltenham Thursday
Race 3

3 Eldorado Allen (FR)
Brendan Powell | Colin Tizzard

14/1

He sat off a strong pace in last year’s Arkle, picking up the pieces for second, and since then has improved for a step up in trip. He arrives fresh from a career-best success in the Denman and that adaptability makes him the best each-way play here.

Cheltenham Thursday
Race 4

4 Klassical Dream (FR)
P. Townend | W. P. Mullins, Ireland

4/1

I’m forgiving his defeat last time because Willie Mullins regrets running him in the Galmoy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul Townend elects to ride him patiently here, as he did when winning impressively at Punchestown last April.

Cheltenham Thursday
Race 5

13 The Glancing Queen (IRE)
Tom Cannon | Alan King

11/2

She chased home L’Homme Pressé in the Dipper last time and also ran creditably behind Telmesomethinggirl in last year’s Dawn Run. She’s taken well to fences and has been allotted a feasible handicap debut mark.

Cheltenham Thursday
Race 5

4 Imperial Alcazar (IRE)
Paddy Brennan | Fergal O’Brien

13/2

Fergal O’Brien understandably flirted with the Turners after this one won over the course and distance here on Trials Day, when the horse jumped superbly. An 8lb rise shouldn’t stop him.

Cheltenham Thursday
Race 6

11 Dinoblue (FR)
M. P. Walsh | W. P. Mullins, Ireland

5/2

I liked everything about her Clonmel debut – she travelled strongly, jumped nimbly and came readily clear. I interpreted it as positive that Willie Mullins stated he didn’t need to run her again before the Festival and he’s got a good record with lightly-raced types in this race.

Picture: Eldorado Allen (Sky Sports)