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New boys see glint of gold

Not since War Of Attrition in 2006 has an Irish horse led home his rivals in the Gold Cup and, in the final part of our four-part series, we assess the chances of Irish-trained winners on the final day of next week's Cheltenham Festival.

People are questioning how good a week it's going to be for Irish-trained horses, but as we conclude with Friday's action, there is undoubtedly plenty of potential for a very memorable week for the raiding party.

Day Four

Triumph Hurdle

The only real Irish contender for the opening race on the final day has to be Unaccompanied as Dermot Weld bids to add a second winner to his Cheltenham tally.

The Moyglare Stud-owned mare is by far the best juvenile in this country at the moment and getting a valuable seven-pound allowance should leave her bang there with every chance.

It would be a poor reflection on this year's running should any other Irish runner win the race on the basis of the Irish form this season.

Gold Cup

If we are to have a new name on the Gold Cup this year, the winner will have to see off three previous winners, which is no easy feat, but it would be a sign of younger, fresher legs.

Pandorama and Kempes are two outsiders, according to the bookies, but both hold live claims after their last runs and, considering the doubts over the principals, neither Pandorama or Kempes would be a surprise winner.

With bookmakers who are now non-runner no bet, Pandorama is a great punt as he won't run if the ground isn't suitable and if it's deemed suitable he has to have a great squeak.

Aside from a disastrous outing in the English Hennessy where he was nearly brought down, Pandorama was only ever beaten once in his career and claimed the Lexus at Leopardstown in fine style last time.

Kempes added the Irish Hennessy to his Grade One win at Punchestown (over 3m on good ground) last April.

Willie Mullins' record at Cheltenham is sublime and the horse deserves to take his chance and, at the very worst, could run into a place with a good round of jumping.

County Hurdle

Ebor winner Dirar may have been beaten on his first run of the year on the all-weather just under a fortnight ago, but he is well fancied to add a Cheltenham Festival win to his prestigious Flat success from last summer.

MCR Hurdle winner Final Approach, his stable companions Blackstairmountain and Sir Des Champs are also engaged, while Edward O'Grady's Alaivan are the best of raiding contingent.

Foxhunter Chase

On The Fringe has won three of his five starts in the point-to-point or hunters chase divisions and is probably more progressive than most so has to be deemed hard to beat, although inexperience would be a bother.