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Day Four at Cheltenham - Who ex-Premier League players would back in the Gold Cup

Sadly, the amazing spectacle of the Cheltenham Festival eases to a close on Friday, but the final day brings in arguably the biggest race of the entire event – the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It's one of the toughest races to win of the entire racing calendar and picking a winner from the traditionally open field is a real tough prospect.

Whom better then to challenge to pick their winning mounts than some of the best players to have graced the English Premier League in recent years? Well, probably loads of people, but we asked them anyway 

[Disclaimer: We did not speak to former Premier League players. This is a bit of fun. A parody. As real as West Brom's hopes of survival.]

Luis Suarez - Might Bite @ 70/1

We took a plane over to Barcelona to ask the former Liverpool Legend Luis Suarez for his opinion. “I think I of course should go for 'Might Bite' at 4/1,” said the fang-toothed fiend. “It is the favourite, so well worth a nibble. I would be cautious though – don't shove your entire day's wages on it, you don't want to bite off more than you can chew!”

Fernando Torres -  Definitely Red @ 10/1

As we were already in Spain we took a taxi down to Madrid to meet up with another former Anfield favourite, Fernando Torres, who is currently not scoring many goals for Atletico. When asked about the prospects for the race Torres said. “For me, as a reflection of whom I am, I will go for 'Definitely Red' at 10/1. 

I remember my days at Liverpool, when I was 'definitly' red. I loved the club, I loved the supporters, I loved my teammates, I loved every single aspect of the wonderful Liverpool football club. Then I signed for Chelsea because I loved the wages they offered me.”

Joey Barton -  Road to Respect @ 12/1

We'd eaten our fill of paella by now and decided to head back home to Manchester for a word with ex-Manchester City and Newcastle United 'footballer' and single England cap winner (which many pundits reckon is still far, far too many) Joey Barton. The deeply religious Barton is known to eschew gambling in all forms, but we still persuaded him to stump up a selection. “It's gotta be 'Road to Respect' at 12/1 ain't it?” he said. 

“Respect is very important in all walks of life, and I'm lucky that I've got bags of it as I respect everyone. Except David Beckham, I don't respect him. Oh and Neymar, I don't respect him. And Thiago Silva, don't respect him. And Javier Pastore, don't respect him. And Frank Lampard, don't respect him. And ...”

Gary Lineker -  Shantou Flyer @ 100/1

We left Mr Barton to ramble on for another four hours or so before heading down to London and the Match of the Day studios to catch up with ex-Leicester City, Everton, Tottenham and England goal-hanger Gary Lineker. “I'll have to go for Mr Crisp,” said the famously jug-eared d'Artagnan look-a-like. 

When we pointed out that Mr Crisp was a thoroughbred born in 1971 and not likely to feature prominently in the reckoning, the savoury snack obsessed one grew angry and said “Well in that case why not go for Shantou Flyer at 100/1? And I'll tell you what, if it wins I'll present every episode of Match of the Day next season in just my pants!”

We hope for the well-being of Match of the Day fans everywhere that Shantou Flyer is a non-runner. 

Best Bet 

As for ourselves, we'd have to go with Mr Suarez and place a pony on Might Bite. We hope it makes as much an impression on the rest of the field as the Uruguayan's gnashers did on Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder.

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