Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Tips
It was a tough day for punters on Wednesday but we are confident of bouncing back on Thursday with some strong fancies
We’ll include key information like how we think the race will be run and who we see emerging as the main danger (or dangers)
Marsh Novices’ Chase – Grade 1 2m4f
Pertemps Network Final – Grade 3 3m
Ryanair Chase – Grade 1 2m4f
Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle – Grade 1 3m
Brown Advisory Stable Plate – Grade 3 2m4f
Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle – Grade 2 2m1f
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup – 3m2f
Marsh Novices’ Chase 1.30
I backed Allaho for this race originally as I thought he was tailor-made for it and given how close he went in the RSA you have to think he would have won! So frustrating! With him out the race I’m keen on ITCHY FEET going close for Olly Murphy. He was a smart novice hurdler and ran on well to finish third to Klassical Dream in last year’s Supreme. He has taken well to fences winning by a street at Leicester, jumping well, before putting in an impressive late surge to win going away at Sandown. If he puts in a clean round again here he has the engine to win this. I think the 9/2 on offer at the time of writing is very fair. Samcro has been well backed but has enough to prove after getting thrashed by Faugheen last time. That form doesn’t look good enough to win this race and even with a wind op I wouldn’t be happy to chance. Faugheen has won all three starts over fences but is prone to the odd mistake and I think this is a big step up again on what he’s shown so as much as I love him may well prove vulnerable. Mister Fisher looks the main danger as he showed an impressive change of gear to beat Al Dancer at Doncaster. He can improve again and this test should suit him well. I backed RESERVE TANK ante-post for this race in September but he’s been beaten twice since. He is a bit of a dark horse and if the ground continues to dry out there could be a bit of value in the 22/1 each way.
Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle 2.10
Sire Du Berlais came with a late rattle to win this race last year for Gordon Elliott. Barry Geraghty has been flying this week with 3 winners on the board already and it won’t surprise me if he’s backed again here despite being 7lb higher now. Connections reach for blinkers to replace the cheekpieces and he’ll need to find some spark from somewhere to get competitive again. Stablemate THE STORYTELLER makes much more appeal for me. He landed a gamble in the Plate two years ago and has been targeted at this race putting in an eye-catcher effort to finish sixth and qualify for this at Leopardstown last time. He has Davy Russell in the saddle and should be smothered up early before looking to mount a challenge late on. Our second play in the race is WELSH SAINT for Nicky Henderson. He is lightly raced and showed improved form to open his account over hurdles in tough conditions at Warwick in December. He stepped forward again to chase home Protektorat and Imperial Alcazar over a trip shorter than ideal here in January before returning to winning ways at Haydock last time, relishing the step up to three miles. He is unexposed as a stayer and a 4lb rise seems very fair with the promise of more to come. I can see him being well backed. Our third and final play in the race is SKANDIBURG for Olly Murphy. He is a thoroughly likeable sort who finds plenty for pressure and he showed a great attitude to win at Aintree before coming from well off the pace to score over C&D on New Year’s Day. He has potential over these staying trips and should be bang there at the finish with the cheekpieces back on. There’s a good chance he’ll get outpaced early before staying on strongly to don’t rip up your bet slip if he isn’t going too well early.
Ryanair Chase 2.50
I’m looking forward to seeing A PLUS TARD here for Henry de Bromhead. He has quickly made up into a high-class chaser lowering the colours of Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown last time. He is improving as he gains experience and looks a great bet to follow up. He has that crucial festival form too having routed the opposition to win the Close Brothers last year. He ticks plenty of boxes with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle. Min is the closest in the betting and looks the main danger having won despite jumping errors at Punchestown and then second to Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown. He’s expected to go forward with Aso and Frodon which could help set it up for the selection. The latter obviously won this race last year and is another not to discount lightly. Riders Onthe Storm was probably fortunate to win at Ascot last month but still has a squeak though that did look a gruelling race and he is being turned out quickly for this. I’ll be surprised if anything else managed to get involved and the selection is quite comfortably our best bet of the day. 7/4 looks worth snapping up!
Stayers’ Hurdle 3.30
Paisley Park won this last year and has now won 7 in a row over hurdles. He is a thoroughly likeable stayer who could dominate this division for years to come. Now I’m not saying he won’t win this but at the prices I think I’d rather back one at a price. He can often look beat in his races before powering home and at the odds I’m not keen to experience that rollercoaster. PENHILL has run at Cheltenham twice and won on both occasions. The first was in the Albert Bartlett when he proved too strong for Monalee. He then returned a year later off the back of a 323-day absence to win this race overhauling Supasundae late. He hadn’t been showing much spark this season before catching the eye when well backed at Navan last time. He travelled notably well but just bumped into a rejuvenated Cracking Smart and had to settle for second. If he builds on that again coupled with his impressive Cheltenham record it won’t surprise me if he goes close. 18/1 looks too good to pass up so my recommendation in this race is to back him each way. If Paisley Park does win I’ll be cheering him home as I’m fully behind the story and it would be great scenes for Emma Lavelle and Andrew Gemmell. Dangers include Summerville Boy who chased home the favourite on his first try over this trip here in January. If he can step forward again on that he should run into a place. He can make mistakes though so isn’t one for maximum faith. Emitom looks an improving sort so I expect him to be there or thereabouts too.
Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase 4.10
Our Value Tip is exclusive to the Oddschecker app so click the blue link below and download the app (for free) to see who we’re backing in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. Simply The Betts is a short-priced favourite who we think might be worth taking on at the odds. We landed a 2/1 winner on Monday and had a 33/1 shot Lamanver Pippin place on Tuesday so it’s been profitable to follow this week.
Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle 4.50
Our second strongest bet of the day runs in this race and I’ll be hoping MINELLA MELODY can cap off a great day for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. She is a tough, improving mare who stays further so she’ll want to make this a proper test. She has the strongest form on offer after beating Colreevy and Dolcita in a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse last month and has plenty going for her coming into this. Concertista looks the danger for Willie Mullins. She ran a huge race following 21 months off the track when touched off in this race last year and caught the eye running well when third on handicap debut at Leopardstown last month. She should put up some resistance. At a bigger price I thought Ard Abhainn could possibly run into a place as she ran with plenty of promise when beaten 2 lengths by the selection at Punchestown and improved again to win convincingly at Thurles. A lot like the selection she has potential to do better. It’s a race I’m looking forward to as it looks a decent renewal.
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap 5.30
Any Second Now won this in good style last year under Derek O’Connor. JP McManus throws two darts at the race this year in Fitzhenry and CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM. The latter looks likely to go off favourite for Nicky Henderson. He was a dual winner over hurdles last season and while he hasn’t exactly transferred that ability over fences it’s still early days and he wasn’t entirely disgraced in the Scilly Isles last time. The step up to this trip should really help and I’m expecting a big run with the cheekpieces on off a mark of 138. Connections have already endured a brilliant week and it could get better yet. My second selection in the race is KILFILUM CROSS for Henry Oliver. He finished runner-up in the race last year off a 1lb higher mark and comes into this off a decent effort at Kempton, finishing second to an improver in Legal Eyes. He could be set for another big run! Our final selection in the race is DEISE ABA for Philip Hobbs. He hacked up in a match at Catterick and proved that form to be pretty useful when staying on strongly to win a fiercely competitive handicap at Sandown last month. There was a lot to like about the way he jumped that day and with further improvement on the cards he looks a lively each way contender. The extra yardage will play to his strengths too and he has a very good chance of going close. Obviously dangers are a plenty in a race like this and Le Breuil could go well for Ben Pauling with Jamie Codd in the saddle. His end target is the Grand National but he hasn’t shaped badly in the Becher and Classic Chase this season so comes into the reckoning. Plan Of Attack is the other one I fear after finishing third to Roaring Bull at Leopardstown. He should be suited to a test like this and holds solid claims.
Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Selections ADD OUR DAY 3 DAILY DOUBLE STRAIGHT TO YOUR BET365 BET SLIP
Marsh Novices’ Chase 1.30 Itchy Feet and Reserve Tank
Pertemps Network 2.10 The Storyteller, Welsh Saint and Skandiburg
Ryanair Chase 2.50 A Plus Tard NAP
Stayers’ Hurdle 3.30 Penhill LONGSHOT
Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate 4.10 Value Tip (on Oddschecker)
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle 4.50 Minella Melody NEXT BEST
Kim Muir Challenge Cup 5.30 Champagne Platinum, Deise Aba and Kilfilum Cross