Cheltenham Day Three Betting Tips And Preview

Two down, two to go. It’s already been a scintillating Cheltenham Festival and we’re only halfway! On Thursday, day three, there is more superb action and horse racing betting to look forward to, including the feature Stayers Hurdle (3.30) and plenty of other exciting Cheltenham betting opportunities. Paul Alster from the Racing Post has our tips for Thursday’s action and if you are a new customer take advantage of our welcome offer below and our daily boosted odds Max Bet £10 and Cheltenham specials on our sportsbook.


 


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CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY THREE SCHEDULE AND BETTING TIPS


 


13:30 - Marsh Novices Chase (Grade 1)


Originally known as the Jewson Novices Chase, then until this year as the JLT Novices Chase, this Grade 1 two-and-a-half-mile contest has proven something of a benefit for Irish raiders during the nine years since it was established in 2011. Seven of the nine renewals have been won by Irish stars, and four of those were trained by Willie Mullins.


The presence of Irish superstars FAUGHEEN and Samcro gives this year’s contest a real edge. Can Faugheen, a former Champion Hurdle winner, really win this top novice chase at the age of 12? The Willie Mullins-trained star has taken very well to the larger obstacles, winning all three chases thus far and was particularly impressive when beating Samcro by 10 lengths in a Grade 1 at Limerick on Boxing Day.


His subsequent battling success at about this trip at Leopardstown last month showed he’s still up for a fight and, despite his advanced years, it will take a good one to stop him. Samcro has a bit to prove and has let the side down too many times for comfort since his brilliant novice hurdle win here back in 2018 and may have to settle for a place at best.


Itchy Feet has been one of the most persistent Cheltenham tips and looks a leading contender for the home team. Last year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle third looks as though he’ll make an even better chaser. He cantered to victory on his chasing bow in a three-runner affair at Leicester but then showed he is a class act in this sphere when outstaying Midnight Shadow (who reopposes here) to land the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices Chase at Sandown last month. He goes well on testing ground and is a big danger to all.


Mister Fisher represents top connections and is not easily cast aside but still has something to prove over fences, but former Champion Hurdle runner-up Melon goes very well here and he may improve for the step up in trip and make his presence felt.


Selection: Faugheen @ 5/1


Next best: Itchy Feet @ 7/2



 


14:10 - Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)


This is always a hugely competitive staying handicap hurdle for which many horses have been targeted at since the end of last season. In recent years those towards the top of the market have dominated with no winner starting at bigger than 14/1 since Holywell’s 25/1 shock success in 2013.


There are a mass of horse racing tips flying around for this race as is always the case, but the staying handicap hurdle at Punchestown last month in which A GREAT VIEW finished third, Relegate was fourth, and Royal Thief was a beaten favourite in fifth could prove the key piece of form. Both A Great View and Relegate stayed on very well without being knocked about and the former is marginally preferred having finished with a flourish in this race 12 months ago to be sixth after being set an almost impossible task.


Relegate, winner of the Grade 1 Champion Bumper here two years ago, is a classy sort and has been popular in the ante-post market for this race. He should be right in the mix along with Royal Thief who could bounce back from his Punchestown disappointment.


Last year’s winner Sire Du Berlais should make a bold bid to double up off a 7lb higher mark having run on nicely into fourth at Warwick last time. Despite top weight, he remains a serious contender, while the former Festival winner and high-class performer Unowhatmeanharry has fallen to a mark that gives him a proper chance despite his advanced years. He was runner-up in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.


Another former Festival winner is Colin Tizzard’s likeable Kilbricken Storm who produced a 33/1 stunner when landing the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle over course and distance two years ago. He’s been in and out of form since then but looked to be on the way back when third at Haydock recently and he’ll revel in the ground off a 2lb lower mark.


Others worth a second glance include the progressive Nicky Henderson-trained Welsh Saint, Jonjo O’Neill’s sparingly campaigned Dream Berry, and at big odds Neil Mulholland’s quirky sort Kansas City Chief.


Selection: A Great View @ 16/1


Next best: Kilbricken Storm @ 14/1



 


14:50 - Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)


Seven of the last 10 winners of this fine Grade 1 event have been locally trained, including last year’s hero Frodon who gave Bryony Frost a victory that will be long remembered. The Paul Nicholls-trained star didn’t show that level of form on his first two starts this campaign but stepped up to score readily last time at Kempton in Grade 2 company. He should make a bold bid to go back-to-back in this race.


Aso ran his heart out when second to Frodon here last year and although he’s not been in the same form since he tends to run his best races at this venue. If he reacts well to the application of first-time blinkers he could easily outrun his odds.


The highest rated horse in the race is the Willie Mullins-trained MIN who just wasn’t quick enough when fifth over two miles in last year’s Champion Chase. He was hugely impressive the following month over this trip when hacking up in the Grade 1 Melling Chase at Aintree and rallied bravely to win the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown in December on his seasonal reappearance, again over this trip.


The drop back to two miles found him out again last time but Min still ran well when second at Leopardstown last month and, on balance, at his optimum trip, he could prove the one they all have to beat.


A Plus Tard won the Listed novice chase here 12 months ago and has already built on that and proven himself a smart performer against seasoned campaigners. He had the pace to win at Grade 1 level over 2m1f at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting and has been saved specially for this race. Still unexposed, he could well command plenty of market support.


Saint Calvados ran a cracker when failing only narrowly in a hot Grade 3 handicap chase here in January giving 15lb to the winner, but this is much tougher, while the very progressive Riders Onthe Storm seeks a seasonal four-timer after his dramatic win in the mud in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase but will need to improve a good deal to maintain his sequence.


Selection: Min @ 5/2

Next best: A Plus Tard @ 7/4



 



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15:30- The Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1)


There may be 15 contenders for this coveted three-mile prize but last year’s winner PAISLEY PARK stands head and shoulders above the rest on ratings and on his performances over the last 12 months.


Unbeaten in his last seven starts, Emma Lavelle’s high-class gelding is rated 12lb clear of the next highest horse on official BHA figures so will have to run some way below his best to be beaten. He usually hits a flat spot in his races which momentarily gives his rivals hope, but the final three furlongs are his strongest as he showed when beating Sam Spinner in this race last year. He has done everything asked of him in his two wins so far this campaign.


Summerville Boy gave Paisley Park a race when second in the Cleeve Hurdle here in January but in the end the winner scored with a bit in hand. Nonetheless, Tom George’s charge looks the one most likely to benefit should the favourite fail to deliver his usual performance.


2018 winner Penhill is no back-number but has quite a bit to find to regain his crown, while the likes of the genuine Emitom and last season’s Grade 1 Ballymore Novices Hurdle winner City Island, who switches back to timber from chasing, are well capable of taking in hand and finishing in the money.


The hugely talented but enigmatic mare Apple’s Jade won in Grade 1 company at this trip at Christmas then ran a stinker last time when pulled up in the Galmoy Hurdle, so it’s hard to know quite what to expect from her this time.


Selection: Paisley Park @ 4/6


Next best: Summerville Boy @ 8/1



 


16:10 - Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3)


Only three horses at single-figure odds have won this in the last decade, and with a 33/1 and a 50/1 shock winner this race looks as much of a puzzle as ever.


Last year’s hero Siruh Du Lac is 9lb higher and has a lot to do having pulled up on his only start this term when well fancied here at the November fixture. It would be quite a training performance for him to double up on the back of that run following a five-month break.


In a wide-open renewal Alan King’s DEYRANN DU CARJAC is suggested as a value bet. It looks significant that connections run him for the first time outside novice chase company in this tough race, and having beaten the subsequent dual winner Pym in good style at Huntingdon in November he has twice been placed in Grade 2 company behind classy performers Champ and Midnight Shadow. He handles conditions and should give supporters a good run for their money.


Oldgrangewood has won each of his last two races by just a short-head so the handicapper has had a tough task assessing him. He has a fine attitude and may still be very competitive despite going up a total of 12lb for those two victories. His stable companion Spiritofthegames, third in this race last year and just 2lb higher should also give a good account of himself.


Simply The Betts is a similar type and has won three of his last four, going up a total of 24lb, but he triumphed in fine style over course and distance last time and will be a popular choice to add another to his seasonal total. The ground might be soft enough for the classy mare La Bague Au Roi, but recent Warwick heavy ground winner Springtown Lake, and Classy Diva, who invariably goes well here, are others who are worth considering in a fascinating event.


Selection: Deyrann Du Carjac @ 14/1


Next best: Simply The Betts @ 7/2



 



 


16:50 - Daylesford Mares Novices Hurdle (Grade 2)


This relatively new race has been staged only four times but on each occasion, the winner has been trained by Irish champion Willie Mullins. The legendary handler saddles four this time, the highest rated being CONCERTISTA, who was beaten a short-head in this 12 months ago by her 50/1 stable companion Eglantine Du Seuil.


The six-year-old has run well on all three starts so far this term without winning but should be at her peak here at a track that clearly suits.


Henry de Bromhead is having a great week and his Minella Melody is the likely favourite having beaten Mullins Coolreevy and Dolcita into second and third when landing a Grade 3 event at Fairyhouse in January. She has every chance of confirming the form with that pair and rates a big danger.


Nicky Henderson is another trainer enjoying a fine meeting and his Floressa will have her supporters. She was slightly hampered when third in a Grade 2 at Doncaster last time but had won two of her three previous outings and was beaten just a short-head in the other.


There’s probably more quantity than quality in this event, but of the remainder, Gordon Elliott’s Mount Ida and her stable companion Ard Abhainn, winner of a Listed mares hurdles last time, may improve enough to figure at the business end of the contest. At bigger odds, a good run from Michael Scudamore’s Ayr winner Rosie And Millie would be no great surprise as she ran very well when failing by just a neck on heavy ground over further last time in a listed event at Haydock.


Selection: Concertista @ 10/1


Next best: Minella Melody @ 11/4



 


17:30 - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders Handicap Chase


With winning odds as short as 10/3 and as long as 40/1 in this race over the last decade, this last event on day three is a tough one to predict. Very often in amateur riders races it is as well to side with an experienced pilot and the top two in the betting in a wide-open contest are partnered by two of the very best in the business; Derek O’Connor, who won this last year; and Jamie Codd, who has won it three times in the last nine years and also won the National Hunt Chase here two days ago on Ravenhill.


O’Connor will partner the Nicky Henderson-trained Champagne Platinum, a class act who was an excellent third in Grade 1 novice company at Sandown last time over 2m4f and shapes as though he will stay the extra three-quarters-of-a-mile. He is equipped with first-time cheekpieces which should help concentrate his mind.


Le Breuil is a thorough stayer who memorably landed last year’s gruelling National Hunt Chase over almost four miles but hasn’t been in the same form so far this campaign. He has come 5lb down the weights though and appears to have been trained with this race in mind, so with the excellent Jamie Codd doing the steering another big effort at this fixture is highly likely.


Alex Edwards is another fine rider who finished second 12 months ago in this race aboard KILFILUM CROSS. Henry Oliver’s charge shaped as though coming to hand when second at Kempton last time, and allotted a mark 1lb lower than last year appears to have a sporting chance of going one better having already shown he can handle the hustle-bustle of this 24-runner field.


Among a host of others for whom a fair case can be made, Gordon Elliott’s Milan Native, hattrick-seeking Deisa Aba, trained by Philip Hobbs, and Henry de Bromhead’s progressive Plan Of Attack are others who could very well get into the argument where it matters most.


Selection: Kilfilum Cross @ 11/1


Next best: Champagne Platinum @ 7/1



 


 ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 12:30 11/03/2020 AND ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS


 


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