Cheltenham Festival Day Three: Stayers Hurdle, Ryanair Chase tips and more


Well, we are now halfway through this wonderful showcase and we are ready for the penultimate day of the Cheltenham Festival, writes Bob Cross.

The wet weather yesterday has made me rethink today’s selections, so here we go.

First up, it’s the Turner Novices Chase at 1.30pm. Disappointingly there are only four competitors for this valuable race – and they are all from Ireland. Like yesterday’s bumper, it appears to be a two horse race. I am going to side with Bob Olinger, who looked a class above everything in the division until Galopin Des Champs took a fence, and threw down a genuine challenge. I am taking Galopin Des Champs to finish second for the forecast.

At 2.10 we have the Pertemps Network Final. With some of the bookies offering eight places I am going to select a couple of horses who offer good each way value. Davy Russell Partners Sassy Yet Classy in this answer. Although she has never raced on British soil, she has a higher rating in Britain than Ireland.

The sun is rising on Day Three of Cheltenham

Despite this, she goes on any ground and has already won over three miles. The Jam Man was not disgraced when running in the Grade 1 Stayers Hurdle here in 2020. He should find the competition a bit less talented here and a big run is expected.

In the The Ryanair Chase at 2.50pm, the two and a half mile trip appears to be absolutely perfect for Allaho (nap). The speed shown by the gelding when winning this event last year was frightening. A similar performance will surely ensure he will retain his crown from him.

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At around 33/1 I am going to have a speculative each way shilling on Mr Fisher . There is no doubting his ability but his attitude is suspect! Here is hoping today is a going day.

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The feature race at 3.30 is the Stayers Hurdle. This looks, to me, to be the race of the Festival. A case can be made for all ten competitors. With some bookies paying four places I am going to have an each way wager on Paisley Park – a previous winner of this race. Since winning this race last year, Flooring Porter , you have only finished one race. I do believe he has been set up entirely for this race and he is another who can retain his title from him.

At 4.10, the Craft Irish Whiskey Handicap Chase is off. The improving eight year old, Imperial Alcazar , can land this. He won here on trials day by ten lengths and he went up eight pounds for that success but that burden may well be within his capabilities.

Each way selection is Adrimel. After being pulled up here last year, it took him a while to get himself back together. Subsequently he won in December then in February this year and appears to have recovered his mojo.

The penultimate race of the day comes at 4.50pm in the Mares Novices Hurdle. Willie Mullins has won five of the six previous renewals and my win and each way selections are both in his care of him. dinoblue was really impressive when winning by fifteen lengths at Clonmel in January. Assuming she will come on for that run, she will be hard to beat here.

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Rachel Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore takes the ride on the Kenny Alexander owned mare, Heia . Of course this team paired up to land the Champion Hurdle with the wonder mare Honeysuckle. At around 25/1 Heia warrants an each way investment.

We finish the day with the Kim Muir Handicap Chase at 5.30pm. Again some bookies are paying six places so we go again for two each way selections. Chambard you have shown plenty of talent and Lucy Turner greats a great tune from him.

Come on Teddy has competed at a higher level than this and this may just be the perfect race for this improving eight year old.

Good luck!

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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