The Cheltenham Festival – Day Three Preview

Who are you backing on St Patrick’s Day at The Festival?

Here is our race by race preview, don’t forget to view all of the fantastic offers from our betting partners at the bottom of the page!

1:30 JLT Novices’ Chase

Nicky’s Henderson Terrefort looks to be the standout in the opener on the third day of The Festival. He was impressive in two victories on heavy ground in France prior to importation, before a fine display in winning the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown last month.

Modus has won three races this season including a Grade 2 at Wincanton, but this step up might be a bridge too far for Paul Nicholls’ horse. Shattered Love’s odds look a tad big on recent form, especially given his Grade 1 win at Leopardstown at the back end of 2017, and he could prove to be a shrewd each-way bet.

2:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle

Gordon Elliot’s Glenloe narrowly heads the betting for this one and has already proved himself on deep ground over three miles. Who Dares Wins should also excel in a strong field on the back of an impressive third-placed finish behind Supersundae in last year’s Coral Cup.

Two interesting each-way fancies are Forza Milan, who was been well rested since finishing second at Newbury at the start of December, and Mine Now, who won the qualifier for this one at 33/1 three months ago.

2:50 Ryanair Chase

It would be some story if the great Cue Card was to triumph in what will surely be his last appearance at The Festival. He is certainly not one to be discounted after finishing a close second at Ascot on tough ground last time out.

Balko Des Flos was excellent in finishing second behind Gold Cup contender Road to Respect over Christmas, while Ruth Jefferson’s Cloudy Dream should benefit from this drop back in trip.

But last year’s winner Un De Sceaux looks a formidable opponent again for this one. Two from two this season and he should be able to handle the increased pace in a competitive field.

3:30 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle

Sam Spinner goes off as favourite given his impressive showing in the Long Walk Hurdle, but while he might not have it all his own way in a very competitive field, he will be very hard to pass if he can control the race from the front.

Unowhatimeanharry finished in a disappointing third when sent off at odds-on last year but the conditions are likely to suit this time around, whilst JP McManus’ other runner Yanworth got the better of the much-fancied Supasundae at Aintree last April.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ duo The New One and Wholestone should outrun their odds, with the latter being an especially fluent traveller with great stamina.

4:10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase

Tully East was victorious in the Close Brothers Novices’ Chase in 2017 and he looks a good bet to record consecutive Festival wins.

Ballyalton was second in that race and looks distinctly over-priced this time around, whilst King’s Socks was narrowly second to Footpad in France last time out and should challenge.

4:50 Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

It will take some effort to beat Laurina in this after imperious displays at Fairyhouse and Tramore. The top-rated horse in the race however is Stuart Edmunds’ Maria’s Benefit, who will look to control the race early on.

Potential challengers to Laurina are Countister who has showed plenty of promise after arriving from France, and Cap Soleil who has won two in three over hurdles.

5:30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

Pendra was second in this race last year and the impressive Derek O’Connor should mean he is in contention once again.

Mall Dini is the current favourite and likely to thrive in a big field, whilst Sugar Baron will look to build on two second-placed finishes so far this season.

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by Matt Gibbs at Rewards4Racing

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