Thursday 16th March
Cheltenham Festival Day 3 preview
The Favourites Strike Back
Race 1 - 1.30 JLT Novices Chase
This race revolves around Yorkhill and whether his jumping holds up. He jumped poorly in a public schooling in Ireland recently and subsequently everyone has been on his case. Personally I don’t think it will be an issue and whilst last years neptune form hardly took a boost with Yanworth’s dismal effort on Tuesday I expect him to win. Disko is a horse I like a lot and looks a solid each way play given there are just the 8 runners.
Recommended bet : Yorkhill - 10 point win @ 6/4 - Won + 15.0 points
Recommended bet : Disko - 5 points ew @ 6/1 - Placed +5.0 points
Image above : Yorkhill
Race 2 - 2.10 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle
This is one of the toughest races at the festival to size up and cases can obviously be made for a whole number of these. My main fancy is Forgoodmeasure; Phillip Hobbs and JP were desperately unlucky in this race last year and I fully expect him to run really well. He has ran three times at Cheltenham this season, clearly with this in mind and experience on the New course will hopefully prove to his advantage. Clondaw Cian was thought good enough last year for a tilt at the Neptune and ran in a trial here. He wasn’t up to that level but has since won at Cheltenham and 25/1 rates a good ew bet.
Recommended bet : Forgoodmeasure - 5 points EW @ 10/1 - Unplaced -10.0 points
Recommended bet : Clondaw Cian - 5 points EW @ 28/1 - Unplaced -10.0 points
Race 3 - 2.50 Ryanair Chase
I am expecting a really bold show today from Empire of Dirt and whilst the value has well and truly flown away like a low cost airline this could be the day that the race sponsors finally get their gigginstown head in front. Gordon Elliot has had a great week and he was desperate to run him in the Gold Cup. This lofty assessment is good news for Empire of Dirt fans and with the drying ground and small field he should take a bit of beating. The ground will be lovely for the trailblazing uxizandre I just hope they don’t allow him too much rope and Empire of Dirt should be able to show he is potentially top class.
Recommended bet : Empire of Dirt - 10 points win @ 3/1 - Unplaced -10.0 points
Image above : Empire of dirt
Race 4 - 3.30 Stayers Hurdle
Short priced favourites haven’t had a brilliant festival and the drying ground could be the undoing of another one in Unowwhatimeanharry. Having said that he did win the Albert Bartlett on ground described as officially good so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. He has done everything he needs to in order to be a worthy favourite and I personally think he will continue his extraordinary winning run. Jezki and Cole Harden look the main dangers and this race certainly has some depth to it with Shaneshill, Ballyoptic, West Approach and Nichols Canyon all in there too. I wouldn’t be steaming into the favourite but I do think he will win so will just have a small bet on the forecast.
Recommended bet : Unowwhatimeanharry and Jezki - 5 points Reverse Forecast - 3rd and unplaced -10.0 points
Race 5 - 4.10 Brown Advisory Plate
Bouvreil and Sizing Codleco would be my two against the field in this tricky looking contest. Bouvreuil has run cracking races and the previous two festivals and at 12/1 is definite ew value to hit the frame. Sizing Codelco hasn’t fared that well at Cheltenham this year but his run at Ascot when second to Top Notch reads well and is good form. He is pretty low at the weights too and sporting new headgear I think he will run a nice race. There is one at a much bigger price who might make Harry Fry’s day even better and that is Voix D’eau. He is 33/1 and is a Course and Distance winner for the same connections that swooped in the Albert Bartlett last year. I will be having a little interest in him to cause an upset.
Recommended bet : Bouvreuil - 5 points EW @ 14/1 - Placed +12.5 points
Recommended bet : Sizing Codelco - 5 points EW @ 14/1 - Unplaced -10.0 points
Recommended bet : Voix D’eau -2.5 points EW @ 33/1 - Unplaced -5.0 points
Image above : Bouvreuil
Race 6 - 4.50 Mare Novices Hurdle
Let’s Dance can finally give her super power connections something to shout about at this years festival. Blighted by injuries and disappointments lets dance looks a really good thing to take this prize. She has won the last 4 on the spin and many fancied her for the supreme before it was confirmed she was going this route. It’s pretty unimaginative but on a day when I think the favourites will finally start sticking it to the bookies I think she ranks up there as one of the most likely winners of the day.
Recommended bet : Let's Dance - 10 point win @ 13/8 - Won +16.2 points
Race 7 - 5.30 Kim Muir Handicap Chase
Potters Legend (tipped up on this blog on Tuesday) finally runs and has to be of interest at 12/1. Personally I thought the Novices race on Tuesday looked ideal but I’m not a trainer and Lucy Wadham believes this step up in trip that could bring about some further improvement. The form Potters Legend boasts hasn’t stacked up that well so far at the festival but a couple of horses have fallen so it is difficult to assess and certainly not enough to put me off. At a much bigger price Venetien De Mai ran 5th in the Troytown this season and that form looks very strong with Empire of Dirt, Noble Endeavour, Bless the Wings and Cause of Causes all running in that race. He is 25/1 and in my opinion overpriced.
Recommended bet : Potters Legend - 5 points EW @ 16/1 - Placed +15.0 points
Recommended bet : Venetien De Mai - 5 points EW @ 33/1 - Unplaced -10.0 points
Image above : Potters Legend
Yorkhill - 10 point win @ 6/4 - Won
Disko - 5 points ew @ 6/1 - Placed
Forgoodmeasure - 5 points EW @ 10/1 - Unplaced
Clondaw Cian - 5 points EW @ 28/1 - Unplaced
Empire of Dirt - 10 points win @ 3/1 - Unplaced
Unowwhatimeanharry and Jezki - 5 points Reverse Forecast
Bouvreuil - 5 points EW @ 14/1 - Placed
Sizing Codelco - 5 points EW @ 14/1 - Unplaced
Voix D’eau -2.5 points EW @ 33/1 - Unplaced
Lets Dance - 10 point win @ 13/8 - Won
Potters Legend - 5 points EW @ 16/1 - Placed
Venetien De Mai - 5 points EW @ 33/1 - Unplaced
Total Stake : 115.0 points
Total Returns : 111.2 points