Seven horses to back on Day Three.
Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival is here and we have looked into all seven races on Thursday’s card, with a selection in each race.
As always, please remember to gamble responsibly.
1.20 Marsh Novices’ Chase.
Envoi Allen is the most exciting horse in training and – despite his recent stable change – should win easily enough here.
Nevertheless, the bet we like in this race is Willie Mullins’ Blackbow in the ‘betting without favourite’ market. A horse held in high regards at Closutton, he hasn’t quite done it over obstacles since a promising bumper campaign.
However, he is unexposed at the trip and showed signs of promises when a 40/1 third behind Energumene and Franco Du Port. Could easily be the one who chases Envoi Allen home.
Selection: Blackbow w/o fav 11/1 ew.
1.55 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle.
A race where you have to finish in the top six at a qualifier throughout the season to make the final at Cheltenham. Normally pays to keep an eye on horses who qualify in fifth or sixth place as their handicap mark will be somewhat protected.
The Bosses Oscar could be a Grade 1 horse in a handicap and – despite a severe rise in the weights from the British handicapper – Jordan Gainford taking off seven pounds should be enough for him to hit the frame.
Selection: The Bosses Oscar 6/1 ew.
2.30 Ryanair Chase.
A highly competitive renewal of the Ryanair Chase where a number of horses look to have a strong chance. Willie Mullins runs three horses here with Allaho, Min and Melon all having good chances.
We’ve looked for one at a price and two-time Cheltenham Festival winner Samcro seems to be the forgotten horse of the race. Has had a poor season-to-date but the Gigginstown-owned horse comes alive in the Spring and at Cheltenham so represents a solid each-way selection.
Selection: Samcro 12/1 ew.
3.05 Stayers Hurdle.
We put up The Storyteller as an ante-post selection at 20/1 last month and we are sticking with him at the current prices. He was second to Sire Du Berlais in last year’s which was ran two seconds quicker than the Stayers Hurdle over the same distance at Cheltenham.
There is a case to be made that The Storyteller this year has been as good as ever with form figures of 1-1-2-1-1-2-2 since a pulled up effort at Galway. He beat Sire Du Berlais over 3 miles at Leopardstown in a slowly-run race won by Flooring Porter.
His performance last time – when second in the Irish Gold Cup – was arguably a career-best for the 10-year-old. Expect him to be travelling as good as anyone turning in and he should go very close.
Selection: The Storyteller 11/1 ew.
Barry Geraghty AGAIN!!! ☘️
Another brilliant win, this time on Sire Du Berlais!
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 12, 2020
3.40 Paddy Power Plate.
The Shunter is a worth favourite here chasing the £100,000 bonus after winning the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso earlier this month.
However, the preference is for Sully D’Oc AA, who won a Handicap Chase back in October. Should be primed to go well here at an each-way price.
Selection: Sully DOc Aa 12/1 ew.
4.15 Mares Novices Hurdle.
Willie Mullins has won this race every year since its addition to the Cheltenham Festival in 2016. He has another strong hand here but we have a tentative pick in Hook Up.
Ran an impressive fourth behind both Appreciate It and Ballyadam at Leopardstown last time out. While his jumping is a concern, there are only two hurdles in the final six or seven furlongs so it shouldn’t be an issue.
Selection: Hook Up 15/2 ew.
2020 #CheltenhamFestival – day three highlights 🐎
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 14, 2020
4.50 Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
Not a strong view but Mount Ida is one that could potentially be interesting here.
A different mare since moving to fences and should be suited to the step-up in trip here.
Selection: Mount Ida 8/1 ew.
1.20 Blackbow w/o fav 11/1 ew.
1.55 The Bosses Oscar 6/1 ew. (NB)
2.30 Samcro 14/1 ew.
3.05 The Storyteller 11/1 ew. (NAP)
3.40 Sully DOc Aa 12/1 ew.
4.15 Hook Up 15/2.
4.50 Mount Ida 8/1 ew.
Ew Double: The Bosses Oscar & The Storyteller