Day-Three Cheltenham Festival Analysis And Tips

The shock defeat of Douvan in the Champion Chase was the main headline of day-2 of the Champion Chase, but Noel Fehily wasn’t complaining as he rode the winner of the feature race for the second day running. Fehily also has an outstanding chance of making it a big race hat-trick aboard Unowhatimeanharry in Thursday Stayers’ Hurdle.

We’ve tips for that race as well as the JLT Novices Chase, The Pertemps Final, The Ryanair Chase, Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, The Mares Novices Hurdle, and the Kim Muir.

JLT Novices Chase 1.30

6-Year-Trends

  • Ireland have won 5 of the 6 renewals, England 1
  • Willie Mullins has trained 3 winners
  • Ruby Walsh has ridden 2 winners
  • Four winners have been aged 7, two aged 6
  • SPs have ranged from 6/4 to 20/1
  • Winners ran 32 to 54 days previously

Summary

The Irish runners have fared best in the 6 previous runnings of this race, and this year’s Irish challenge is headed by last year’s Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle winner Yorkhill, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh. The form of that race has taken a few knocks this week with heavy defeats for runner-up Yanworth and third-placed Itsafreebee, but Yorkhill looked awesome in a recent schooling session at Leopardstown. The other Irish runner with an obvious chance is Disko, and he may well put the pace to the race after he was an impressive winner last time when he made the running. Top Notch looks the best of the English runners, and he’s already been placed in the Triumph Hurdle here in 2015, whilst he was also fifth in last year’s Champion Hurdle, and he look sure to go well. Politilogue also looks sure to put-up a bold performance as his jumping has looked out of the top-drawer so far this season, and he could make them all go on the quickest ground he’s ran on this season. Meanwhile, Flying Angel was placed in last season’s Coral Cup, and may attract some each-way money.

Tips

Win Bet: Yorkhill @ 11/8 (Bet365)

Each-way Value: Flying Angel @ 16/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 3 places

 

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle 2.10

10-Year-Trends

  • England have won 9 renewals, Ireland won the last one
  • SPs ranged from 9/2 to 25/1, with 8 winners returned 14/1 or bigger
  • Winners were rated 129-148
  • Winners carried between 10-4 and 11-12
  • Winners were aged 6 to 10, with four aged 8 and three aged 6
  • Winners ran 12 to 61 days previously

Summary

A really tight renewal of this 3-mile handicap hurdle, and only 10lb separates the top and bottom horses. Phillip Hobbs saddles 3 runners, with 2014 winner Fingal Bay absolutely thrown-in off an 8lb lower mark and with a 7lb claimer on board, though he’s not been at his best of late. Golden Doyen and For Good Measure also both have chances, having been placed at Cheltenham earlier in the season, and Richard Johnson rides the latter. However, the fairtytale story would be victory for Tobefair who bids for an 8-timer having gone up 62lb in the handicap since that winning run started. Meanwhile, Electric Concorde is interesting for Jim Culloty, though Jury Duty and Presenting Percy are the two lowest-priced Irish runners.

Tips

Win Bet: For Good Measure @ 10/1 (Bet365)

Each-Way Value: Electric Concorde @ 22/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 5 places

 

Ryan Air Chase 2.50

10-Year-Trends

  • England have won 9, Ireland won the 2016 renewal
  • Ruby Walsh has ridden 2 winners
  • Winners last ran 28 to 82 days ago
  • Winners have been aged 6 to 10, three of the last four have been aged 7
  • SPs have ranged from evens to 16/1, with six priced at 6/1 or less

Summary

Un De Sceaux is rated 7lb superior to the 2015 winner Uxizandre and the Gigginstown pair of Empire Of Dirt and Sub Lieutenant, and he should stay this 2-mile 5-furlong trip now Ruby Walsh has managed to get him settled better. Uxizandre could put him under pressure early though, as he led all the way under an inspired Tony McCoy ride here in 2015. However, whether Alan King’s 9-year-old goes as well for Mark Walsh as he did for McCoy is doubtful. The rest are probably hoping that Uxizandre pressurises Un De Sceaux into going too fast too early and, if that happens, Empire Of Dirt may be able to give owner Michael O’Leary a first win in the race that his Ryanair company sponsor. Alary and Aso look up against it on what we’ve seen so far, but Josses Hill and Vaniteux have been placed at previous festivals and aren’t completely without a chance with the Nicky Henderson horses generally going well.

Tips

Win Bet: Un De Sceaux @ 5/2 (Bet365)

Each-Way Value: Vaniteux @ 22/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 3 places

 

Stayers Hurdle 3.30

10-Year-Trends

  • England have won 9 renewals, Ireland 1
  • Winners have been aged 6 to 9
  • 8 winners won last time out
  • Winners ran 47 to 89 days previously
  • Ruby Walsh has won 4 renewals, all were on Big Bucks
  • SPs of winners ranged from 5/6 to 14/1

Summary

England tend to dominate this, and Unowhatimeanharry looks a worthy favourite after beating most of the re-opposing English contingent this season. That includes the slightly unlucky Ballyoptic, whilst he gave Cole Harden 8lb and a beating last time, though that one will love decent ground and won the race in 2015 with a bold front-running ride. Lil Rockerfeller also has place possibilities, but is another who has finished well-behind the favourite in the recognised trials. Meanwhile, Ruby Walsh has chosen to ride Nicholls Canyon who, having been placed in a Champion Hurdle, looks well worth stepping-up in trip after looking out-paced over shorter by Champion Hurdle third Petit Mouchoir on his last two starts. Walsh’s decision suggests he thinks stablemates Shaneshill and Clondaw Warrior are inferior, which also suggests Snow Falcon may also struggle. However, Ireland have another potentially interesting contender in the shape of former Champion Hurdle winner Jezki. The form of his latest run behind Tombstone was let down by that horse yesterday, but his trainer Jessica Harrington trained the winner of that race.

Tips

Win Bet: Unowhatimeanharry @ 11/8 (Bet365)

Each-Way Bet: Nicholls Canyon @ 11/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 3 places

 

Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase 4.10

10-Year-Trends

  • England have won 9 renewals, Ireland 1
  • David Pipe and Venetia Williams have both trained 3 winners
  • Tom Scudamore has ridden 2 winners
  • SPs of the winners ranged from 9/2 to 66/1
  • Winners ran 5 to 117 days previously
  • Winners ere rated 125 to 145
  • Winners carried 10-5 to 11-7, 9 carried less than 10-12
  • Winners were aged 6 to 11

Summary

The Gordon Elliott trained Diamond King looks a worthy favourite as he’s just 1lb higher than when dotting-up over hurdles in last year’s Coral Cup. However, English runners have fared best. Venetia Williams has won 3 of the last 10 renewals, and her Cold March was inspired by blinkers when winning last time. However, she may have a better chance with last year’s runner-up Tango de Juilley, who is just 1lb higher this time around and has been saved specifically for this race. However, all of those runners are rated higher than ideal. Another trainer who targets this race is David Pipe, and Starchitect looks on a useful mark of 143 on his chasing handicap debut on his hurdles form, and he carries less than 10-12. Thomas Crapper also looks well-in with a penalty after a demolition job last time out at Newbury, but he has had chances off similar marks at Cheltenham this season. Therefore, the each-way bet in the race may be Henryville, who is rated 11lb lower over fences than he was when fourth over hurdles at the 2015 Festival.

Tips

Win Bet: Starchitect @ 13/2 (Bet365)

Each-Way Bet: Henryville @ 28/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 4 places

 

Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle 4.40

1-Year-Trend

  • Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh teamed-up to win the only renewal so far with the 8/11 favourite Limini

Summary

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh team-up with Let’s Dance in a bid to follow-up last year’s success with Limini, and she looks to have a solid favourite’s chance after 4 consecutive wins, including against the opposite sex last time. Mullins also saddles the unbeaten Airlie Beach with Paul Townend on board, though the form of the Mullins horses is a bit of a concern after even the mighty Douvan got beat on Wednesday. Ireland’s other big hope is Forge Meadow and, with the Harrington stable winning Wednesday’s Coral Cup, she looks the best bet in the race. The English runners shouldn’t be dismissed though with unbeaten hurdler La Bague Au Roi highly-regarded by trainer Warren Greatrex. However, each-way players may be tempted by last year’s runner-up Dusky Legend who, despite having a few pounds to find, seemed ideally suited to the hustle and bustle of the Festival last year.

Tips

Win Bet: Forge Meadow @ 10/1 (Bet365)

Each-Way Bet: Dusky legend @ 33/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 3 places

 

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase 5.30

10-Year-Trends

  • England have won 9 renewals, Ireland won the last one
  • Winners have been aged 7 to 12
  • SPs have ranged from 10/3 to 16/1
  • David Pipe has trained 2 winners
  • Jamie Codd has ridden 4 of the last 8 winners
  • Winner have been rated 124 to 142
  • Winners have carried between 10-11 and 11-12
  • Winner have been aged 7 to 12
  • Winners ran 19 to 96 days previously

Summary

The Gordon Elliott trained and Jamie Codd Squouateur looks sure to prove popular after he was sent-off 9/4 for the Martin Pipe last season. He may have only finished seventh off a mark of 141, but is rated just 135 here over fences. Ireland also have another interesting contender in the shape of Mall Dini, who is just 4lb higher than when winning last season’s Pertemps Final over hurdles, and looks to have been plotted at this race, with Katie Walsh taking over from usual jockey Davy Russell. England won’t go down without a fight though, and Southfield Royale is on a potentially great mark on 140 considering he once split Tea For Two and Native River. Doctor Harper also has chances for David Pipe who has run the race twice in recent seasons. However, the each-way vote goes to Another Hero, who is tongue-tied for the first time, and the Jonjo O’Neill trained horse 8-year-old is ridden by Jonjo’s son.

Tips

Win Bet: Squouateur @ 11/2 (Bet365)

Each-Way Bet: Another Hero @ 14/1 (Bet365) ¼ odds 5 places

 

 

 

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