Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival rolls into town this afternoon and, with no odds-on favourites or Mickey Mouse races, it’s time to have a go at all five televised contests.
Centrepiece is, as usual, at 3.30 and today it is the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle, which has a field of 18, headed by the Emma Lavelle trained Paisley Park at 13-8.
This horse has been a revelation this season, seamlessly graduating from handicaps to Grade 1 races and taking them all in its stride to such effect that it’s impossible to oppose. Slightly skinny the price may be, but a winner is a winner etc etc and we recommend a decent bet at the price.
In case of accidents, it woud also be prudent to have a small each way bet on last year’s runner-up Supasundae, which is almost bound to be there at the death – take the 10-1 on this one.
Action starts at 1.30 with the JLT Novices’ Chase, with 10 runners and Defi Du Seuil favourite at 3-1. This horse and Lost In Translation lock horns for the third time today with the score standing at 1 each but the run style of the Philip Hobbs charge makes us lean in its favour. A win bet is suggested.
Best of the Irish challengers may be Real Steel, so it would be prudent to have an each way bet here at 13-2.
The Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle at 2.10 has a typically impossible look about it although if the money that has come in a flood for Sire Du Berlais it could be a one-horse race. However, good, solid form is what we like and SDB doesn’t have it, so at 9-2 we pass.
Our main choice for this race is another Emma Lavelle inmate, Flemcara, which is available at 18-1 (that’s more like it).
Won its latest race with some style, on ground that would be quick enough and, with more give today and only 4lbs higher, we should at least get a run for the moulah.
We also suggest an each way bet on the horse that was a strong finishing 5th behind Flemcara last time out and should relish the climb to the line. Culture De Sivola is the name and 50-1 is the price – go for it, Mouthy.
The Ryanair Chase at 2.50 has 12 runners, 66% of which are from across the Irish Sea and the best of the raiders may turn out to be Monalee. Trained by Henry and ridden by Rachel, the team that combined to destroy the field with A Plus Tard on Tuesday, this 8-y-o was originally being aimed at the Gold Cup but connections have opted for this ‘easier’ target and a win bet at 9-2 is advised.
We can’t leave this race without also advising an each way bet on the remarkable Frodon, ridden by the even more remarkable Bryony Frost, who will probably attempt to run and jump its rivals into the mud. May not win but will definitely be worth watching – take the available 15-2.
Last race covered by the telly is the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at 4.10 and out of the 22 runners, we have no hesitation in nominating Doitforthevillage as the one to be with.
Right track, right distance, right ground and 7lbs better with Paddy Brennan in the plate, Village is in the form of its life and will outrun its odds, which are an artisan 20-1.
You heard it here first.
Paisley Park 3.30 Cheltenham 4pts win @ 13-8
Supasundae 3.30 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Defi Du Seuil 1.30 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 3-1
Real Steel 1.30 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 13-2
Flemcara 2.10 Cheltenham 2pts e/w @ 18-1 (6 places)
Culture De Sivola 2.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 50-1 (6 places)
Monalee 2.50 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 9-2
Frodon 2.50 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 15-2
Doitforthevillage 4.10 Cheltenham 2pts e/w @ 20-1 (5 places)