Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival is upon us and, frankly, this looks a tad tricky. But for the inexplicable display by Dear Defi yesterday, we would have had a clean sweep of the 5 televised races as well as a 40-1 placed jobbie and if we can get anywhere near that today, hats will be eaten.
There, advance excuses out of the way – let’s get on.
The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at 3.30 is the signature race, with Paisley Park back to defend its title and priced up at 4-6 to do just that.
This horse always hits a flat spot during its races, after which the turbo kicks in and it leaves all else trailing and there is little doubt that Emma Lavelle‘s 8-y-o should be the hot favourite. However, the prices of the others lends this race to each way value and we are going to suggest a small bet on Emitom at 12-1.
A high class novice last season, beaten only by yesterday’s hero Champ, Warren Greatrex‘s 6-y-o suffered an injury close season and only reappeared on New Years Day, when badly in need of the run. A different horse turned up at Haydock last month though, when Emitomdisappeared into the distance, taking a Grade 2 by an eased down 8 lengths. Improvement on that is needed today but this horse is the only unexposed runner and maybe, just maybe.
Proceedings commence at 1.30 with the Marsh Novices’ Chase aka The Usual Suspects race, featuring, as it does, Faugheen, Melon and Samcro.
We are going to take the view that the Brits and their improvers can pouch this race and suggest each way bets on Itchy Feet (5-1) and Annie MC (20-1).
At 2.10 the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle is up for grabs and with just 24 runners, this is a doddle – not.
Our three chosen darts, each way naturellement, are Relegate (13-2), Sire Du Berlais (9-1) and A Great View (16-1) – we live in hope.
The Ryanair Chase at 2.50 is next up, with a handy ‘dead eight’ field – handy because it means we get to have an each way bet on last year’s winner Frodon, currently trading at 5-1. Frodonseems to have been around for donkey’s years, but is still only an 8-y-o and, having recovered from a bad dose of the ulcers, will give the fragrant Bryony a chance to repeat last season’s heroics.
The favourite, A Plus Tard, will, however, be very hard to beat, having turned over Chacun Pour Soi last time out, so to cover this race in spades, we suggest a win bet at 7-4.
Last race on tele is the (deep breath) Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at 4.10, another 24 runner puzzle in this easy day.
There are, however, two very well handicapped horses competing in this at attractive prices, so we recommend each way bets on Blazer at 14-1 and Snow Falcon at 40-1.
That’s it – oop for t’coop tomorrer.
Emitom 3.30 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 12-1
Itchy Feet 1.30 Cheltenham 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Annie MC 1.30 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (4 places)
Relegate 2.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (6 places)
Sire Du Berlais 2.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (6 places)
A Great View 2.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (6 places)
Frodon 2.50 Cheltenham 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1
A Plus Tard 2.50 Cheltenham 4pts win @ 7-4
Blazer 4.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (5 places)
Snow Falcon 4.10 Cheltenham 0.5pts e/w @ 40-1 (5 places)