There are three Grade 1 races on day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival, which gets under way at 1.30 with the JLT Novices’ Chase.

Free Racing Tips


Vautour switched to Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham

Nigel Twiston-Davies saddled two winners on Wednesday and could be celebrating another one here with Bristol De Mai. The grey has yet to be beaten in a chase over two and a half miles. He stuck on well to beat As De Mee by six lengths in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase last time.

The big danger is Outlander for the Willie Mullins stable. He was a high-class hurdler and also scored in Grade 1 company when beating Monksland at Leopardstown last month. Black Hercules and L’Ami Serge need to bounce back from disappointing defeats last time out.

The Pertemps Final at 2.10 looks typically competitive with 24 runners over three miles. Gordon Elliott won the Coral Cup on Wednesday and bids for a big handicap double here with Taglietelle. Jack Kennedy claims 3lbs on the top weight who shaped promisingly at Musselburgh last time. Nicky Henderson struck in Wednesday’s feature race with Sprinter Sacre and he saddles the well fancied Cup Final here.

The Ryanair Chase at 2.50 also looks extremely competitive despite the presence of Vautour. The King George runner-up had been expected to line-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday. Connections have made the switch in view of some slightly below-par work by the seven-year-old. Road To Riches has also made the switch from the Gold Cup and has to be respected while Village Vic looks the best of the outsiders.

Thistlecrack is hot favourite for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham

Thistlecrack is hot favourite for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham

The best bet of the day at Cheltenham is Thistlecrack in the World Hurdle at 3.30. Colin Tizzard’s gelding has dominated the three-mile hurdling division this season. Alpha Des Obeaux was giving Thistlecrack a race at Aintree last season when taking a tumble.

The Brown Advisory Plate at 4.10 has also attracted a maximum field. We picked out La Vaticane and Fingal Bay in our race preview and both represent each-way value.

The Mares Novice Hurdle at 4.50 should go the way of Limini. The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old is unbeaten in two races and is very highly regarded at home. Henderson’s Bloody Mary and the progressive Smart Talk look the best of the home team.

The third day comes to an end at 5.30 with the Kim Muir Challenge Cup. Silvergrove looks worth each-way support here after winning his last two starts. He had previously unseated his rider when set for victory at Sandown in December.

By Harvey Mayson,

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