Thursday 16th March – Day 3 Cheltenham
A great weeks racing so far with some classic uphill nose to nose finishes and today should be no exception and with the ground good to soft and light watering, my picks will be hopefully suited to this better ground.
1.30 JLT Novices Chase
Best chance: With Nicky Henderson’s string of horses already proving to be in top form, I’m pumping for Top Notch. This six year old has been flying home and has four wins on the bounce and the same man Daryl Jacobs in the saddle today so lets hope he can turn over the favourite in Yorkhill and start the day for us in top form at odds of 4/1 with PaddyPower and Betfair.
Next best: Kilcrea Vale looks like the pace maker for Henderson’s Top Notch but with ground to siuit I expect a big run from this seven year old at a big price of 25/1 with PaddyPower, Betfair, Betbright and Skybet.
2.10 Pertemps Network Final
Best chance: Jury Duty from the hot yard of Gordon Elliot looks set to overturn his result with Gayebury on more favourable terms today with a 7lb and pull and with the talented young jockey Jack Kennedy in the saddle things could be looking even rosier for Elliot and his team at odds of 8/1 with Bet365, Skybet, William Hill, Bet Victor and Boylesport.
Next best: Tobefair has a fantastic record and a great chance in this for the small Debra Hamar yard. Although the form of some of its rivals looks better, this seven year old may yet spring a surprise at odds of 11/1 with PaddyPower, Betway and Unibet.
E/W bet: Golden Doyen has the talent and breeding to come close for Phillip Hobbs but alas I think the weights are a wee bit too high for this six year old to win but is a decent punt at odds of 20/1 with Bet365, 32red and Unibet.
2.50 Ryanair Chase
Best chance: Micheal O’Leary seems to never pay out that £175k cheque. He just pockets it for himself and the Gordon Elliott trained Empire of Dirt ticks all the boxes as another winner in this for O’Leary. The ground has come to suit this dour stayer and should see off the opposition two from home at odds of 11/4 with Betfair.
Next best: Henry De Bromhead notched up a winner yesterday and Sub Lieutenant looks like a leading contender for Mr O’Leary with David Mullins in the saddle lets hope for a Gigginstown 1-2 and a decent dual forecast at odds of 15/2 with Bet365, PaddyPower, Coral and others.
3.30 Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle
Best chance: Unowhatimeanharry looks the star pick and why not! Unblemished record waits and ground perfect and the job jockey Noel Fehily taking centrestage in the saddle this looks like the punters banker today at odds of 6/4 with Betfair.
Next best: Cole Harden for Warren Greatrex has ran some cracking races in defeat and could surprise ere today if the favourite slips up and at odds of 9/1 available looks like a serious contender.
4.10 Brown Advisory Plate
Best chance: Diamond King is a justifiable favourite in this race and has a fair record around here for Gordon Elliot and at odds of 5/1 should be another winner for the likeable Mr Elliot.
Next best: Jonjo O’Neill sends Champagne at Tara here in hope rather than expectation but with Aidan Coleman in the saddle anything is possible and he could just squeak in for the place at odds of 28/1 across the board.
4.50 Trull House Stud Mares Novices Hurdles
Best chance: A little left field against the favourite but Robbie Power has notched a win up already this week and Forge Meadow has the profile form and if the ground suits could have this won going away up the hill at decent odds of 10/1 with most bookmakers.
Next best: Verdanna Blue has a lightweight in this and has some great form coming into it. The ground is ideal and Jeriminah McGrath will get the best out of this five year old against older rivals at odds of 40/1 with PaddyPower and Betfair.
E/W shot: Awayinthewest has an interesting profile and as Mr Fahy sends few over and has Davy Russel in the saddle don’t be surprised to see this Bay Mare place amongst some more famous rivals at long odds of 100/1 across the boards.
5.30 Fulke Walwyn-Kim-Muir-Challenge-Cup-Handicap-Chase
Best chance: With Sam Walley-Cohen in the saddle for the Nicky Henderson trained Premier Bond. This looks like a good chance for the hat trick of wins. Weight and ground are perfect and the piece of work in December against Might Bite looks a fair pointer at odds of 16/1 with PaddyPower and Betfair .
Next best: What’s Happening from the Tom George yard has some interesting form coming into this and is sure to be readfy and schooled for the talented amateur Mr R O Harding to take the steering job on today from its more accomplished earlier passengers at odds of 16/1 with all but 4 bookies.