Day 2 went to Britain 4-3 courtesy of a Paul Nicholls treble and a bumper winner for David Pipe, but Willie Mullins also equalled his best ever Cheltenham Festival haul of five winners as Don Poli hacked-up in the RSA Chase.
Despite the fact Mullins has already had had five winners, the battle to be top trainer now looks far from over and there should be plenty more intriguing clashes between him and Paul Nicholls starting with Thursday’s opening race the JLT Novice Chase.
Read our analysis of the JLT Novice Chase and all the other races from Day 3, along with our horse racing tips, below.
JLT Novice Chase 1.30
Only 9 runners go to post but it’s a fascinating contest as Mullins saddles Vautour and Valseur Lido, whilst Nicholls saddles Ptit Zig and Irish Saint. However, I’m going to take them all on with Apache Stronghold who his trainer Noel Meade has always spoken highly of.
Apache Stronghold 2 points win @ 6/1 (Boylesports)
Pertemps Final 2.05
I tipped-up Edeymi for our ante-post Yankee and I can’t see any reason to desert him now. He looks to have perfectly plotted-up by his trainer Tony Martin and can race off a mark he’s already run well off at a previous festival.
Edeymi 2 points win @ 9/1 (Various)
Only Don Cossack’s fall in last year’s RSA tempers my enthusiasm for him, but he’s looked a much better horse this year than in any previous one. Looked sure to beat Champagne Fever when that one fell at the last in their recent clash – and I’m sure that rival would have won the Champion Chase if he’d ran it.
Don Cossack 2 points win @ 9/2 Paddy Power
World Hurdle 3.20pm
Zarkandar has a serious chance to add to his Triumph Hurdle victory of 5 years ago, but I’m going to take a chance on 66/1 shot Tiger Roll. Last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner is 2 from 2 at the course and, like so many winners of the juvenile race, may now be suited to a longer trip. It’s a real stab in the dark but his trainer Gordon Elliot could have gone for the easier looking Coral Cup.
Tiger Roll 1 point each-way @ 66/1 (various)
Cheltenham Plate 4.00pm
Attaglance is the last leg of our Ante-post Yankee and another one I don’t want to desert as he’s got every chance of winning a race he should have won last year. I hope the ground doesn’t soften too much overnight though.
Attaglance 1 point each-way @ 12/1 (various)
Kim Muir Chase 4.40pm
The Package may be getting on a bit but he was third behind Holywell and Ma Filluiele last year – and those two are single-figure prices for the Gold Cup and Ryain Air.
The Package 1 point each-way @ 14/1 (various)