Cheltenham Festival Tips – Day Three
With the Cheltenham Festival having kicked off in a surprise fashion on Tuesday, with trainer Gordon Elliott getting the better of compatriot Willie Mullins thanks to an opening day treble, the remainder of the week is set to provide just as much excitement, climaxing with Friday’s Gold Cup. With Mullins looking to recover from a disappointing first day in the South-West, the Ryanair Chase, Stayers Hurdle, Gold Cup and Grand Annual Chase are just some of the high-profile races to look forward to on the final two days of the Festival.
But, we have Thursday first and I’ve picked out two races where I’m confident we can hit the bookies hard:
Ryanair Chase – 2:50 – Cheltenham
The Grade One Ryanair Chase is undoubtedly one of the highlights on day three of the Festival, with entrants battling to come out on top over the two-and-a-half-mile race on the new course at Cheltenham. With horses such as Imperial Commander, Albertas Run and Cue Card having come out on top in the past, the likes of Un De Sceaux and Empire Of Dirt will be looking to emulate their success this year.
Willie Mullins’ Un De Sceaux is the favourite with many bookmakers with best odds of 7/2, however having generally run over shorter distances throughout his career, the nine-year-old is still something of a unknown quantity at this distance. Un De Sceaux finished second to Sprinter Sacre in last year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase, with Mullins choosing the Ryanair Chase for him this year due to the emergence of Douvan in the Champion Chase.
Empire Of Dirt has improved dramatically in recent times for Gordon Elliott and will be looking for a second successive win at Cheltenham, having come out on top in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Grade Three handicap last year. Odds of 5/1 are certain to attract large amounts of punters, with little to choose between ten-year-old and rival Un De Sceaux. Despite the duo seemingly head and shoulders above the rest of the field, the likes of Uxizandre and Josses Hill are worth at look for each-way bets.
Betting Tips for Ryanair Chase:
Stayers Hurdle – 3:30 – Cheltenham
Formally known as the World Hurdle, the Stayers Hurdle is run over three miles, with a host of top-class names battling it out to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Thistlecrack. The undoubted favourite for the race is Harry Fry’s Unowwhatimeanharry, with odds of 11/8, having won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival last year. The nine-year-old has only gone from strength to strength, with three wins at graded level since last year’s Cheltenham win.
Despite his quality, the likes of Shaneshill and Nichols Canyon, with the Willie Mullins duo coming into the race in decent form. Shaneshill won a Grade Two event at Gowran Park last time out, while Nichols Canyon has been a consistent performer in Ireland this season, with the duo offered respective odds of 9/1 and 10/1 for Thursday’s race.
Meanwhile, British-trained horses Ballyoptic and West Approach could go well for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Colin Tizzard, with the former having finished behind Unowwhatimeanharry on three occasions this year. With West Approach having finished third in the Cleeve last year under Ruby Walsh, odds of 16/1 are certainly appealing.
Betting Tips for Stayers Hurdle:
Outright: Unowwhatimeanharry @ 6/4 Black Type (Bet £10, Get £10 Free – Click Here)
Each-Way: West Approach @ 20/1 BetVictor, PaddyPower, Boylesports