The third day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival is here and once again we’ve got win and each-way selections for each race on Thursday’s racecard. See the selections and reasons for each pick below.
2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen is expected to step up in trip when competing in the Stayers Hurdle at this year’s Festival, but he faces some strong opposition in this latest renewal. That race plus the other six events on Thursday’s card are discussed below.
The Scilly Isles Novices Chase at Sandown back in February provided some clues for this 2m4f contest with the first three finishers all expected to renew rivalry. Third placed Vinndication has been the subject of a late decision by trainer Kim Bailey to run in this race while there is little to choose between Lostintranslation and Defi Du Seuil based on that Sandown event and a previous race at Cheltenham. One horse who could upset all of the English challengers is Irish raider Real Steel who has won his last two races by a ten-length margin.
JLT Novices Chase Tip – Real Steel to Win (8/1 with Unibet)
Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final Betting Tip (2.10pm Cheltenham) – AARON LAD
A three miles handicap which can be difficult to predict, but the Citipost Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham back in December is one race to note. Dr Richard Newland trained Aaron Lad to win that race in receipt of 8lb from runner-up Keeper Hill with Charlie Hammond also receiving a 5lb allowance. The winner has since been freshened for this race while Thermistocles is a potential danger from Ireland
Ryanair Chase Betting Tip (2.50pm Cheltenham) – FRODON
A strong renewal is anticipated for this 2m5f event with Footpad aiming to follow his Arkle victory from last season’s festival. We may not have seen the best of Willie Mullins gelding this term and doubts remain as to whether he has improved from his novice days. He will be tested by Frodon who is set to compete in this contest rather than the Gold Cup. Bryony Frost will be riding this Cheltenham specialist who has improved considerably for having wind surgery. Monalee and Top Notch could both be involved at the finish as is likely to be the case with former winner Un De Sceaux.
Ryanair Chase Tip – Frodon to Win (6/1 with Paddy Power)
Stayers Hurdle Betting Tip (3.30pm Cheltenham) – PAISLEY PARK
In the absence of 2018 winner Penhill, Willie Mullins will saddle former Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen for this three-miles contest. The 11-year-old gelding did beat Penhill over the same distance at the Punchestown Festival back in April, but age may now be against this legendary Irish horse. Of more appeal as a winner is Paisley Park from the Emma Lavelle stable. After finishing with a late burst of speed to win at Haydock during November, Paisley Park has comfortably won his two subsequent races including winning at Cheltenham when most of his rivals for this contest were well beaten. Sam Spinner could improve from a recent good performance to take minor honours.
Stayers Hurdle Tip – Paisley Park to Win (2/1 with Betway)
Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase Betting Tip (4.10pm Cheltenham) – SIRUH DU LAC
For this Grade 3 2m5f handicap chase, Siruh Du Lac is an interesting contender having been ridden by Lizzie Kelly to win all three races this season and just doing enough in front. He won at Cheltenham last time and has never finished outside of the first three places in all completed chases. Another horse to note is the the David Pipe trained Eamon An Cnoic who returned from a wind operation to score recently at Chepstow . He could be a decent each-way contender.
National Hunt Breeders Mares Novices Hurdle (4.50pm Cheltenham) – EPATANTE
This race was won impressively by Laurina last season and ante-post favourite Epatante is well-fancied by trainer Nicky Henderson. A winner of her only two starts since moving from France, she cantered home when winning at Exeter last month at very short odds and will be difficult to beat in this race. The more experienced Posh Trish from the Paul Nicholls yard could provide a serious challenge after winning four of her five hurdle races this season.
Mares Hovices Hurdle Tip – Epatante to Win (2/1 with Ladbrokes)
Kim Muir Handicap Chase (5.30pm Cheltenham) – THE YOUNG MASTER
Staged over the Cheltenham Gold Cup course for Amateur Riders, Impulsive Star has been withdrawn by the Neil Mulholland stable in favour of The Young Master with Sam Waley-Cohen expected to ride. He won twice earlier this term before perhaps returning to quickly for the Ladbrokes Trophy handicap at Newbury. He will now be a fresh horse. A decent performance is also expected from Kilfilum Cross who may be ridden by Derek O’Connor and who narrowly won at Ludlow last time in his first appearance for trainer Henry Oliver.