It’s Thursday at Cheltenham, and after a mixed day for the favourites on day two of the festival, will there be more surprises in store on the third day of racing?
Find our latest Cheltenham tips below as we look where the potential value lies in the horse racing betting markets – with Paisley Park aiming to be the standout star on Day 3 of the festival in the Stayers’ Hurdle.
Cheltenham Day 3 Tips – Stayers’ Hurdle & Full Betting Preview
Stayers’ Hurdle (15:30)
It’s not been a good year for title defences so far this year, with Altior a no-show in the Champion Chase and Tiger Roll running out of steam in the Cross Country Chase.
Could Paisley Park (8/15) change the record by successfully retaining the Stayers’ Hurdle? Question marks over his prospects were raised after Emma Lavelle opted to withdraw him from the Marsh Chase at Christmas, but he’s undoubtedly the class act in the field and his prospects look sound after a classy return to action at the Cleeve Hurdle in January.
His biggest threat looks set to come from 2019 Ballymore-winner City Island (11/1), while Apple’s Jade (18/1) has each-way potential after thriving in soft conditions when winning at Leopardstown in December.
Cheltenham Day 3 Tips – Full Betting Preview
Marsh Novices’ Chase (13:30)
This is an interesting one, with Faugheen (11/4) looking to land the chase as a 12-year-old. He won his last outing in a Grade One chase at Leopardstown in February, and he’ll take some beating here if he’s jumping clearly with 13 hurdle wins under his belt.
Each of the last nine winners of this race have previously raced at the Festival and the lightly-raced Mister Fisher (5/1) already has a Cheltenham win to brag about this season. Many believe the six-year-old has enough potential to hit the next level, as he arrives aiming for a hat-trick.
Having improved greatly in his last three runs Reserve Tank (18/1) has some each-way value. He has bags of untapped potential and could make a name for himself in the day’s opener.
Pertemps Final (14:10)
The qualifying run of favourite The Storyteller (9/2) has caught the eye of many, finishing a credible sixth for Davy Russell and Gordon Elliott at Leopardstown. He looks to have room for improvement here after pulling up in last year’s Ryanair Chase.
Last year’s winner Sire Du Berlais (8/1) looks ripe for another strong Cheltenham run after signs of getting back to his best form following a fourth-place finish at Warwick in January.
Ryanair Chase (14:50)
If current form is anything to go by, A Plus Tard (7/4) could be saying ‘see you later’ to the rest of the field in the Ryanair. The pre-race hype around Henry De Bromhead’s six-year-old looks justified after a commanding run at Leopardstown back in December.
If the likely favourite fails to fire, the door could open for Riders Onthe Storm (10/1) to open his Cheltenham account and make up for his fall here 12 months ago in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase.
In terms of the places, Venetia William’s Aso (25/1) could be underrated. Recent form has seen him drift from the frontrunners, but Cheltenham is one of his more fancied courses, including a credible runner-up spot in this race in 2019.
Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (16:10)
Softer ground could suit Simply The Betts (11/4) in the 16:10, who now has a real taste for Cheltenham after edging out Imperial Aura in the Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase at the end of January.
The smart money could be on Willie Mullins’ Blazer (16/1), with a breakout performance possibly brewing after a gutsy effort at Leopardstown on only his second outing of the season last month.
Festival Mares Novices’ Hurdle (16:50)
Could Minella Melody (12/5) hit the right note in the Mares’ Novices Hurdle? Her form looks hard to beat after three unbeaten runs over hurdles, including an impressive fightback to beat Colreevy and Dolcita in the Solerina in January. Henry De Bromhead’s six-year-old looks one of Rachael Blackmore’s strongest remaining chances of landing another Cheltenham winner this week.
Another mare hitting her stride at just the right time for Cheltenham week is Colreevy (5/1), who pushed Minella Melody close at Fairyhouse last time out and has the consistency to indicate a landmark win here isn’t out the question.
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (17:30)
Plan Of Attack (17/2) will be looking to execute his strategy to perfection in the day’s final race and has genuine claims after excelling over a similar distance at Aintree last October. He’s also shown he relishes a big field, posting a respectable third out of 27 runners at Leopardstown towards the end of last year.
Finally, don’t rule out Cloth Cap (16/1) heading off the opposition in this one. He’s proved he can stay the distance in a packed field when landing a stunning third place in last year’s Scottish Grand National and was beaten by only a neck in his last trip at Doncaster. Another wily run here could see him snatch the day’s final race for Jonjo O’Neill.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.