Day three of the Cheltenham Festival sees crowd favourite Cue Card do battle with Un De Sceaux in the Ryanair Chase at 2.50pm. Cue Card will be a popular pick with punters and should the Colin Tizzard trained 12-year-old land the Ryanair the bookies will be moaning like Michael O’Leary on Grand National weights day. Below we preview that race and all the other racing from Cheltenham.
1.30pm JLT Novices’ Chase 2m4f
The recent rain that has hit Prestbury Park has tempted connections of TERREFORT to take their chance and the Scilly Isles winner comes here with potential for further improvement to come.
For each-way supporters, Kemboy may represent a little bit of value as his form over hurdles looks pretty strong and his jumping, apart from the last when he won at Fairyhouse, has been very solid.
2.10pm Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle 3m
Louis’ Vac Pouch has been saved for this since winning an Aintree qualifier in the autumn where he got the better of FORZA MILAN but Jonjo O’Neill’s gelding looks to potentially have more to offer over 3m and ground conditions will be no concern to this full-brother of last year’s Grand National winner One For Arthur.
Others worthy of consideration include Who Dares Wins, runner-up in the Coral Cup last year, and top weight Thomas Campbell who should prove to be happier back in handicap company.
2.50pm Ryanair Chase 2m5f
The race originally revolved around the star chaser of the north Waiting Patiently and whether he took his chance in this having proven himself to be decent in the Ascot Chase when getting the better of CUE CARD. In the absence of Ruth Jefferson’s horse, the 12-year- old holds a very realistic chance of winning the race for a second time having done so five years ago.
Standing in the way of a fairytale result is last year’s winner Un De Sceaux who arrives here having won both his starts this season but the form of those performances aren’t particularly strong and the Ryanair he won last year has only produced one other winner since.
3.30pm Stayers’ Hurdle 3m
The Jedd O’Keeffe-trained Sam Spinner is a leading fancy thanks to his victory in the Long Walk, while Nigel Twiston-Davies’s stable stalwart The New One is set to tackle three miles for the first time as he makes his seventh consecutive appearance at the Festival.
UNOWHATIMEANHARRY was sent off 5-6 favourite for this race 12 months ago but was touched off in the end by Nichols Canyon. Harry Fry’s ten-year-old can run a big each-way race you feel this year flying just off the radar.
4:10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Plate 2m5f
Gordon Elliott has been bullish about the chances of THE STORYTELLER and nominated this as the target recently. He was favourite for the Martin Pipe before a setback curtailed his season.
One other to note if getting a run is Mister Whittaker who looks very progressive and open to further improvement.
4.50pm Trull House Mares Novices’ Hurdle 2m1f
The banker of day three looks to be LAURINA who has looked very good in this division having won a maiden at Tramore and a Grade 3 contest at the end of January at Fairyhouse by 11 lengths. The form of that has worked out subsequently with the runner-up bolting up at the Dublin Racing Festival in a handicap and there is little in the way of opposition to Willie Mullins’ mare.
5.30pm Kim Muir 3m2f
Several of these will have been laid out for this contest with familiar names like Mall Dini, Squouateur and Pendra all looking likely to do battle against one another again.
The trio all have concerns to overcome. Mall Dini is yet to win a race over fences and shaped in this last year as though a step up in trip would suit better, Squouateur has been sent off favourite for a couple of big handicaps but has ultimately disappointed each time, while Pendra has a 365 day absence to overcome and threw this race away last year.
One horse who definitely catches the eye in this is MISSED APPROACH. He possesses valuable Festival form with his second to Tiger Roll in the National Hunt Chase, has been running consistently throughout the season, and has had a wind-op since his last start which could bring about further improvement.