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Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Preview - All You Need To Know About Thursday's Action At Prestbury Park

Thursday 7th March 2019
Paisley Park is the one to beat in the Stayers' Hurdle on day three of the Cheltenham Festival
Paisley Park is the one to beat in the Stayers' Hurdle on day three of the Cheltenham Festival

Day three of the Cheltenham Festival will take centre stage on Thursday 14th March and there will be three Grade 1 races among the seven contests run at Prestbury Park, and the showpiece race of the afternoon will be Stayers' Hurdle, which will take place at 3:30pm and will attract a plethora of elite staying hurdlers.

Emma Lavelle's Paisley Park was a fine winner of the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in late January and he will be the prominent figure in the betting for the 3m contest, but the likes of Faugheen and Supasundae will dish up a strong Irish challenge in the marathon test, where only the most stamina-laden horse will prevail.

Kicking off at 1:30pm, the racing ignites with a fascinating Grade 1 event (JLT Novices' Chase), while as well as the Graded affair there will be a few devilishly difficult handicaps for punters to decipher, so take some time to read our in-depth preview which delivers a vital guide on what to expect on day three of the meeting.

Race 1 - 1:30pm - JLT Novices' Chase (Grade 1) - 2m 3f 166y - Winner: £84,405

A relatively new addition to the Cheltenham Festival schedule, the JLT Novices' Chase is run over the intermediate distance of a shade under 2m 4f.  With the Arkle (2m) and RSA (3m) perhaps holding more prestige, this race can attract those horses that don't have the speed to compete in the 2m Arkle, but lack that stamina needed to win an RSA.

Lostintranslation, Defi Du Seuil, Real Steel and Kildisart are a classy quartet ready to do battle in this race, and it has tended to be a race that has gone to those sitting prominently in the market (three of last four favourites have won).  Nevertheless, a race that will take shape come the final declarations next Tuesday, the JLT can unearth superstars of the turf with Vautour being a memorable winner in 2015.

Race 2 - 2:10pm - Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle - 2m 7f 213y - Winner: £56,270

A race won by an Irish-trained horse in the last three years, the Pertemps Final is the first handicap contest on the card.  Won 12 months ago by 2019 RSA Chase favourite Delta Work, it's a race that in 2018 was also won by Cheltenham Gold Cup market leader Presenting Percy, so it's a race that is targeted by trainers with some of their smart performers.

With over 20 runners heading to post then only the battle-hardened, classy stayers will prevail, and this year it's the Gordon Elliott-trained Sire Du Berlais that has attracted significant support in the weeks leading up to the Cheltenham Festival, as Ireland bid for a fourth win on the bounce.  Progressive handicapper First Assignment and Walk To Freedom are another eye-catching pair in the betting, and this should produce a headscratcher for punters.

Cheltenham Festival - Day 3 Odds

Race 3 - 2:50pm - Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) - 2m 4f 127y - Winner: £196,945

Very much like the aforementioned JLT Novices' Chase, the Ryanair Chase is a contest run at an intermediate distance, but with nearly £200k to the winner then it can often be one of the classiest races of the entire week.

Imperial Commander, Cue Card, Vautour and Un De Sceaux are just four names etched on the illustrious roll of honour and the latter of that quartet could look to win it for the second time in his career on Thursday afternoon. His stablemate Footpad (won Arkle in 2018) heads the betting, while Monalee, Min (likely to go to Champion Chase) and Road To Respect are another eye-catching Irish trio, and it could well be a race dominated by the Emerald Isle.

Race 4 - 3:30pm - Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1) - 2m 7f 213y - Winner: £182,878

The main event on day three of the festival, the Stayers' Hurdle maybe regarded as the least attractive Championship race of the meeting, but it's still seen some monster performers win.  Inglis Drever (3 wins) and Big Buck's (4 wins) are just two legends of the staying hurdling division to dominate this Grade 1 event.

A former Champion Hurdle hero in Faugheen will aim to recapture his best form when he lines up for the 2019 Stayers' Hurdle, but he will have the small matter of beating progressive hurdler Paisley Park, who was dominant in the Cleeve Hurdle, and is a clear favourite with the bookmakers to land this prize. Supasundae, Black Op and Bacardys are another trio ready to do battle, so while it may lack the strength of other Grade 1 races, it will still produce an intriguing race.

Race 5 - 4:10pm - Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase - 2m 4f 127y - Winner: £61,897

Fifth on the card is the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, which was won last year by race favourite The Storyteller.  However, while the jolly won last year there have been 50/1 (Carrickboy) and 66/1 (Mister McGoldrick) winners since 2008, so it can often be a race that the bookmakers gain back some valuable funds from the punters.

Nicky Henderson's Janika is one of the ante-post favourites for the race and looks a classy performer, but with the bookmakers going 8/1 the field at the time of writing then it's no surprise that punters will find it extremely tough to unearth the winner from a testing handicap contest.

Race 6 - 4:50pm - Mares' Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) - 2m 179y - Winner: £50,643

A controversial addition to the race schedule in 2016, the Mares' Novices' Hurdle has been won all three times by Willie Mullins.  A race that can often attract a host of no-hopers and also hinders the elite novice events at the festival, this contest was won last year by current Champion Hurdle hope Laurina, so a smart winner can emerge.

Nicky Henderson has a glint in his eye when speaking about current race favourite Epatante, but the Henry de Bromhead-trained Honeysuckle and Paul Nicholls' Posh Trish should put up a bold bid for glory in the penultimate race of the day.

Race 7 - 5:30pm - Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase - 3m 2f - Winner: £41,510

The amateur jockeys take centre stage in the Thursday finale with the Kim Muir closing the curtain on a top-class day of National Hunt action.  A race that can often throw up a future Grand National contender (Ballabriggs won Kim Muir & Grand National), the Kim Muir is a tough betting heat to end the day for punters, and with only two winning favourites since 2003 it's a tough test for punters.

Gordon Elliott's Measureofmydreams is the favourite a week from the race and that trainer bagged victory in 2016 with Cause Of Causes, but No Comment, Any Second Now and Livelovelaugh are another trio that could land a blow, if taking their chance, and it should be a fabulous final race on a stellar card.

Cheltenham Festival Tips

2019 Stayers' Hurdle Odds

Paisley Park Aidan Coleman / Miss E C Lavelle 11/8 5/4 11/8 11/8 11/10 11/8 6/5 11/8 11/8
Faugheen R Walsh / W P Mullins 7/2 4 9/2 9/2 9/2 9/2 9/2 9/2 9/2
Supasundae R M Power / Mrs J Harrington 10 10 10 10 9 10 9 9 10
Black Op N D Fehily / T R George 11 10 12 12 12 12 11 11 12
Top Notch D A Jacob / N J Henderson 14 12 14 14 14 12 12 12 14
Kilbricken Storm Harry Cobden / C L Tizzard 14 14 14 16 12 14 14 11 16
Bacardys Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins 14 20 20 25 16 20 20 18 25
Bapaume P Townend / W P Mullins 20 20 20 20 20 18 20 16 20
Yanworth B J Geraghty / A King 33 25 33 33 33 33 33 28 33
Petit Mouchoir Rachael Blackmore / H de Bromhead 33 33 33 33 33 28 33 33 33
Wholestone Sam Twiston-Davies / N A Twiston-Davies 33 33 33 40 33 33 33 28 40
Sam Spinner Joe Colliver / Jedd O'Keeffe 40 40 40 33 40 33 33 40 33
West Approach T Scudamore / C L Tizzard 33 40 40 50 50 40 40 40 50
The Mighty Don L P Aspell / N J Gifford 100 100 100 100 66 100 100 100 100
Coquin Mans D J Mullins / W P Mullins 80 100 100 125 125 100 100 100 125
Keeper Hill R Johnson / W Greatrex 100 125 125 150 150 125 125 125 150
Nautical Nitwit Thomas Dowson / P A Kirby 150 200 250 300 300 250 250 200 300
Man Of Plenty J J Burke / Mrs S Leech 200 250 300 300 300 300 300 250 300
Each Way Terms 3
1/5
3
1/5
- 4
1/5
4
1/5
4
1/5
3
1/5
4
1/5
4
1/5

2019 Stayers' Hurdle Odds

BEST ODDS
1. Paisley Park Aidan Coleman / Miss E C Lavelle
11/8
FREE BET ODDS
11/8
11/8
11/8
11/8
5/4
6/5
11/10
2. Faugheen R Walsh / W P Mullins
9/2
FREE BET ODDS
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
4
7/2
3. Supasundae R M Power / Mrs J Harrington
10
FREE BET ODDS
10
10
10
10
10
10
9
9
9
4. Black Op N D Fehily / T R George
12
FREE BET ODDS
12
12
12
12
12
11
11
11
10
5. Top Notch D A Jacob / N J Henderson
14
FREE BET ODDS
14
14
14
14
14
12
12
12
12
6. Kilbricken Storm Harry Cobden / C L Tizzard
16
FREE BET ODDS
16
16
14
14
14
14
14
12
11
7. Bacardys Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins
25
FREE BET ODDS
25
25
20
20
20
20
18
16
14
8. Bapaume P Townend / W P Mullins
20
FREE BET ODDS
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
18
16
9. Yanworth B J Geraghty / A King
33
FREE BET ODDS
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
28
25
10. Petit Mouchoir Rachael Blackmore / H de Bromhead
33
FREE BET ODDS
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
28
11. Wholestone Sam Twiston-Davies / N A Twiston-Davies
40
FREE BET ODDS
40
40
33
33
33
33
33
33
28
12. Sam Spinner Joe Colliver / Jedd O'Keeffe
40
FREE BET ODDS
40
40
40
40
40
33
33
33
33
13. West Approach T Scudamore / C L Tizzard
50
FREE BET ODDS
50
50
50
40
40
40
40
40
33
14. The Mighty Don L P Aspell / N J Gifford
100
FREE BET ODDS
100
100
100
100
100
100
66
15. Coquin Mans D J Mullins / W P Mullins
125
FREE BET ODDS
125
125
100
100
100
100
80
16. Keeper Hill R Johnson / W Greatrex
150
FREE BET ODDS
150
150
125
125
125
125
100
17. Nautical Nitwit Thomas Dowson / P A Kirby
300
FREE BET ODDS
300
300
250
250
200
200
150
18. Man Of Plenty J J Burke / Mrs S Leech
300
FREE BET ODDS
300
300
300
300
250
250
200
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 15:16 . Odds are subject to change.
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