We are now halfway through the Cheltenham Festival and after yesterday’s dramas involving an injury to Ruby Walsh and Altior’s Queen Mother Champion Chase victory, one thing remained consistent, and that was Irish success.
There have been nine Irish winners so far, with three coming on the first day including Footpad, Rathvinden and Benie Des Dieux.
The highly rated Samcro, next years Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy, Tiger Roll, Veneer of Charm, Bleu Berry and 25/1 shot Relegate all ran out winners as Willie Mullins dominated Ladies Day.
Here is a preview of the first three races on day three as the Irish look to continue their success on St Patrick’s Thursday, with overnight rain causing soft, heavy in places conditions.
It’s St Patrick’s Day Thursday at the #CheltenhamFestival.
Take a look at my fancies for the day! 👇 https://t.co/Jdwvq2prrY
— James Stevens (@JamesStevens180) March 15, 2018
JLT Novices’ Chase- 1:30
Terrefort is well backed as he thrives in soft conditions as well as running well recently, and is in a great position to defend his unbeaten record for trainer Nicky Henderson.
Modus and Invitation Only are the expected main rivals for the French Native, with Finian’s Oscar an anticipated each way shot according to our resident Racing correspondent, James Stevens.
Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle- 2:10
While Glenloe appears to be favourite across most bookmakers, Who Dares Wins is fancied after improving in recent meetings.
While AC Milan seek an upset to turn their Europa League first leg deficit around against Arsenal in football, Forza Milan faces slightly lower odds to take home the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle.
Jonjo O’Neill’s horse is very well handicapped, enjoys the soft conditions and has lots of potential.
Ryanair Chase- 2:50
Un De Sceaux is in peak form coming into this race, and should repeat his 2017 success despite now being 10 years old.
The very talented chaser will be ridden by Paul Townend and comes into this with a racecourse record of 20 wins out of 26.
Cue Card and Cloudy Dream are expected to make the podium in this six horse chase.
Stayers Hurdle- 3:30
Arguably the biggest race of the day, the Stayers Hurdle will contain a legend in Yanworth.
The eight-year-old, trained by Alan King, is a class act on his day and can perform when his confidence is high which is likely in these conditions.
Sam Spinner is Yanworth’s main rival, the exciting six-year-old is progressing very fast and his jockey is Joe Colliver, who is rebuilding his life after serving a prison sentence.
At this rate, Jedd O’Keeffe’s trainee could steal the title away from his rivals, including Bacardys.