13.30 – Marsh Novices’ Chase
I am siding with two here. The first is SAMCRO who looked to have the world at his feet when winning the Ballymore here two years ago and retaining his unbeaten record. Things haven’t gone to plan over fences for him but his form is still solid as he won on his chase debut easily before falling two out when looking to be travelling all over Fakir D’oudairies next time out in a grade one.
Samcro was then second behind Faugheen last time out and has been given wind surgery since and has the assistance of course specialist Davy Russell on board. I think he has a great chance of putting things right over fences and is worth one more chance.
Despite being a 12 year old I do think FAUGHEEN has a chance of bringing the house down here. He holds most of these on previous meetings and is the choice of Paul Townend over Willie Mullins other runners. He acts really well around here and will like conditions.
Faugheen is unbeaten over fences and has already bagged two grade one races over fences more than the rest of the field. It would be stupid not to be backing him at a nice price as connections would not be running him if they didn’t think he could win.
Cheltenham day three tips – SAMCRO, FAUGHEEN
14.10 – Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
RELEGATE won the Champion Bumper here in 2018 and has shown other high-class form when with Willie Mullins. He returned from a monster absence to finish a fast fourth of 16 in the qualifier for this race at Punchestown when last seen.
That will have given him a good blowout. Although the British handicapper has put him up 7lbs to 137, I think he’s going to relish every yard of the three miles at a track that clearly suits him carrying a low weight.
The 10yo GUITAR PETE also catches my eye. He is extremely well handicapped over hurdles and is now 5lbs lower at a mark 135 then when a staying on sixth in a qualifier for this at Haydock last time off a mark 140. Guitar Pete is rated much higher over fences and loves it around Cheltenham. He was third in the 2014 Triumph Hurdle, won the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and placed in the Betvictor Gold Cup off 137.
Guitar Pete looks absolutely primed for this race off a low weight and a reduced mark. Connections look to have mapped out this race for him and he is definitely worth chancing.
JATILUWIH could still be ahead of the handicapper. He won his first five starts for connections including here two runs ago over 2m5f and lost nothing in defeat under a big weight last time out. The step up in trip could unlock further improvement and he is definitely a horse who looks worth a shot at graded company in due course. I can see him running a big race for Philip Hobbs who does well in these type of races at Cheltenham.
Down near the bottom of the weights is ANYTIME WILL DO is interesting. I have been on his side all season and he has been unlucky on a couple of occasions in big handicaps. He could only manage fourth last time out but that was a messy race and he is carrying over a stone less for the main event here with good previous form to his name. Harry and Dan Skelton do well in these events and I think the nature of this race will be right up his street. He travels strongly, jumps well and remains completely unexposed in handicaps.
Cheltenham day three tips – RELEGATE, GUITAR PETE, JATILUWIH, ANYTIME WILL DO
14.50 – Ryanair Chase
I think it’s a two horse race between MIN and A Plus Tard.
The latter was so impressive at this meeting last year when I backed him and when beating Chacun Pour Soi. However, this is the year Min finally gets his Cheltenham success. The door is open for Min without Altior in his way, having chased him home in Champion Chases and a Supreme Novice Hurdle.
Min’s form over 2m+ is top-class and this race is perfect for him. Willie Mullins has an outstanding record in this race and Min can provide the yard with another win in it.
Cheltenham day three tips – MIN
15.30 – Stayers Hurdle
PAISLEY PARK will most likely win as he is very similar to Big Bucks. He just keeps finding a way to win but Emitom is worth a mention.
He is held in the highest regard by connections and having needed the run here two starts ago. Emitom got his career back on track with a smooth win in a grade two last time out. We haven’t seen the best of him yet and he could give Paisley Park the most resistance as the stable know what it takes to do well in the race, having had previous winner of the race Cole Harden.
SUMMERVILLE BOY got close to Paisley last time and would have got even closer if jumping the last hurdle better. It was a fantastic front running effort. I think the only way he has any chance of reversing the form is if he is ridden in the same manner but either way looks a banker to finish in the top three.
Cheltenham day three tips – SUMMERVILLE BOY, PAISLEY PARK
16.10 – Brown Advisory Stable Plate
I’d have to say CLONDAW CASTLE was disappointing here two runs ago but bounced back to win nicely at a Warwick last time. He is up 6lbs for that success but he’s a good horse on his day and was a fair fourth in last years Arkle. I think he will show up better than he did here two runs ago and should be on the premises.
DEYRANN DE CARJAC bypassed an earlier engagement this week to run in this race. He has showed eye-catching form over fences, winning and placing twice in grade two company behind RSA Chase winner this week Champ on his last couple of starts. He would have gone close in the greatwood hurdle here last year when falling three out so we know he handles the track and I can see him going very well.
DEATH DUTY was once thought of a a Gold Cup contender a few years ago before injury struck. He has run with credit on two starts back since a long absence in grade two company and connections obviously used those races as a stepping stone for today’s handicap debut.
We must remember he is a dual grade one winner over hurdles/fences taking a huge drop down in class here on a mark that looks fair. I think this 9yo is a very strong contender for this race with his rider claiming 7lbs and if he comes back to anywhere the level of form he showed in 2017 then he really could outclass this field at odds that seem an insult being the best horse in the race.
LOUS’VAC POUCH was turned over in a jumpers bumper last time on stable debut but that will have put him spot on for today’s race and he has taken well to fences with a very good strike rate, which includes a second in a grade two. He handles all types of ground and was actually sent off just 10/1 for the pertemps at this meeting last year off a mark 145. He is 144 this year and is a much better chaser and stays well so he could run a big race.
Cheltenham day three tips – DEYRANN DE CARJAC, CLONDAW CASTLE, DEATH DUTY, LOUIS’VAC POUCH
16.50 – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
MINELLA MELODY is a worthy favourite. She was a very good bumper horse and is 3/3 over hurdles which includes a listed and grade three success. I like her attitude, jumping and the way she travels so it would take a very good mare to beat her. I think she is rock solid and is the most likely winner.
CONCERTISTA looks the one to side with if your looking for a bigger price. She almost won the grade two mares race last year on her stable/UK debut when beaten just a short head. She travelled so well that day and was an unlucky loser as she was short of room at a crucial stage which definitely cost her the race. I know she didn’t win her next two starts but she ran a good race to finish third in a handicap at Leopardstown last time over 2m2f where again she looked the winner but the extra distance just found her out. Two miles is clearly her trip and I think she is a very good mare who is worth following whether she runs in this race or elsewhere at the festival.
Cheltenham day three tips – CONCERTISTA, MINELLA MELODY
Keep an eye out for our huge Cheltenham pools throughout the 2020 festival. Good luck!