Our expert tipster has analysed the card for day three at this year’s Cheltenham Festival and is hopeful of picking some sure-fire winners on what is traditionally a very tricky day to predict.
Can Paisley Park regain his Stayers’ Hurdle crown? Will Envoi Allen continue to climb the chasing ladder and be the next big superstar?
Read on to get our Cheltenham horse racing tips for day three.
Cheltenham Festival Day Three
Thursday 18th March
Live on ITV
1.20pm – Marsh Novices’ Chase – 2m3f
A top-quality race to start day three with and we should be in for an absolute cracker as Envoi Allen lines up, most people’s banker of this year’s Festival.
You can see why Envoi Allen looks unbeatable. He is unbeaten in all of his starts over hurdles and fences and has taken to chasing really well this season, winning all three races.
He jumps superbly, travels strongly and goes on any ground. The manner of his win last time out at Punchestown on heavy ground was impressive and he has won twice around Cheltenham, including in last year’s Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
Over time, he will probably develop into a Gold Cup contender and could dominate the chasing scene for the next few years. In this race, he looks untouchable.
That means we will direct you to our NetBet promotion, where you can bet up to £10 on a horse and if that horse finishes second to the starting price favourite, then you get a Free Bet up to £10.
We think Shan Blue for Dan Skelton can be that value bet. He was sixth to Envoi Allen at 100/1 last year but proved that was no flash in the pan, taking to chasing like a duck to water. He won the Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and could run very well here.
1.55pm – Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle – 3m
This is another one of those devilishly difficult handicaps that Cheltenham is famous for. Another huge field is set to go to post for this race and it is a punter’s nightmare to try and pick the winner to this one.
We have two each way bets we really fancy in this race so we will try and guide you in the right direction and give you our best horse racing tips for day three.
Having narrowed it down to this duo, we think they represent really good value. The first horse is Come on Teddy and Tom George’s charge comes into this race in really good form.
He finished a close third behind the current favourite for this race, Imperial Alcazar, at Warwick last time and is very handily weighted. He is tough and consistent and will relish the competitive nature of this contest.
Our other each way pick is David Pipe’s Brinkley. This strapping six-year-old is definitely on the upward curve over hurdles and has won his last two starts convincingly at Wincanton and Exeter and the trip will be right up his street.
2.30pm – Ryanair Chase – 2m4f
This is a relatively new race at the Cheltenham Festival and has had some terrific winners down the years. The likes of Min, Dynaste, Un de Sceaux and Frodon have been victorious in this event before and although the Irish are well represented, we think this could go to a Nicky Henderson-trained horse.
Mister Fisher won at Cheltenham on his last run and this seven-year-old is contesting a race at Grade One level for the first time. That does not mean it will be beyond his capabilities to improve on what he has shown so far. He acts around the track and is likely to get proper racing ground. He wouldn’t want it too soft but can win this renewal ahead of Willie Mullins’ horses.
Allaho is the favourite and bounced back to form at Thurles last time to win comfortably. He finished third to Champ at last year’s Festival, despite a blunder in the closing stages. He looks the type for this race and is a danger.
Imperial Aura is another with claims at 6/1 (7:00). He is a stout stayer and has shown a good level of form this term, winning a Grade Two race at Ascot in November.
This is another tough contest to predict so take a look at the latest horse racing betting on this race and others from the Festival.
3.05pm – Stayers’ Hurdle – 3m
This is arguably one of the races of the whole Festival and certainly one of the Cheltenham day three highlights. Paisley Park and the young pretender Thyme Hill go head-to-head once again this season, with it being 1-1 between the pair.
Let’s start with Thyme Hill. This seven-year-old was fourth in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Festival behind Monkfish and has stepped up another level this season. He beat Paisley Park at Newbury on his reappearance before losing out in the final strides at Ascot last time.
There is nothing between the two horses on current form but we have a slight preference for Paisley Park. He won this race in 2019 before a poor run last year behind Lisnager Oscar. That was a real shock but this nine-year-old looks as good as ever this term and can win this again for jockey Aidan Coleman.
Outside of the two leading protagonists, we really fancy Flooring Porter to run a big race. This Gavin Cromwell-trained six-year-old has shown marked improvement in his two runs this season, including an easy win over a strong field at Leopardstown last time.
He likes to set the pace and could make this a true test. He could give Paisley Park and Thyme Hill something to think about.
3.40 – Festival Plate – 2m4f
After the slightly easier graded races to cast your eye over, we are back again to another of those fiendishly tricky handicaps. this time a chase over two-and-a-half-miles.
Some big names have won this race in the past few years, including Road to Respect and The Storyteller, who have added Grade One successes in their careers.
Our tip is a young horse with a bright future who we think could certainly emulate those two fantastic horses. A Wave of the Sea, trained by Joseph O’Brien, is only five but showed a brilliant level of form with a win in a big handicap at Leopardstown a few weeks ago.
The worry is a horse this age might have inexperience of a big field but our selection showed real maturity to win that race narrowly and he could be well-suited to this contest.
A big danger and good each way bet could be Umbrigado for David Pipe. He won the Greatwood Chase at Newbury a couple of weeks ago and is on a four-timer. Providing this race hasn’t arrived too quickly, he looks a really tasty price to be involved at the finish.
4.15pm – Mares Novices’ Hurdle – 2m
This is another fairly new race added to the Cheltenham Festival calendar and there are only two more races left to complete our Cheltenham runners and riders for day three.
This is only the sixth running of this race and last year, Concertista won this valuable prize for Willie Mullins. The Irish-training legend has another live chance this year with Hook Up, as well as Gauloise.
Hook Up is the 5/1 (6.00) joint favourite with Royal Kahala and she has been highly tried this season, including a creditable fourth to Appreciate It last time out.
She was beaten by her rival for favouritism at Fairyhouse in January when she was Evens and has five lengths to make up on that rival. We think Royal Kahala can maintain her edge on the Mullins fancy.
Our selection was surprisingly beaten last time out but is still improving and can bring this prize home for trainer Peter Fahey.
A horse we think could run well at a bigger price is The Glancing Queen. She showed a great level of form when third to Bravemansgame at Newbury over the festive period and that puts her in with a big shout.
4.50pm – Kim Muir Chase – 3m2f
Another real head-scratcher to end day three with and although there are two joint favourites who head the betting by some considerable distance, we think there are two horses who have some really good form who represent great value.
This race is run over the Gold Cup trip so you need a horse with stamina and battling qualities to propel themselves up the gruelling Cheltenham hill.
In that respect, Shantou Flyer looks to have a superb chance for Paul Nicholls at fairly generous odds. He was third in the Foxhunter Chase at the Festival last season before coming back into training with Nicholls last summer.
He has had two races for the Somerset-based trainer and shown a good level of form both times. At 11, he looks as good as ever and should take a lot of beating.
Another one we like is Demachine. He lost narrowly in a high-class novices’ chase at Ascot last time out but improved last season to win a couple of nice races. At the age of seven, there is still untapped potential there and he could run a big race a nice price.
With the Cheltenham Festival just days away, take a look at our betting online features that you can enjoy with us at NetBet!
*Odds subject to change