Thursday at Cheltenham - The Gambling Times

Thursday at Cheltenham

We preview day three of the Cheltenham Festival 2019 – St Patrick’s Thursday.

The seven race card begins with the JLT Novices, and features the hugely anticipated Ryanair Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Don’t forget any non-runners you can keep up-to-date via our Non-runners tool

We have detailed run through of every race, including our picks and also from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann.

St Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday, March 14 (New Course)

1.30pm JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 5y £150,000

The JLT Novices’ Chase – originally the Golden Miller Novices’ Chase – was introduced to The Festival in 2011. Run over two and a half miles, the contest was upgraded to Grade One status in 2014.

The race has been a good breeding ground for some top horses with Sir Des Champs and Vautour amongst the previous winners.

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
2 Defi Du Seuil 11/4
P J Hobbs / B J Geraghty
4 Lostintranslation 3/1
C L Tizzard / R M Power
6 Real Steel 7/1
W P Mullins / P Townend
3 Kildisart 8/1
B Pauling / D A Jacob
7 Vinndication 9/1
K C Bailey / David Bass
8 Voix Du Reve 12/1
W P Mullins / R Walsh
5 Mengli Khan 16/1
G Elliott / J W Kennedy
10 Pravalaguna 16/1
W P Mullins / D J Mullins
9 Castafiore 20/1
C E Longsdon / Paul O’Brien
1 Capeland 25/1
P F Nicholls / H Cobden

TGT says: Defi Du Seuil is a class horse and should be winning this opener.

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: The ground is perfect for Vinndication in the opening JLT Chase, but I feel Kim Bailey’s chaser is better going right-handed and if he couldn’t beat Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation (1.30) at Sandown I don’t expect him to reverse the form this afternoon.

The score between Defi Du Seuil (11/4 at BetVictor) and the selection currently stands at 1-1 but the hope is that Lostintranslation’s superior jumping will be the deciding factor in what promises to be a cracker. The Irish have won seven of the eight renewals of this race, but I feel the prize will stay in Britain this afternoon. Preference for Lostintranslation (3/1 at BetVictor) is marginal although connections do feel he could make up into a Gold Cup contender next term.

2.10pm Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y £100,000

The Pertemps Network Final was introduced to The Festival in 1974, replacing the George Duller Handicap Hurdle. Run over three miles, the Pertemps Network Final is the final of the Pertemps handicap hurdle series and is served by qualifiers which are held in Britain, Ireland and France.

Willie Wumpkins entered Festival folklore with three consecutive victories between 1979 and 1981, when aged 11, 12 & 13.

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
3 Sire Du Berlais 13/2
G Elliott / B J Geraghty
20 Samburu Shujaa 11/1
P J Hobbs / R Johnson
1 Walk To Freedom 12/1
Mrs J Harrington / R M Power
6 First Assignment 12/1
Ian Williams / T J O’Brien
21 Notwhatiam 12/1
D Skelton / Harry Skelton
2 A Toi Phil 14/1
G Elliott / J W Kennedy
8 Aaron Lad 14/1
Dr R D P Newland / Charlie Hammond
11 Not Many Left 16/1
Mrs J Harrington / M P Walsh
14 Thermistocles 16/1
Joseph P O’Brien / J J Slevin
16 Cuneo 16/1
H De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore
4 Boyhood 20/1
T R George / P J Brennan
15 Flemcara 20/1
Miss E C Lavelle / Aidan Coleman
22 Champers On Ice 20/1
D Pipe / T Scudamore
23 Abolitionist 20/1
Dr R D P Newland / Sam Twiston-Davies
10 Black Mischief 25/1
H Fry / N D Fehily
13 Theclockisticking 25/1
Stuart Edmunds / C Gethings
5 Padleyourowncanoe 33/11
C L Tizzard / H Cobden
9 Culture De Sivola 33/1
Nick Williams / Lizzie Kelly
17 Oh Land Abloom 33/1
N B King / Bryony Frost
18 Wait For Me 33/1
P J Hobbs / M G Nolan
19 Tobefair 33/1
Mrs D A Hamer / Thomas Bellamy
7 Eminent Poet 40/1
Miss V Williams / Charlie Deutsch
12 Coole Cody 40/1
M Blake / Nick Scholfield
24 Aspen Colorado 40/1
Jonjo O’Neill / Jonjo O’Neill Jr.

TGT says: Sire Du Berlais should take some beating, but each-way might be the way to go.

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: I have backed Sire du Berlais (6/1 at BetVictor) for the Pertemps Final, but confidence has waned after the form of the Gordon Elliot horses on Tuesday. If there is an upturn in the stable’s fortune on Wednesday then I would be confident of a bold show from the hurdler, but without that knowledge to go on I will reluctantly bypass him.

The each way vote goes to Champers On Ice (2.10) who made a promising reappearance from a 428-day lay-off when fourth in a qualifier at Haydock last month. David Pipe saddled the winner of this corresponding race in 2010 and 2011 and is 18/1 at BetVictor who are paying five places on the race.

2.50pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 184y £350,000

It was one of several new races introduced at the Festival when a fourth day was added to the meeting in 2005. Prior to this there had been a similar event at the Festival called the Cathcart Challenge Cup.

The Ryanair Chase has been established as one of the National Hunt’s big races and attracts big names.

Balko Des Flosis looking to become on the second horse to defend this title, following on from Albertas Run. 2017 winner Un De Sceaux is also back looking for second win of the race.

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
5 Footpad 4/1
W P Mullins / R Walsh
7 Monalee 9/2
H De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore
8 Road To Respect 9/2
N Meade / S W Flanagan
12 Un De Sceaux 11/2
W P Mullins / P Townend
6 Frodon 13/2
P F Nicholls / Bryony Frost
2 Balko Des Flos 18/1
H De Bromhead / D F O’Regan
11 The Storyteller 18/1
G Elliott / D N Russell
10 Terrefort 22/1
N J Henderson / D A Jacob
1 Aso 28/1
Miss V Williams / Charlie Deutsch
4 Coney Island 28/1
E P Harty / M P Walsh
3 Charbel 33/1
K C Bailey / David Bass
9 Sub Lieutenant 40/1
H De Bromhead / J J Slevin

TGT says: Frodon is a very good horse for Paul Nicholls and we like him here, but also Charbel looks very good each-way value.

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: I saw a picture from the Cheltenham weighing room of Rachel Blackmore and Byrony Frost sharing a joke before the former did us a favour when landing the Close Brothers Handicap Chase with A Plus Tard on Tuesday. Two days later and I wonder if the pair will get embroiled in a battle for the lead as they ride Monalee (9/2) and Frodon (6/1) respectively – two bold front-running chasers in the Ryanair Chase one of my favourite races of the week.

When you add former winner Un de Sceaux into the mix, the suggestion is the race will be run at a frantic pace and that might suit Road To Respect (2.50) who is, arguably, better at three miles but should be staying on while others have cried enough. Noel Meade’s 8-y-old gets the ew vote at 9/2 with BetVictor.

3.30pm Sun Racing Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y £325,000

First run in 1912, it was dropped a couple of times but in recent times has been established as the leading long-distance hurdle event in the National Hunt calendar, and it is the feature race on the third day.

It has produced some amazing stories over the years with most recently the likes of Barcacouda, Inglis Drever and four-time winner Big Buck’s becoming legends off the back of winning this race.

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
10 Paisley Park 15/8
Miss E C Lavelle / Aidan Coleman
5 Faugheen 4/1
W P Mullins / R Walsh
13 Supasundae 15/2
Mrs J Harrington / R M Power
1 Bacardys 12/1
W P Mullins / Mr P W Mullins
3 Black Op 12/1
T R George / N D Fehily
7 Kilbricken Storm 12/1
C L Tizzard / H Cobden
15 Top Notch 12/1
N J Henderson / D A Jacob
2 Bapaume 22/1
W P Mullins / P Townend
16 West Approach 25/1
C L Tizzard / T Scudamore
11 Petit Mouchoir 33/1
H De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore
12 Sam Spinner 33/1
Jedd O’Keeffe / Joe Colliver
17 Wholestone 33/1
N A Twiston-Davies / Sam Twiston-Davies
4 Coquin Mans 40/1
W P Mullins / D J Mullins
18 Yanworth 40/1
A King / B J Geraghty
6 Keeper Hill 50/1
W Greatrex / R Johnson
14 The Mighty Don 50/1
N J Gifford / L P Aspell
9 Nautical Nitwit 66/1
P A Kirby / Thomas Dowson
8 Man Of Plenty 100/1
Mrs S Leech / J J Burke

TGT says: Paisley Park is a very good horse and gets out vote, we also see Supasundae running a good race.

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: The feature race is the Stayers’ Hurdle and Paisley Park (7/4 with BetVictor) is many people’s banker of the meeting and I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off Emma Lavelle’s hurdler who has been the outstanding staying hurdler of the season and is the most likely winner.

I will be backing Black Op (3.30) each way, however, although I appreciate he has plenty of ground (14L) to make up on the favourite on Cleeve Hurdle running back in January. The selection was going very well at the top of the hill on that occasion, having raced wide, and I thought when he finished runner up in the Ballymore (2m 5f) to Samcro last season that he would appreciate a step up to 3m. At 14/1 with BetVictor (4 places) I hope he can reward each way support.

4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Grade 3) 2m 4f 184y £110,000

The contest was formerly known as the Mildmay Of Flete Handicap Chase and was first staged in 1951. Only two horses have taken the title twice in the shape of The Tsarevich and Elfast.

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
1 Janika 5/1
N J Henderson / D A Jacob
3 Spiritofthegames 7/1
D Skelton / Harry Skelton
12 Siruh Du Lac 7/1
Nick Williams / Lizzie Kelly
5 Kalondra 12/1
N P Mulholland / N D Fehily
2 River Wylde 14/1
N J Henderson / Nico de Boinville
9 Polidam 16/1
W P Mullins / P Townend
19 Azzerti 16/1
A King / Wayne Hutchinson
21 Eamon An Cnoic 16/1
D Pipe / T Scudamore
15 Doitforthevillage 18/1
P Henderson / P J Brennan
4 Modus 20/1
P F Nicholls / B J Geraghty
11 Bouvreuil 22/1
B Haslam / R P McLernon
23 King’s Odyssey 22/1
Evan Williams / Adam Wedge
18 Gardefort 25/1
Miss V Williams / H F Nugent
24 Didero Vallis 25/1
Miss V Williams / Charlie Deutsch
6 Valseur Lido 33/1
H De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore
7 Kauto Riko 33/1
T R Gretton / David Noonan
8 Bigmartre 33/1
H Whittington / G Sheehan
17 Testify 33/1
D McCain Jnr / W T Kennedy
20 Romain De Senam 33/1
P F Nicholls / H Cobden
22 Splash of Ginge 33/1
N A Twiston-Davies / Sam Twiston-Davies
13 Some Buckle 40/1
R Bandey / Harry Bannister
14 Templehills 50/1
N A Twiston-Davies / Thomas Bellamy
16 Voix D’Eau 50/1
Miss Lucinda V Russell / Callum Bewley

TGT says: Siruh Du Lac looks the pick here for us, a good horse.

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: I have already advised that I have backed Kalondra (4.10) antepost each way for the Plate and seen his price contract in the last week (now 14/1 at BetVictor 5 places) although confidence is waning as I am not convinced the likelihood of tacky ground will suit Neil Mulholland’s eight-year-old. The novices’ Azzerti (16s) and Spiritofthegames (10s) are two others I am interested in at a double figure prices in what looks another desperately tough handicap.

4.50pm National Hunt Breeders supported by Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (G2) 2m 179y £90,000

Introduced at The Festival in 2016, the Grade Two Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle offers an opportunity for novice mares to compete against their own sex. Run over two miles and a furlong and open to four-year-olds and upwards.

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
20 Epatante 11/8
N J Henderson / B J Geraghty
1 Posh Trish 6/1
P F Nicholls / H Cobden
4 Sinoria 8/1
H De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore
22 My Sister Sarah 9/1
W P Mullins / R Walsh
2 Queenohearts 16/1
Stuart Edmunds / C Gethings
18 Elusive Belle 18/1
N J Henderson / Mr S Waley-Cohen
3 Sancta Simona 20/1
W P Mullins / M P Walsh
7 Lust For Glory 22/1
N J Henderson / Nico de Boinville
16 Eglantine Du Seuil 25/1
W P Mullins / N D Fehily
19 Emily Moon 25/1
Mrs J Harrington / R M Power
8 Presidente Line 33/1
A Couetil / A Poirier
10 Allez Dance 33/1
W P Mullins / D A Jacob
13 Concertista 33/1
W P Mullins / D E Mullins
17 Elfile 33/1
W P Mullins / P Townend
21 Indefatigable 33/1
P R Webber / G Sheehan
11 Black Tears 40/1
G Elliott / D N Russell
2 Buildmeupbuttercup 40/1
W P Mullins / B Hayes
9 Tintangle 50/1
G Elliott / J W Kennedy
15 Diamond Gait 66/1
K C Bailey / David Bass
5 Awayinthewest 80/1
P A Fahy / J S McGarvey
6 Court Maid 100/1
T Mullins / D J Mullins
14 Dame du Soir 150/1
D G Bridgwater / T Scudamore

TGT says: Lust For Glory looks very good value to us here and is our pick.

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: Willie Mullins saddles seven in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle but I was fortunate enough to be at Kempton when Epatante (4.50) made her British debut and she gets the vote despite wearing a hood for the first time. The selection (11/8 at BetVictor) can be keen and this is the first time she has raced left-handed in Britain, but she can give Nicky Henderson another Festival winner.

5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase 3m 2f 75y £70,000

The Kim Muir Amateur Riders’ Chase was introduced to the National Hunt Meeting in 1946. Recently leading amateur Jamie Codd has won four of the last nine runnings.

2019 field and odds from BetVictor:
13 Measureofmydreams 6/1
G Elliott / Mr J J Codd
2 Any Second Now 9/1
T M Walsh / Mr Derek O’Connor
23 Its All Guesswork 10/1
G Elliott / Mr B O’Neill
11 No Comment 11/1
P J Hobbs / Mr M J O’Hare
20 Sky Pirate 11/1
Jonjo O’Neill / Mr Thomas M O’Brien
9 Speaker Connolly 12/1
A Fleming / Mr R Deegan
1 Livelovelaugh 14/1
W P Mullins / Mr P W Mullins
3 The Young Master 16/1
N P Mulholland / Mr S Waley-Cohen
8 Kilfilum Cross 16/1
Henry Oliver / Mr Alex Edwards
16 Just A Sting 16/1
H Fry / Mr M Legg
18 Captain Chaos 20/1
D Skelton / Miss G Andrews
22 Touch Kick 20/1
P F Nicholls / Mr W Biddick
5 Out Sam 25/1
G Elliott / Mr R James
12 Squouateur 25/1
B Haslam / Mr H D Dunne
15 Rogue Angel 25/1
G Elliott / Ms Lisa O’Neill
19 Treackle Tart 25/1
C E Longsdon / Mr E P O’Brien
7 Perfect Candidate 33/1
F O’Brien / Miss B Hampson
10 Arkwrisht 33/1
Joseph P O’Brien / Mr T Hamilton
6 Crievehill 40/1
N A Twiston-Davies / Mr Z Baker
4 Sumkindofking 40/1
T R George / Mr N George
21 Uhlan Bute 40/1
Miss V Williams / Miss L M Turner
4 Pearl Royale 50/1
N J Hawke / Mr Kieren Buckley
17 Ah Littleluck 50/1
T Gibney / Mr N McParlan
24 Drumconnor Lad 66/1
A Keatley / Mr J C Barry

TGT says: Measureofmydreams should bring it home here to end the day in style.

Expert view from BetVictor’s Charlie McCann: For Sire Du Berlais in the Pertemps Final read Measureofmydreams in the concluding Kim Muir Handicap. The latter is another Elliot-trained runner who would be a confident each way selection (6/1 at BetVictor) if the stable show on Day 2 that they are still in the form they have been for the vast majority of the campaign.

Without that information I feel No Comment (5.30) can reward each way support for Philip Hobbs at 10/1 with BetVictor. Mark O’Hare didn’t have much luck aboard Chef des Obeaux in the NH Chase earlier in the week, but he is a talented pilot and I would be disappointed if he didn’t have a very good spin. Sky Pirate is another to consider in a another hugely competitive handicap.

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