Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Day 3
Day 2 saw three favourites back in the winner’s enclosure, with excellent performances by Samcro and Presenting Percy in the first two races, but the run from Altior, who made it 13 straight wins was something special. Gordon Elliott trained three winners, whilst Willie Mullins added another two to his total this week and Nicky Henderson got on the board again too, thanks to Altior. Here, we preview Day 3.
13.30 – 2m4f JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Golden Miller) (Class 1) (5yo+)
Nothing particularly jumps out as the obvious winner of this Grade 1 Chase, but the vote goes to the Nicky Henderson trained Terrefort, with Daryl Jacob on board. He’s won over this distance on his last two starts in Britain, at Huntingdon and Sandown, the latest a Grade 1 last month. At 4/1, he looks an appealing price. Kemboy goes for Willie Mullins and looks to be the yards second-string. However, he is lightly raced and won on his last run at Fairyhouse in January. At odds of 16/1, he looks like good each-way value.
Terrefort – Win 4/1
Kemboy – E/W 16/1
2.10 – 3m Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (Class 1) (5yo+)
Twenty-four runners in this Grade 3 Hurdle and Gordon Elliott sends out two with a very good chance of landing this. Barry Geraghty prefers Glenloe who has been bred to be a stayer and ran well over 3m at Leopardstown last time. He could be a popular winner at 13/2. His stablemate, Delta Work, also looks to have a good chance, performing consistently at this distance and looks good odds for a place at 12/1. Forza Milan is also one to watch and further improvement can certainly see him place, also at odds of 12/1.
Glenloe – Win 13/2
Delta Work – E/W 12/1
Forza Milan – E/W 12/1
2.50 – 2m5f Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Class 1) (5yo+)
After a crashing fall on Day 2, it is unlikely we will see Douvan compete in this. Un De Sceaux is a top-class chaser who won this race last year, but that was on good ground, so at 11/10 looks too short. The selection is the 2013 winner Cue Card who proved he still has ability when finishing second at Ascot over this distance last time out and at 13/2 cannot be ignored. Frodon was 15l behind Cue Card that day, but loves it here and has a record of 2-2 over C&D. Looks a good each-way chance at 11/1.
Cue Card – Win 13/2
Frodon – E/W 11/1
3.30 – 3m Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+)
Sam Spinner is becoming a very progressive hurdler and saw off the challenge of L’Ami Serge in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot last time out. Although short odds of 7/2, there are no obvious contenders that will beat him. Yanworth, a winner before at the Festival, moves back to hurdles and is a high-class performer in this sphere – has a very good chance at 6/1.
Sam Spinner – Win 7/2
Yanworth – E/W 6/1
4.10 – 2m5f Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (5yo+)
Another big field of 24 runners with many having claims. The nod goes to Last Goodbye who produced a career best performance to win at Leopardstown in new headgear last time and should be involved at 12/1. Tully East is a former Festival winner and can go well again at 9/1. A chance is also taken on former Galway Plate winner, Shanahan’s Turn, who has undergone wind surgery and looks of interest at bigger odds of 40/1.
Last Goodbye – Win 12/1
Tully East – E/W 9/1
Shanahan’s Turn – E/W 40/1
4.50 – 2m1f Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Dawn Run) (Class 1) (4yo+)
Laurina certainly looked impressive when winning with complete ease in a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse last time out, but her odds of 8/13 against much better opposition looks far too short. Maria’s Benefit is a progressive front-runner who made it five wins on the spin when landing a Grade 2 at Doncaster latest. She looks much better value at 6/1. Cap Soleil is a Listed winner and looks like she could be a threat for trainer Fergal O’Brien. She can be in the mix at 12/1.
Maria’s Benefit – Win 6/1
Cap Soleil – E/W 12/1
5.30 – 3m2f Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (Class 2) (5yo+ 0-145)
The day’s final race sees 22 runners line up and preference is for the Warren Greatrex trained, Missed Approach. He was a runner-up in last year’s NH Chase here, losing to one of yesterday’s winners, Tiger Roll. Runner-up last time out at Musselburgh, he has had a wind operation since, which means his 10/1 odds look appealing. Band Of Bloods has won his last two outings, is clearly in form and looks a good each-way bet at 12/1. Millanisi Boy finished second at Newbury back in January, but the winner, third and fourth that day, have all gone on to win, so form looks very interesting and can be involved at 25/1.
Missed Approach – Win 10/1
Band Of Bloods – E/W 12/1
Millanisi Boy – E/W 25/1