Cheltenham Festival 2023: Day 3 Preview, Trends, Tips

Cheltenham Competition 2023: Day 3 Preview, Developments, Suggestions

Cheltenham Competition 2023: Day 3 Preview, Suggestions

And so to the second half. Nonetheless 14 races to go at, together with the Stayers’ Hurdle, Ryanair Chase and, in fact, Friday’s Gold Cup. A number of smaller supporting fish that may additionally style candy, beginning with…

1.30 Turners Novices Chase (Grade 1, 2m 4f)

An even bigger subject than final 12 months’s although, with simply 4 then, that is not troublesome!

We’ve got a worthy favorite in Mighty Potter, who brings a four-race unbeaten streak and a profession tally of seven wins from 9 begins to the desk. He is a Grade 1 winner on each his most up-to-date spins, every over this form of journey, and on type he’s away from his subject. If you’d like a counterargument, it is this: in final 12 months’s Supreme he arrived equally solid-looking off the again of a Grade 1 novice hurdle gold; however he was simply not engaged on the day, pulling up a great distance out. This will likely be solely his second cross-water away day and, whereas a physique of proof of 1 race is hardly bombproof, it’s a niggle.

If MP ought to falter, who could profit? Most blatant can be Banbridge, winner of the Martin Pipe a 12 months in the past and second to El Fabiolo over an insufficient journey most lately. He was overwhelmed ten lengths there, and 18 lengths the time earlier than by Mighty Potter, so one may moderately argue that the jolly must notably under-perform to ensure that that type to get spun round. Additionally it is the case that Banbridge appears to want higher floor, his two wins on comfortable coming in run of the mill novice hurdles the place he in all probability outclassed his rivals.

A veteran at 9, within the context of a novice chase, is Respect It, winner of the 2021 Ballymore, second within the 2020 Champion Bumper, and solely 10/3 in final 12 months’s Champion Hurdle, the place he ran effectively for a very long time earlier than lack of race health advised. There are not any such health considerations this time after three seasonal outings, two of them wins, however he was comprehensively outpointed by Blue Lord final time and now steps up half a mile in journey. As a son of Jeremy it is not a foregone conclusion he’ll keep, particularly on rain softened floor; however he travels like he in all probability will (he did win a bumper over this journey very early in his profession, and was a degree to level winner earlier than that, for no matter that type is value now).

The primary UK runner within the lists is Balco Coastal, an in depth up second to Gerri Colombe within the G1 Scilly Isles final time. He’d beforehand gained a good novices’ handicap chase on comfortable floor lending credence to his declare to underfoot apathy, however his total stage appears just a little beneath the Irish trio.

Stage Star has been an excellent horse for his myriad enthusiastic house owners, and comes right here having gained seven of his 12 begins, together with the G1 Challow Hurdle in 2021. He then pulled up in Grade 1’s at each Cheltenham and Aintree, however has received again within the groove this time period over a fence. To wit, he is notched 3 times from 4 begins – second on the opposite event, in Grade 2 firm – and loves it comfortable. Circumstances will likely be excellent however I am not satisfied he is as much as this exacting stage.

James du Berlais a tough horse to peg. He was second in Grade 1’s at Auteuil and Punchestown over hurdles, and bolted up from the entrance in a learners’ chase on comfortable floor. However, in Mighty Potter’s G1 final time, he was stuffed. It is attainable he’ll recognize the softer floor however he’ll definitely must to reverse these positions.

Turners Novices Chase Tempo Map

This has tempo, primarily from Stage Star, Respect It and Christopher Wooden, but in addition Banbridge can go ahead; so it will be a real take a look at. Mighty Potter is anticipated to be helpful with out getting concerned within the battle for the lead.

Turners Novices Chase Choice

There may be each probability Mighty Potter simply wins however he is an unexciting worth after flopping so badly twelve months again. As such, it could be value chancing the previous man of the celebration, Respect It, in what may very well be a good slog if it does not cease raining. I really feel Banbridge may need higher floor, and the remainder of the Irish – and all the British – do not look ok.

Suggestion: Again Respect It at 4/1.


2.10 Pertemps Closing (Grade 3 handicap, 3m)

One other absolute melee. Coming into final season, the Irish had gained the earlier six renewals, and held many of the aces for a seventh. However it did not play out that method. In reality, not solely was Hughie Morrison’s Third Wind first previous the publish, however residence group runners stuffed out the rostrum and 5 of the primary six locations. Hmm…

A few of that will likely be all the way down to happenstance and a few on the hand of the BHA’s handicapping group, who’ve recalibrated the connection between UK and Irish scores. No matter, it is an fascinating extra consideration to lob into the pot.

My shortlist is Thanksforthehelp, The Bosses Oscar, Degree Neverending and Strolling On Air. This quintet is skilled and owned by ‘the suitable individuals’, has the suitable unexposed profile, and appears positive to deal with situations.

The Bosses Oscar was second on this off a 9 pound increased mark two years in the past. He pulled up in it final 12 months however that was after a season chasing the place he primarily pulled up. Again to hurdling this time period he is been on the premises all through, and a quick run large subject is not any downside to him. He is skilled by Gordon Elliott, triple Pertemps winner between 2018 and 2020.

He additionally saddles Degree Neverending for a similar house owners, Bective Stud. This one is way much less uncovered, having made his handicap debut within the Warwick qualifier, staying on right into a qualifying place and by no means nearer. He is an enormous worth darkish horse for all that he won’t be ok towards this stage of opposition.

Strolling On Air runs for Nicky Henderson and Mrs Michael Tabor – Doreen, the truth is. He is one other calmly raced type who opened his handicap account within the Exeter qualifier. All type thus far has been on a sound floor, which is a priority until the monitor dries out pronto.

David Pipe is a Pertemps winner – twice the truth is, with the identical great stick, Buena Vista. His previous man gained the race additional again and ‘Dave’ has probability with Thanksforthehelp, facile winner of the Chepstow qualifier final time. The notion that final day winners ‘have proven their hand’ does not actually match with the truth that final day winners have taken ten Pertemps Finals since 1997, from 108 qualifiers, for a +11 SP revenue. They’ve additionally hit the body at a 26% clip. The flip facet is that the final to attain a successful double was Presenting Percy in 2017.

A number of others to contemplate, naturally.

Pertemps Closing Tempo Map

Doubtlessly furiously run, it is going to definitely be strongly run. Which may go well with the sturdy travellers additional again, who can maintain a place via the early warmth and play their hand late.

Pertemps Closing Choice

That is one other race the place further locations give us further possibilities. In that spirit, I would like The Bosses Oscar, Degree Neverending and Thanksforthehelp on my ticket – and I do not thoughts splitting (inconsistently) between three picks in any respect. When you solely need to again one, take your alternative from that trio or any of the opposite horses within the subject!

Suggestion: Ensure you get all the additional locations you may, and take into account a number of of the three above.


2.50 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1, 2m 4 1/2f)

The a lot maligned Ryanair is one in every of my favorite races of the week. I get the argument that it dilutes the Champion Chase and Gold Cup, however the corollary is that it produces a excessive class warmth all of its personal for these not quick sufficient for the previous and with out enough stamina for the latter: it’s actually an intermediate Championship race.

Take Allaho previously two years, for instance; he is blitzed his rivals from the entrance and, in so doing, has recorded a pair of one of the best performances at these respective Festivals. Previous to that, Frodon and Bryony supplied one of many tales of the week in 2019, and the likes of Un De Sceaux, Vautour, Cue Card, Imperial Commander, and Albertas Run give the roll of honour a strong look. So, no, not for me that the Ryanair is a misstep: it is a cracking race and, typically, an excellent betting race.

Maybe not this season, nevertheless, on the latter level a minimum of. As a result of, within the absence of Allaho, we have now Shishkin. The winner of a Supreme and an Arkle pulled up in final 12 months’s Champion Chase and flunked behind Edwardstone on this season’s Tingle Creek: lacking, presumed gone at it. Till, that’s, a wind op and a step up in journey conspired to elicit a efficiency nearly as good as he is ever produced within the Ascot Chase over this journey.

That stage of type, and loads of different from previous to final season’s Fez flop, places him a mile – or possibly half a stone in scores phrases – away from his subject right here. However earlier than going all in, take into account that he was equally well-fancied off a equally rated prep a 12 months in the past. That large effort left its mark, albeit that the way of the consequence was visually much more punishing, Shishkin going toe to toe with Energumene in a heavyweight scrap for our time.

So who, if anybody, can decrease Shishkin’s black and yellow checkerboard colors?With the information that Allaho would miss the celebration, Willie was by no means going to fret in shuffling his pack to discover a sub. He is give you Blue Lord, who regarded world-beating at Christmas earlier than failing to stay with barn mate Gentleman De Mee on the Dublin Racing Competition final month. Previous to that, Blue Lord had executed effectively to carry off former King George winner Twister Flyer on his seasonal bow over the Ryanair journey. He is excessive class, however I am simply undecided what his journey is – two and 1 / 4 miles, maybe?

Janidil received closest to Allaho final 12 months, having been held up away from the tearaways on the entrance. That turned out to be tactic as, though he received nowhere close to ‘the pace of the pace’ Allaho, he plugged on previous; however it’s cheap to argue he could not even have been second had Conflated not fallen two out. Janidil had two subsequent spring spins, each non-completions, and has had only one go this season. That was within the Grade 2 Pink Mills Chase at Gowran Park, the place he held off Haut En Couleurs in a small however pretty choose subject.

This distance could be the making of Fury Highway, who has struggled to see out three miles on the high desk on plenty of events. He gained a Grade 2 over 2m4f in early November final 12 months earlier than taking bronze in a brace of Leopardstown three mile G1’s; additional again, he was simply outstayed by Monkfish within the 2020 Albert Bartlett.

What to make of Envoi Allen? Winner of the 2019 Champion Bumper and the 2020 Ballymore, he is truly gained a few Grade 1’s since together with as lately as this season. He is six from eight at round this distance, hurdles and fences, and, should you can overlook a really poor exhibiting within the King George, he is a spot participant.

I do not give the remaining a lot of an opportunity.

Ryanair Chase Tempo Map

Regular away right here, most definitely; Chacun Poir Soi, fabulous previous boy, could also be close to the entrance however will not be tearing off. Must be even tempo.

Ryanair Chase Choice

That is Shishkin‘s race to lose. He regarded very, superb within the Ascot Chase final time and a run with seven kilos of that’s in all probability ok. I do not actually just like the ‘with out’ market in order that’s it – Shishkin.

Suggestion: Again 8/11 Shishkin to generate some eights for any spare elevens you’ve* – or simply watch a champ in motion.

*this doesn’t represent sturdy monetary recommendation. Caveat emptor.


3.30 Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1, 3m)

The second spotlight of day three is the Stayers’ Hurdle, run over three miles. Bizarrely, it isn’t at all times the take a look at of stamina the identify suggests: within the final two seasons, Danny Mullins has ridden his rivals right into a trance aboard Flooring Porter with, final season, his stop-start tempo on the entrance finish earlier than gearing up within the run to 2 out. Idiot me as soon as, disgrace on you; idiot me thrice?

Though FP’s type figures look rather less interesting this season, he is been working to the same stage of type and he appears to deal with most floor. Coach Gavin Cromwell could have once more peaked him for this gig, however only a few horses handle to win three Stayers’ Hurdles (or certainly three of any Competition Championship race). That stated, there is not a bundle of apparent tempo alternates within the subject.

We’ve not seen plenty of the seven-year-old Charles Byrnes-trained Blazing Khal, however what we have now seen has usually been different horses following him residence. Certainly, he is had simply 4 races since 2020, three of them the next 12 months and all of them victories. That two had been achieved round Cheltenham is a boon to his prospects, as is his confirmed pace for shorter journeys in addition to three-mile successful type. This will likely be a primary step as much as Grade 1 firm however, after three successive G2 scores, he is prepared. Byrnes tends to know what he has and so the layoff – sole spin since 2021 was final month – is not unduly regarding, although there’s scope for the dreaded ‘bounce’ with that profile. There’s a small niggle about his rider, the coach’s son, who will likely be unable to say his allowance right here.

Ex-French-trained Teahupoo was within the care of Gabriel Leenders previous to his rehoming at Gordon Elliott’s Cullentra Home yard, and his former conditioner has Gold Tweet on this 12 months’s line up. Let’s cope with Teahupoo first. He is a usually early blooming French-bred who has gained seven of his 9 Irish begins, together with this season’s Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, Grade 1. He was soundly overwhelmed final time period in each the Champion Hurdle and the Punchestown equal, however has resumed successful methods over additional both facet of the brand new 12 months. Most of his good type is on comfortable or heavy floor so he will not thoughts any rain, and if it turns right into a slog that should go well with him.

Gold Tweet is one other for whom moist floor holds no terrors: it was comfortable when he gained the Cleeve, and really comfortable when he scored at Fontainebleu in November. However defeating Dashel Drasher and Paisley Park, each implausible sticks however certainly on the decline now, in all probability leaves him with lots to seek out on this deeper subject. Gold Tweet has by no means gained above G3 in France (and that in a chase race).

One other I am struggling to quantify is Dwelling By The Lee. Joseph O’Brien trains this eight-year-old whose timber-topping type previous to this season was 218U113P100P226R; he is managed to place back-to-back wins collectively, in a Grade 2 after which a 3 mile Grade 1, so what provides? A charitable perspective of his Stayers’ run final 12 months would present that he stayed on having been outpaced mid-race; his case hangs on it being an intensive stamina take a look at, which is not at all a given. In any occasion, he is brief sufficient in a race of if’s and however’s.

Willie sends Klassical Dream and he may simply be the over-priced one. Positive, he is quirky, and he in all probability must be delivered on the road as a result of he travels quite a bit higher than he finds when let down; however he is a six-time (SIX!) Grade 1 winner together with three of his final 4 Grade 1’s – so no again quantity – and comes right here off the again of a slender defeat by Teahupoo over an insufficient two and a half mile journey.

Of the remaining, Ashdale Bob could be concerned in making the tempo – he is led or been distinguished in his final three, and clung powerful for third of 23 in final 12 months’s Coral Cup – and is admirably constant. His type within the final three seasons reads 11F912U373232342: nearly at all times thereabouts when finishing. I actually hope he places it as much as Flooring Porter (although, in fact, there will likely be others who want the alternative!).

It is powerful to make a lot of case for the celebs of yesteryear like Paisley Park and Dashel Drasher.

Stayers Hurdle Tempo Map

Absolutely Flooring Porter does not get a simple lead for a 3rd 12 months working? Absolutely?! Possibly he does, although each Ashdale Bob and Dashel Drasher can go from the entrance, too. The French runner, Henri Le Farceur, led final time however is extra usually waited with.

Stayers Hurdle Choice

Very troublesome certainly. I am taking an opportunity on Klassical Dream, win solely, within the hope that they go quick and he can cruise into competition. He is as more likely to flop as to win so not an every method play, however hoping he’ll give a run for the cash.

Suggestion: Again Klassical Dream win solely at 10/1.


4.10 Competition Plate (Grade 3 handicap, 2m 4 1/2f)

One other borderline unattainable handicap, this time a chase, and the primary of two such races on the day. That is the least traits’y race of the week, with the Irish faring effectively sufficient, so too the Brits; younger horses and previous, uncovered and unexposed, all getting on the roll of honour. It is a race that Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins have by no means gained, Gordon Elliott has solely gained as soon as and Nicky Henderson hasn’t gained since 2006! It is also a race the place 4 of the final 5 winners had been priced 5/1 or shorter, which is disappointing until you fancy So Scottish.

That horse, within the care of Emmet Mullins, Plate successful coach two years in the past, seems to be an apparent contender for all that he is more likely to face deeper floor and has been off longer than most winners; although Ballynagour in 2014 returned after the very same 117 day layoff to win.

Il Ridoto was a comfortable floor winner over course and distance final time and, up eight kilos, nonetheless seems to be viable for Nicholls. He may once more bid to make all. And a very fascinating one if he stays is Frero Banbou. Educated by Venetia Williams, three-time Plate winner, this lad was desperately outpaced in final 12 months’s Grand Annual over two miles earlier than making up floor on a fading subject into eventual third. He is in the suitable palms and will be capable to lie up with them extra simply over this longer vary. Venetia additionally runs Gemirande, a visit specialist who has progressed by greater than a stone this season and, not out of the primary two in his final six begins, should still be bettering.

Hundreds of thousands of others with possibilities.

Competition Plate Tempo Map

There’s not a large quantity of early go, although Gemirande and Coole Cody will likely be there. So, too, maybe Shakem Up’Arry and Embittered. Must be a good probability for many.

Competition Plate Choice

The easy reply is So Scottish, and he could be a win saver. However, with as many bonus locations as I can get, I will be splitting my stake between the Brits Il Ridoto, Frero Banbou and Gemirande, and hoping for one of the best.

Suggestion: Take a few your selecting, and save on So Scottish.


4.50 Daybreak Run Mares Novices Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m 1f)

All of us have a least favorite Competition race, and this one is mine. I am typically accepting of the brand new races however positively wrestle with the mares’ novices’ hurdle. Anyway, that is my downside, and it’ll have a winner to seek out, so let’s get on to that.

With seven renewals thus far, Willie gained the primary 5 – sigh/wow! – earlier than Henry de B took over with a 1-2 in 2021, the place there was an Irish 1-2-3-4, none of them Willie. Then, final 12 months, up rocked Love Envoi, skilled by a Brit, Harry Fry, with one other Brit in second, Willie third.

And it is a UK mare, Luccia, who is brief on the high of the betting lists this time round. She’s been a simple winner of all 4 begins thus far, two bumpers and two novices, however hasn’t jumped on softer than good floor but. She might effectively be the winner; the issue is that that is a type of races the place there are a variety of unexposed sorts whose type strains are untested towards one another.

Henry de Bromhead has choices in a race named after his late son – poor household – and it will likely be unbearably poignant if one in every of his can win. Chief amongst them could be Magical Zoe, herself unbeaten in three. She’s gained on comfortable in Grade 3 firm and, whereas not as visually spectacular as Luccia, she’s anticipated to understand any stiffer take a look at of stamina on account of a quick tempo. She was 18/1 that final day and beat the primary two available in the market into second and third: it did not look fluky.

A very fascinating contender, to not be confused with the de Bromhead runner, is Princess Zoe. You may know her from similar to her Group 1 Prix du Cadran rating or a number of Galway triumphs. She scraped residence in a useless warmth on hurdling debut over 2m4f, and it could be {that a} actually run two miles or so with a little bit of reduce is perfect. Her leaping lacked just a little polish on that timber-topping bow, because it was entitled to do, and, if effectively schooled since, she’s unquestionably excessive class.

4 of Willie’s 5 Daybreak Run winners had been five-year-olds, which could simply be coincidence; however extra Daybreak Runners are typically six or older. Mullins’ 5yo entry is Lot Of Pleasure, who has a Lot To Do on the scores; however she seems to be a typical improver, having run up in her first two spins in enormous fields earlier than placing a dozen lengths between herself and the closest of 14 rivals final time. She was 1/7 that day so did nothing surprising, however that brings her to Cheltenham on an enchancment arc and fewer uncovered than many others.

You Put on It Effectively was second to Hermes Allen within the Grade 1 Challow, a race understanding very effectively. I do not know the way Hermes has executed at time of writing, however an enormous efficiency from him within the Ballymore would clearly be a touch in the direction of this mare’s probability. She’s superb on all floor and simply gained a Grade 2 final time. Each the Challow and that G2 had been over additional, nevertheless, so the drop again in journey isn’t sure to go well with.

Two extra to say, from a forged of 21, are Poetic Music and Halka Du Tabert. Poetic Music was an excellent bumper filly, working sixth in Facile Vega’s Champion Bumper as a four-year-old. She’s taken effectively to hurdling, successful twice, although was no match for Luccia once they met three again. She needs a battle and she or he needs a powerful tempo, and she or he’ll get each of these right here: outdoors squeak.

Halka Du Tabert was effectively touted and confirmed the rumours to be on level when slamming Eabha Grace, a Grade 3 winner on the weekend, in an enormous subject maiden. She was outpaced in a small subject G3 final time, and that is way more her setup: she may very well be a contender.

Mares Novices Hurdle Tempo Map

Exhausting to know the way it will go along with so many inexperienced mares. On what we have seen, Fox Woman and Halka du Tabert will likely be forwardly positioned from the outset, whereas Luccia is extra more likely to monitor these trailblazers.

Mares Novices Hurdle Choice

Tons who will prove higher than they’ve had an opportunity to point out thus far, and Luccia – while an apparent win probability – is a measly worth. Towards her, I will probability a pair every method: Magical Zoe and Halka Du Tabert. Each are more likely to relish a powerful tempo and possess the battling qualities required for a scrum amongst 20+ inexperienced mares.

Suggestion: Again both or each of Magical Zoe and Halka du Tabert, every method a pleasure.


5.30 Kim Muir Problem Cup Chase (Class 2 Handicap, 3m2f)

The second handicap chase of the day, this one over three and 1 / 4 miles and the unique area of beginner riders. Nonetheless, a fast squint on the successful jocks lately demonstrates the extent of professionalism within the beginner ranks: simply two of the final 9 had been claiming, and each have now gone skilled. Jamie Codd has gained the Kim Muir 4 instances since 2009.

In betting phrases, there have been two 40/1 winners previously eight years, each British-trained, and the opposite six had been all single determine returns, 4 of them skilled in Eire.

Favorite this 12 months is Stumptown, on the hat-trick and skilled by Gavin Cromwell. He popped up at Sandown final time, eking out seven lengths over the second that day and incomes sufficient of a scores bump to ebook his Kim Muir ticket. Though he gained a maiden hurdle on comfortable, his latest greatest has been achieved on a sounder floor; that does not imply he will not deal with wetter in addition to drier, simply that he won’t – and he is terrible brief should you’re undecided.

Mr Unimaginable bids, I feel, to be Willie Mullins’ first handicap chase winner on the Competition. I imagine he is 0 from 37 although he is had some positioned. That is clearly not fuelling optimism and the horse – claimed by his rider to be a nutjob – has type figures that lurch from a Scrabble rack to a clutch of podium positions. Which Mr Unimaginable will present up as we speak?

A horse we had been curious about shopping for a few years again is Farinet, and he is been a superb servant for connections. He is skilled by the primary woman of Cheltenham Competition handicap chases, Venetia Williams, and wasn’t overwhelmed too far over course and distance on New Yr’s Day.

Beauport arrives right here fairly than the Ultima, and which may be the proverbial tip in itself. Coach by the Tornado, Nigel Twiston-Davies, he loves comfortable floor and a visit.

On the different finish of the handicap, Ben Pauling – successful coach of the Grand Annual final 12 months – saddles a pair, the extra fascinating of which might be Anightinlambourn. He is gained three of his final 4 and was second on the opposite event; two of these runs had been right here over this form of journey, however on faster floor. If it dries out he turns into very fascinating, I feel.

And I’ve nearly definitely not talked about the winner!

Kim Muir Tempo Map

It is Venetia to the fore and aft, everybody else in between. Farinet seemingly goes to the entrance whereas Chambard will likely be performed late. A number of different occasional tempo pressers means this will likely be a stern examination of leaping over an exacting distance.

Kim Muir Choice

Tough. Very difficult. I’ll strive Beauport and Anightinlambourn (good to comfortable or faster solely) towards the sphere.

Suggestion: Again a pair towards the sphere, with a number of further locations. Possibly the identical two as me, and possibly not!


It is a very powerful day is Thursday on the Competition, so effectively executed should you come out in entrance. When you do not, there’s at all times Gold Cup day…

Good luck!


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