Cheltenham day 3 tips: The best bets for Thursday at the Festival
The best bets for the Cheltenham Festival Day 3
The Cheltenham Festival is now in full swing and at the halfway stage we have taken a look through the Cheltenham betting and analysed every single race on day three of the Prestbury Park showpiece.
MIGHTY POTTER sets a very high standard and he looks the horse that could provide Davy Russell with a fitting swansong victory at the Festival during his brief return to the saddle.
One of the most successful jockeys at the meeting still riding, he hung up his boots earlier in the season, only to return and answer an SOS from trainer Gordon Elliott when stable number one Jack Kennedy was struck down by injury.
Russell got a taste of Mighty Potter’s potential when steering him to an eight-and-a-half-length success in a Dublin Racing Festival Grade One last month and that victory marks him out as the one to beat here.
"The sky is the limit…I wouldn't swap him."
Mighty Potter is held in extremely high regard by Gordon Elliott who has high hopes for his six-year-old in the Turners Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival 👇@WillHillRacing | @CheltenhamRaces pic.twitter.com/5wb11hqVzk
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 12, 2023
His only blip over hurdles came when pulled up in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle here last year, but he has been foot-perfect ever since and has won all three of his starts over the larger obstacles with the minimum of fuss.
Joseph O’Brien’s Banbridge has the potential to keep him honest but was over 18 lengths adrift when they clashed in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse and Mighty Potter can confirm his superiority here.
Nicky Henderson is responsible for three of the 24 runners and while Walking On Air and Captain Morgs both hold solid claims, it may be worth taking a chance on the biggest-priced of his trio, MILL GREEN.
The 11-year-old often saves his best for the Cheltenham Festival and providing age hasn’t caught up with him, he could be swimming quietly under the radar in a race which doesn’t hold too many secrets now the qualification rules have changed.
Admittedly race favourite Thanksforthehelp could prove a real tough nut to crack, but Mill Green is off the same mark as when third in the race 12 months ago and will have sharpened up for his return at Haydock last month.
Shishkin produced arguably a career best to win the Betfair Chase in sublime fashion at Ascot last month and will be many people’s idea of a banker in this contest.
However, such a phenomenal effort surely leaves a mark and for a horse that has had his fair share of issues in recent years, he is easy to leave alone at odds-on.
Therefore, the value for Cheltenham day 3 tips may lie with FURY ROAD, who has hit the frame in both the Savills Chase and Irish Gold Cup over three miles at Leopardstown this season but was a winner of a Grade Two in his last race over this distance.
The form of his two placed efforts behind Galopin Des Champs and Conflated read very well and he could give the race sponsors a real chance of keeping hold of the prize money.
As competitive a Championship race as you will see all week and the waters are further muddied by some of the main protagonists having an interrupted build-up.
Both Charles Byrnes’ Blazing Khal and Gavin Cromwell’s Flooring Porter – who is looking to join the exclusive club of three-time Stayers’ Hurdle winners – arrive with question marks around their fitness.
Therefore, the tentative vote goes to Joseph O’Brien’s HOME BY THE LEE, who could be the forgotten horse in the race.
A well held sixth in the day three feature last year, he ran much better than that form suggests and has taken his results to the next level this term.
He was a good winner of the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan in November and proved that was no fluke by running out a three-length victor in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.
That Grade One success marked him out as a real player in this, but having been kept under wraps by his Owning Hill handler since, he now finds himself a backable proposition for each-way players and is likely to be well in the mix at the business end if repeating his early-season efforts.
Sometimes something is that obvious it is staring you straight in the face and that could be the case with SO SCOTTISH, who looks to have been plotted out for this to perfection.
Emmet Mullins landed a gamble with The Shunter in this race in 2021 and looks to repeat the dose with this unexposed novice, who has been kept hidden since finishing second to Boothill at Ascot in November.
Harry Fry’s charge has since franked that form on multiple occasions and although So Scottish has seen his rating lifted accordingly, there is still likely to be plenty of improvement to come off a figure of 143.
He has to prove he can operate in a big field over the larger obstacles but was snapped up by leading owner JP McManus since his last outing and it is safe to assume there has simply been one day in mind ever since.
Luccia is a red-hot favourite and could be a very special mare, but with the Irish dominating the novice hurdling events so far this week it may pay to look to the Emerald Isle once again.
With that in mind, the one who makes appeal is JETARA, who has been a model of consistency throughout her career.
Deserved Listed success for the consistent Jetara (5-1), who fends off the fast-finishing Lily Du Berlais in the mares' bumper @NavanRacecourse 🏇@Jessica_Racing | @Hamilton95T pic.twitter.com/EQp1fJnRDn
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 27, 2022
Jessica Harrington’s charge won a Listed bumper in the autumn before turning her hand to hurdling and she has taken to her new discipline with aplomb – chasing home High Definition and finishing ahead of Supreme Novices’ Hurdle third Diverge at Leopardstown on Boxing Day before again hitting the frame in a competitive Grade Three at Fairyhouse.
The latter of those two contests turned into a sprint and with stamina this five-year-old’s forte, the extended two miles on the new course is sure to be really in her favour.
The Irish are dominating the top of the market for the day-three finale and it is extremely plausible that Stumptown, Mr Incredible, Angels Dawn and Dunboyne fight out the finish of this, all arriving with high-class staying chase form to their names.
However, a big-price winner won this last year and with British-trained runners continuing to be given a chance by the handicapper, ANIGHTINLAMBOURN could continue his love affair with Prestbury Park as the last of our Cheltenham day 3 tips.
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