Cheltenham day 3 (St Patrick’s Day) begins with the JLT novices chase, but the main focus of the day is on the RyanAir Chase (2.50) and the World Hurdle (3.30). The World hurdle used to be very popular with punters as historically there had not been many long priced winners and was easier to look at the form due to the distance of the race. This was very evident when Paul Nicholls and Big Bucks won 4 years in a row (2009-2012 at 6/1, 5/6f, 10/11f, 5/6f,).
The last three years changed all of that with a 17/2, 15/2 and a 14/1 winner emerging respectively (Solwhit, More Of That and Cole Harden). It certainly makes this year an interesting spectacle, especially with two clear early favourites on the card. We preview the big race in a special big race guide that can be found on our blog.
Cheltenham day 3 – races guide
JLT Novice chase
Cheltenham day 3 gets under way at 1.30 with the JLT novices chase, a grade one race thats open to horses 5 and older. This race has been running for 5 years and there’s no real guide to the form, other than 6 & 7 year olds have been the appropriately aged victorious horses in each previous race. It’s worth keeping an eye on what the trainers are saying about who will run in this one, as there’s usually a number changes before the day. Last years winner was a starting price 7/2 shot Vautour, who left everybody else for dust with two jumps to go.
The Pertemps sponsored race is the second on Cheltenham day 3 at 2.10. It is an open race this year with 6 entries hovering around the 10/1 mark, but the field is being headed up Leave At Dawn who is as low as 6/1. There’s some more interesting stats to this race though. The last 10 winners have all had a form rating of 142 or less and 24 of the last 25 winners were aged between 6 and 9.
This is a tough race to call as the runners are not yet clear for this one, Road To Riches is the leader in the betting at 4/1 with a number of bookies. There’s some potential well know horses running in this one with Vroum Vroum Mag, Vautour, Dynaste, Josses Hill and Don Cossack all declaring for the race. It’s unlikely that they will all run though and the betting will change a lot before the race starts once the runners become clearer.
The World hurdle is the main feature race of the day with Thistlecrack clear favourite in the bookies eyes. With Annie Power possibly racing here as well, this could be a brilliant race and one to remember. Cole Harden ran a fantastic race last year and showed that it pays off to get your nose in front nice and early. Only if the horse has the stamina to be able to do so though! This is the standout race of the day for me and if Thistlecrack is where my money will be if he does indeed end up running in the World Hurdle. Last year’s race sponsor, Ladbrokes are offering a £50 free bet over the Cheltenham festival, click here for £50 free!
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