Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival will see seven more high class races with five of them televised live on ITV. Punters will be looking to either build on the profits they have already won so far this week, or claw back some of their losses. Three more Grade 1’s will be contested on Day 3 and one of them will get the action underway.
Itchy Feet can claim the opening race
1.30 Marsh Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
Faugheen, the 2015 Champion Hurdle winner returns to Cheltenham and will be well backed by nostalgic racegoers. At 12 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down just yet, winning three from three after being switched to fences this season, including two Grade 1 wins. However, preference is for ITCHY FEET who was third in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and made a big impression when winning a Grade 1 Chase last time out at Sandown in February.
Can Nicky Henderson land another winner this week?
2.15 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
A large field competes in the second race of the day, with a number of runners in with a chance. These include The Storyteller and Relegate, who currently lead the market, but Nicky Henderson, who is having another good meeting, can win this with WELSH SAINT. The improving six-year old made a winning handicap debut at Haydock in February and with Nico de Boinville in the saddle, can land a first festival win.
The French to dominate race three
2.50 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)
The Ryanair Chase provided one of the best stories of the meeting last year, as Bryony Frost produced a brilliant ride to guide Frodon home for trainer, Paul Nicholls. Frodon goes again and is in with a chance, but Henry De Bromhead can continue a successful week with A PLUS TARD, who won at the Festival last year and confirmed himself a top-class performer when winning well at Leopardstown at Christmas.
Can anything stop Paisley Park?
3.30 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
PAISLEY PARK was a well backed favourite last year for trainer, Emma Lavelle, and produced the goods that day impressively. He is a star stayer who has extended his winning sequence to seven since and is the one they all have to beat. Aidan Coleman is back in the saddle and it is hard to see anything beating him.
Simply the best Betts
4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3)
Harry Whittington’s runner, SIMPLY THE BETTS, won a useful novice handicap over C&D in January on soft ground, a result that has since been backed up form wise. The horse that finished third that day has won since, whilst the horse in second, Imperial Aura, won well on the opening day of this year’s Festival. It is a big field and Blazer is also of interest at a bigger price.
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