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Cheltenham Festival Tips – Day 3

Having tipped the winner of both Championship races at this year‘s Festival so far, we are aiming for the hat-trick with two tips in an open looking renewal of the World Hurdle. Find these and all of our other Thursday Cheltenham Festival tips below.

JLT Novices Chase

Willie Mullins has already taken two of the Grade 1 novices chases to be run at the meeting and he can make it a hat-trick of successes in the opener on World Hurdle day courtesy of VALSEUR LIDO.

Many will prefer the yard’s more fancied Vautour, but we think our selection has more solid credentials and his biggest danger could be the horse that beat him last time out – Apache Stronghold. Valseur Lido was coming back off of a break when narrowly being beaten by that horse and he can reverse the form here albeit that that rival will enjoy the drying ground.

So too will COLOUR SQUADRON who, amazingly, is still a novice. Hopefully, the decent going can see him bounce back to his best and he seems to run better the higher the quality of the contest, and if he does again here he is no 28/1 shot.

Valseur Lido (win)1.30 Cheltenham11/2Paddy Power
Colour Squadron (ew)1.30 Cheltenham28/1Paddy Power

(Paddy Power will refund losing bet up to £50, if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd)

Pertemps Final

The Pertemps follows and RUN RUCTIONS RUN can finally get her head in front today having been running consistently well in handicaps all season. She stayed on strongly at the death behind Dawalan at Mussleburgh last time and a swing in the weights and a stiffer track can see her reverse that form.

Edeymi, who was fourth that day, also has a massive chance, but he went into plenty of notebooks that day and his price is short enough as a result. He is probably best backed to win to at least cover your stakes on other bigger priced horses.

For us, the other two to back are the fast improving types CALL THE COPS and JOIN THE CLAN.

The former was really impressive at Doncaster recently and is a real good ground specialist, whilst Join The Clan would probably like some rain, but such has been his improvement recently that we simply cannot ignore his chances today. A 6lbs rise in the weights for his last success probably underestimates the ease with which he won and his 10lbs claimer gets on really well with him, which may explain why Tony McCoy is on a different JP McManus horse.

Back on decent ground, On The Bridge may prove the pick of those at big prices.

Run Ructions Run (ew)2.05 Cheltenham20/1BetVictor
Call The Cops (ew)2.05 Cheltenham12/1BetVictor
Join The Clan (ew)2.05 Cheltenham16/1Bet365BetVictor

Ryanair Chase

Plenty of trainers will be cursing their luck today having swerved the Queen Mother for what, at the time, looked an easier assignment in the Ryanair. However, with Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Gruges both flopping, the likes of HIDDEN CYCLONE and Uxizandre could easily have given Dodging Bullets plenty to think about yesterday.

Hopefully, Shark Hanlon’s decision will still prove to be the correct one for Hidden Cyclone as the horse seems to be in the form of his life. He was runner up last year in what might have been a hotter renewal and on this decent ground he can hopefully last out the trip. 11/1 with Bet365 looks a crazy each way price.

Eduard is an interesting outsider, but the biggest dangers to our main selection could prove to be the Jonjo O’Neill trained pair of Taquin Du Seuil and JOHNS SPIRIT.

The former looked to be coming back to his best at Newbury last time, although he may prefer softer ground. Slight preference, therefore, is for Johns Spirit who loves it around here and who looked a massive player in the closing stages of the King George before his stamina gave way. This is his ideal trip and that Kempton effort suggested he is still improving.

The mare, Ma Filleule, also looks a big danger as this is her time of year.

Hidden Cyclone (ew)2.40 Cheltenham11/1Bet365
Johns Spirit (ew)2.40 Cheltenham10/1Bet365Paddy Power

World Hurdle

This season’s World Hurdle looks one of the most open for years and there could easily be a shock winner.

Paul Nicholls has the joint favourites and of the two we prefer Zarkandar. Indeed, we think UN TEMPS POUR TOUT could easily reverse recent Cheltenham form with Nicholls’ other horse Saphir Du Rheu and at 12/1 he makes more appeal.

That effort in the Cleeve was his first start of the campaign and the combination of decent ground and a longer trip could bring out the best in him for connections who won last night’s closing bumper.

It is amazing to see last year’s World Hurdle third, At Fisher’s Cross, trading at 25/1 this morning and that could look a ridiculous price if Tony McCoy’s mount is back to anything like his best.

There are also a number of less exposed types to consider including Abbyssial, Blue Fashion and Seeyouatmidnight. At least one of the three could make the frame or better, but all three may prefer a bit more cut in the ground.

One horse who will definitely love the ground is COLE HARDEN and he is the other one to back, in the hope that a recent wind operation will bring about some further improvement. He stays well and handles the track. He is also very tough and this is a race that brutally exposes any lack of stamina.

Un Temps Pour Tout (ew)3.20 Cheltenham12/1Bet365
Cole Harden (ew)3.20 Cheltenham20/1Bet365

Our tips in the later races are:

Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate

Edgardo Sol (ew)4.00 Cheltenham25/1Bet365
Rawnaq (ew)4.00 Cheltenham25/1Bet365

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

Gold Bullet (ew)4.40 Cheltenham11/1Bet365
Champagne James (ew)4.40 Cheltenham9/1Paddy Power