Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Preview, Racecard, Runners, Riders and Favourites
Cheltenham Festival Day 3 – Thursday 16th March 2017
It was another painful day for punters on Wednesday at the festival, and although you won’t hear many admit it, bookies must be making a mint out of the results so far. Douvan made headlines in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but not the way we expected.
Going off as red-hot 2/9 favourite, with just about everyone on him, from the penny punters to big-hitters, the Mullins super-star failed to pay us back, finishing down in seventh place in a race won by Special Tiara at double-figure odds.
Excuses can be made for the bare result however, as Douvan seemed to be going well enough before clattering the obstacle when turning the screw. That seemed to take the wind from him, and his race was over, quickly dropping down the pecking order. Punters were left wondering just what they had to do to get a bit of luck this year.
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Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Racecard
Our NAP of Thursday’s action goes in the Stayers Hurdle, a grade one event contested over two-miles seven-furlongs. Horse racing traders across the country have Unowhatimeanharry picked out as the winner, and despite the performances of jollies so far, I tend to agree with them there.
Noel Fehily sits on him for Harry Fry and the eight-year-old gelding arrives on a steep upwards curve. Since pulling up in the Wavendon Handicap Hurdle at Sandown a couple of years ago, he has not let himself down like that again, and arrives at track showing eight wins in his eight starts since. That purple patch stretches back to November 2015, and includes taking the prize money in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle here last year. The same period shows four of those eight have come when going around Cheltenham. That’s a big tick.
All the major names in the betting game want to keep Unowhatimeanharry close today, and punters eager to do the same must grin and bear it at 11/8. That price is available with a couple more, including bet365, but shouldn’t last too long, especially with most of the competition trading 5/4.
Next best on Thursday and the vote goes to Impulsive Star in the 2.10pm Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle. It’s a wide-open market this year, with Tobefair head of the betting at a rather unconvincing 8/1.
Neil Mulholland sends his six-year-old gelding out on the back of a morale-boosting win at Exeter last time, and they are chasing the hat-trick, with that success coming hot on the heels of victory at Catterick. His 2017 preparation for this couldn’t have gone any better, with a win in each month of the run-up.
He has been doing nothing but improve every time we’ve seen him perform this season and the fact this is a highly competitive renewal does nothing to put me off. In fact, it’s encouraging, as a hot pace is exactly what he wants. Paddy Power are giving 10/1 at the moment, and that’s worth a few coins of anyone’s money.
Cheltenham Festival – Thursday 16th March 2017 Predictions
We’ve got a pick in every race, you can add them to your Cheltenham daily acca, or take each one on its own. As most seasoned punters know it’s very difficult to pick out a long list of winners, so something like a Lucky 15, Lucky 63 or even a super heinz should ensure you get something back for your stake.
Cheltenham Day Three Tips
1.30 – Top Notch
2.10 – Impulsive Star
2.50 – Uxizandre
3.30 – Unowhatimeanharry
4.10 – Starchitect
4.50 – Let’s Dance
5.30 – Another Hero