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Cheltenham Festival 2021: Day Three Preview


Day three of the Cheltenham Festival features an excellent renewal of the Stayers' Hurdle as well as the return to Prestbury Park of superstar Envoi Allen. Here we preview all the big race action with expert insight and tips... 

1:20 - Marsh Novices’ Chase

Envoi Allen is the obvious starting and finishing point for this contest. The two-time Festival winner is likely to go off a short price having scared off any serious opposition as he looks for a 12th successive victory over obstacles. If there was to be a chink in his armour then there’s possibly a question mark over the impact of the stable switch to Henry De Bromhead but if anything, the horse may even find some additional improvement for it. 

For place purposes, Shan Blue has enjoyed a productive season but looked a bit awkward in last year’s Ballymore so it might be that Cheltenham doesn’t totally suit him. The likes of Fusil Raffles and Chatham Street Lad have acquitted themselves well here, with the latter very impressive when winning the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup earlier in the season. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Envoi Allen
  2. Chatham Street Lad
  3. Fusil Raffles

2.30 - Ryanair Chase

Willie Mullins took this race last year with Min and he returns for another crack at this prize, but you’d have to go back to 2011 to find the last repeat winner of the race. His prep in the Dublin Chase was far from ideal as well. His stablemate Allaho, third in last year’s RSA would have a better chance but he may just get tapped for toe if the ground continues to dry out. Preference would be for a different Irish challenger in Fakir D’oudairies who has fine Festival form, no concerns as to the trip and his second behind Chacun Pour Soi last time reads well. Of the domestic contingent, Mister Fisher is another with some good form around here and can run into a place. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Fakir D’oudairies
  2. Allaho
  3. Mister Fisher

3.05 - Stayers’ Hurdle 

Even without Thyme Hill, this is an excellent renewal of the race with former winners Paisley Park and Lisnagar Oscar looking to add to their trophy cabinet. The former has been right back to his best this year but he did have a hard race at Ascot last time for all that he’s had a break since. Lisnagar Oscar looked a different horse following wind surgery at Haydock last time when making the running which won’t have suited - that looked a good prep for this.

The Irish hold a strong hand too in the form of Flooring Porter, Fury Road and Beacon Edge. The last-named is stepping up in trip considerably but isn’t without a hope while Fury Road was narrowly beaten in last year’s Albert Bartlett and holds a strong chance. Flooring Porter got the better of him in the Christmas Hurdle, however, and is a progressive horse for Gavin Cromwell.

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Flooring Porter
  2. Lisnagar Oscar
  3. Paisley Park

Elsewhere on day three…

The Bosses Oscar has been very well supported for the Pertemps Final at 1.55pm for a yard that has won the race for the last two years but Paul Nolan’s Mrs Milner is worth a second look; she was an unlucky faller last time and has strong course form at Cheltenham. The Shunter won easily at Kelso last time and is the right favourite for the Plate at 3.40pm for a shrewd yard while Fils D’oudairies is another who looks very well handicapped. Meanwhile, Mount Ida has the right profile for a yard that has won two of the last five Kim Muir Challenge Cups at 4.50pm. 

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