Cheltenham 2016 Day 3 – Preview & Tips
The bookmakers certainly edged back in front on day two of the Cheltenham Festival with no winning favourites to celebrate but day three is a day that revolves around two favourites, both of whom are short but both of whom are confident selections.
Tizzard’s Crack at the World
Colin Tizzard’s Thistlecrack (6/5) has long been the fancy for the Ryanair World Hurdle and nothing that has happened this season has caused me to waver off that line.
The form of the eight-year-old this season has been faultless and on his way to his six-lengths, eight-lengths and 12-lengths wins in his three runs this season he has just looked better and better with each run. His win as a novice in Aintree was a 25/1 shock but in winning the Sefton he beat a two-time subsequent chase winner and at Punchestown he only found Killultagh Vic too good. This season it is Thistlecrack himself that has been too good and the hope is that he’ll prove that on the biggest stage of all later today.
Alpha Des Obeaux (6/1) is a horse that Mouse Morris has always held in the highest regard and his record of getting the best out of horses at Cheltenham is outstanding and the Gigginstown runner is expected to run a big race here but have to settle for minor honours.
Limini is 8/11 to win the Trull House Stud Mares’ Novice Hurdle and that is a price that will probably make little appeal to the majority of punters on one of the most competitive stages of all but the regard that she is held in by the most powerful operation in jump racing speaks volumes.
There has been much talk of her contesting some major Flat races this summer and while her jumping may need to be a bit sharper than previously, going a better pace will help and there’s nothing in this field that looks up to overturning her.
Double them up
The Thistlecrack and Limini double is probably the way to go on day three…
but for an interest at more decent prices, Fingal Bay (9/1) could well be the horse that gets Richard Johnson off the mark for the week in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Platre at 4.10 but in the opening race 4/1 looks generous about Garde La Victoire in the JLT.
Outlander (9/2) is an obvious threat on his last outing and he seems to be a horse who only ever does enough and he may have been a shade unlucky when running a blinder in the Albert Bartlett last season but Garde La Victoire is a bit like Thistlecrack in that he has been all but faultless this season and although he has only won over two-miles in his three novice chase outings, he proved over hurdles that getting the trip isn’t a problem for him.
*Prices correct at time of publication.