Day 3 Review – Irish Ahead And Plenty To Come!
It was a memorable Thursday for the Irish, who struck in no uncertain terms to dominate day three, and it was the leading trainer of the festival, Willie Mullins, who set the tone in the opener.
It’s Mullins In The Opener – Again!
His Black Hercules put in a great round of jumping under Ruby Walsh to hold on from the co-favourite, Bristol De Mai, in the JLT Novices’ Chase, and it’s likely he’ll head back for the Ryanair Chase in 12 months.
Davy Strikes at 14/1!
Irish flags were waving in the following Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, where Mr. Reliable, Davy Russell, made it a double at the meeting in booting home Mall Dini at 14/1. His trainer, Pat Kelly, applied a tongue-tie, which did the trick, and his followers in Galway may be thanking him for that tonight. It was a win that also pegged the Brits back to just 9-7 in the Prestbury Cup.
Vautor In Class Of His Own
Even better was to come for Mullins’ followers, though, when one of his aces in the pack…
Vautour, delivered the goods in destroying the opposition to land the Ryanair Chase at evens.
In this kind of form, it’s arguable that Vautour could have won the Wednesday’s Champion Chase, and even possibly Friday’s Gold Cup, though he looks sure to be aimed at jump racing’s Blue Riband next season.
Brits Land World Hurdle
The Brits managed to get their first winner of day three in the race that mattered, though, namely the World Hurdle, where Colin Tizzard’s, Thistlecrack, delivered for punters at evens. The manner in which he strode 7l clear suggests he could dominate this race for years to come, though next month’s 3m event at Aintree looks there for the taking.
Super Cooper Rules With Empire
Jockey, Bryan Cooper, made up for a runner-up slot in the World Hurdle when landing the following Plate Handicap Chase for Colm Murphy on Empire Of Dirt at 16/1. It was a winner that gave the bookies some short-term relief, which wasn’t to last, as Limini – one of the bankers of the meeting – struck for Willie Mullins in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Another Treble For Mullins!
On-course punters, who were again cheering a Mullins winner home, smashed into odds of 8/11. The 5yo eased to the front under Ruby Walsh to win with authority, suggesting a crack at the Mares’ Hurdle here next year. It was also a victory that put that scores level in the Prestbury Cup at 10-10.
However, the cherry on the cake was to come in the concluding Kim Muir Handicap Chase, where Gordon Elliott’s well fancied, Cause Of Causes, delivered at 9/2. It was a second victory for Elliott at the meeting, ahead of the big day tomorrow, where his Don Cossack lines up for the Gold Cup as the 11/4 favourite, with Squouateur the 4/1 favourite for the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle.
Irish Ahead And Plenty To Come!
The final day promises to be a belter, with the Irish 11-10 ahead in the Prestbury Cup…
plus a mouth-watering line-up of fancied runners to come, including Ivanovich Gorbatov (9/2) in the opening Triumph Hurdle, Great Field (8/1) in the County Hurdle and On The Fringe (5/2) in the Foxhunter Chase. Take a deep breath and get ready for another pulsating day of action at Cheltenham!
*Prices correct at time of publication.