Cheltenham 2017 – Day 3 Preview & Tips
In the entire build up to the Cheltenham Festival the Stayers’ Hurdle was the subject of my best bet of the week and I won’t be getting away from that now.
Harry Means Business
Harry Fry is widely regarded as the man that oversaw Rock On Ruby’s Champion Hurdle preparation when the horse was trained by Paul Nicholls at his satellite yard, but since taking out his own licence, Wednesday is set to be Fry’s biggest day as a trainer.
Unowhatimeanharry has already given him a memorable career winner when claiming the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival last year, but on Wednesday, the Stayers’ Hurdle, one of the Championship races at this meeting, should be going the way of this promising young trainer.
It would be somewhat wrong to make comparisons with Unowhatimeanharry and Thistlecrack because with his age and regardless of what he would do in the race, you couldn’t see Unowhatimeanharry carving out anything like the short career that Thistlecrack has so far had over fences.
Although, in terms of their domination of the staying division over the last two seasons, they are very similar.
Thistlecrack took all before him last year on the way to winning the Stayers’ Hurdle at Evens and not learning from that mistake, people are still willing to lay an even bigger price about Unowhatimeanharry who has done pretty much something very similar and is expected to do so again tomorrow afternoon.
Mullins To Be Super Sub
To be honest, I always thought that Empire Of Dirt would find his way into the Gold Cup and then when Don Poli was ruled out, I was certain of it, but that wasn’t the case and Gordon Elliott’s charge will now line up in the Ryanair instead. He has to have a chance.
However, when you look down through the form of Sub Lieutenant, you wonder if Cooper could find himself on the wrong horse here and having read David Mullins in his column for the Herald this week, the confidence about Sub Lieutenant could only grow again.
The horse comes here for a trainer who didn’t get off the mark on Day One, but his horses are running well and Henry de Bromhead has opted to give this horse a break after his game effort behind Sizing John at Thurles in the Kinloch Brae.
That form, as well as his good effort in the John Durkan behind Djakadam, see Sub Lieutenant mix it with two leading Cheltenham Gold Cup fancies yet still be 7/1 and that surely represents good each-way value.
By all accounts if you were to read the body language of the Mullins camp when Let’s Dance is mentioned, you’d certainly be quick to gather that this is their best chance of the week.
Maybe it’s madness to be taking her on, but over the trip and at the price, 8/1 shot Forge Meadow is a super looking each-way alternative.
She comes here on the back of a career best at Naas when finishing in front of some real nice types and beating them well. Her previous two runs don’t look much on paper but as the races panned out, it wasn’t that bad an effort either time in Fairyhouse.
Take a chance that she can be good enough to turn over the second season novice, Let’s Dance and the unbeaten Airlie Beach, but at worse, make the frame and give you a small profit on your each-way stake.
Sub Lieutentant Each-Way (7/1)
Forge Meadow Each-Way (8/1)
*Prices correct at time of publication