Cheltenham Day 3 Tips – Best bets For All Seven Races On Thursday
2021 Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Tips
We are halfway through the best meeting of the year but that means there are still plenty of races to be won, including on day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival. Daniel Overall has done the hard work so you don’t have to. Here are his best bets for every race on the card
Envoi Allen (Marsh Novice Chase, 1.20 Thursday)
There isn’t much left to say about Envoi Allen that hasn’t already been said.
A two-time festival winner and yet to taste defeat in eleven starts under rules, he doesn’t do anything flashy which is reflected in his winning margins but he is a consummate professional and he exudes an air of invincibility.
This will be his toughest test over fences to date and while it’s fascinating that this race has the most runners across the three Grade 1 novice chases, he has the potential to be a level above these and many would argue that he already is, for all that the bare form of his wins over fences thus far doesn’t jump off the page.
Shan Blue has been a revelation over fences this season and with his incredibly accurate jumping being the cornerstone of his success. He can give a bold show from the front but on his run in the Ballymore, he shouldn’t be able to reverse the form with Envoi Allen.
The Bosses Oscar (Pertemps Final, 1,55 Thursday)
While he would not be a particularly original selections, it is hard to imagine that The Bosses Oscar will be far away at the finish despite the best efforts of the British handicapper.
He’s been a leading fancy for this race ever since his staying on fifth in the Martin Pipe, with Sire Du Berlais finishing fourth in that race back in 2018 before recording back-to-back victories in the Pertemps. While Gordon Elliott technically won’t have any runners at Cheltenham, with Denise Foster taking over the licence at his yard, it would still be fair to assess her runners as if they were his. With that in mind, Gordon’s recent Pertemps record is phenomenal. He’s won the last three renewals, recording 1-2’s in 2018 and 2020, while all nine of his runners since 2016 have finished in the first five.
While a mark of 151 is certainly no gift, they have discussed the possibility of using a claimer to take some of the weight off which may assist while this wouldn’t appear to be the deepest renewal, although the likes of Champagne Platinum and Lynwood Gold have emerged as contenders following their late qualification.
The Bosses Oscar has been running consistently well throughout the season and while he is not a typical Pertemps “plot”, this would’ve undoubtedly been the target for some time and a bold big should be on the cards, with Jordan Gainford taking off a handy seven pounds.
Chris’s Dream (Ryanair Chase)
Allaho, Min, Melon, Dashel Drasher and Imperial Aura; we look set for a strongly run race which should play to the strengths of Chris’s Dream.
He’s never fully convinced as a thorough stayer at three miles and it’s a testament to his ability that he managed to win a Grade 2 novice chase and a Troytown over that trip. He shaped well in last year’s Gold Cup, looking a threat as they turned for home after being forced wide but that trip was always going to stretch his stamina.
Narrowly touched off by The Storyteller in a Grade 1 on his seasonal reappearance where he looked the winner before being outstayed, while he paid for an overly aggressive ride in the John Durkan when last seen.
At his best after a break, Henry De Bromhead has said that he’s been kept fresh with this race in mind while a strongly run race over the intermediate trip looks sure to bring out the best in him.
I think you can pick holes in the all of those towards the head of the market and with that in mind, Chris’s Dream appeals at a big price.
Fury Road (Stayers Hurdle)
The past four renewals were won by seven-year-olds while the previous three winners all ran in last season’s Albert Bartlett. While Thyme Hill would’ve been the main flag bearer for that form, let’s not forget that Fury Road finished ahead of him last year, where he was only just denied by Latest Exhibition and Monkfish.
That was undoubtedly his best run over hurdles and while he hasn’t progressed as might’ve been expected, but he has had excuses. He’s only raced in small fields thus far with two starts coming over 2m5f which is on the sharp side for him. His other start came in the Christmas Hurdle where he was very well supported before finishing fourth. However, he’s never run well at Leopardstown and he bounced back from a disappointing run there to run well at Cheltenham so I wouldn’t be too downbeat about that effort.
Given that the stable knew they’d have Sire Du Berlais in this division, I still find It fascinating that they kept Fury Road over hurdles when he looks the type to make a great chaser. Combine that with the fact that Fury Road was well supported to beat Sire Du Berlais at Leopardstown, I just have the feeling that Fury Road is thought to be the better of the two.
The big field will suit and I can see him outrunning his odds.
Huntsman Son (Paddy Power Plate)
Fancy after fancy of mine has fallen by the way side and as a result, I think we are left with a rather poor looking renewal of the race.
That led me to look down the betting and the one that appealed the most was Huntsman Son. Now on the surface, an eleven-year-old who pulled up on his last start wouldn’t appear to be a festival winner waiting to happen but there are plenty of reasons to believe that he can outrun his odds.
While he is eleven years of age, he’s only had fifteen starts under rules, eight of which have come over fences. He’s shown some very useful form as recently as October; he comfortably beat Two For Gold off 139 at Wetherby in the manner of a horse with plenty in hand. That rival has gone up eight pounds in the weights since which makes Huntsman Son an interesting proposition racing off just an eight-pound higher mark here.
While he pulled up in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup when last seen, he travelled into the race stylishly before pulling up on the run to two out. The soft ground would not have suited him at all that day as he is much better suited to a sound surface. He’s also at his best fresh so the fact that he’s been off the track since December is a big plus and I imagine that this would have been the target for some time. Salut Flo (2012) finished 12th in the Caspian Caviar before winning the Plate, while Darna (2015) was fifth before tasting success at the festival
You only have to go back five starts for when he beat Slate House off level weights; that was in March 2019, while Slate House went on to win the Grade 1 Kauto Star nine months later.
I imagine that this would’ve been the plan for some time and given his very unfashionable profile, I can see him being a monstrously large price. He will be held up right at the back and if getting the necessary luck in running, I can see him running a huge race with conditions in his favour.
Glens of Antrim (Mares Novice Hurdle)
Willie Mullins has won all five renewals of this race, with a further three hitting the frame from nineteen runners in total.
Hook Up and Gauloise had been the leading Mullins fancies for some time but the former is conceding weight to her rivals while I’ve cooled on the latter of late, as I believe she was flattered by her run at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Concertista came into this race as a maiden last season and Glens of Antrim will look to follow in her footsteps. She’s run in some deep good maiden hurdles thus far and she’ progressed with each start, while she finally looked to be getting to grips with jumping on her last run.
Second to leading Albert Bartlett fancy, Stattler, at Leopardstown, the pair pulled well clear and there is certainly so shame in finishing behind him especially considering that he had the experience edge. She then finished second to Mr Incredible, a well-regarded horse of Henry De Bromhead’s who has previously finished second to Gaillard Du Mesnil; the pair pulled over thirty lengths clear of the remainder.
While the bulk of her form has come over intermediate trips, form over further has been a positive with a view to this race and she shouldn’t be inconveniced by coming down a couple of furlongs. A sister to Minella Melody and out of an unraced sister to Glens Melody, she’s bred to be smart and she can announce herself as a mare with a bright future by running a great race here.
Plan of Attack (Kim Muir Chase)
A strange renewal with professionals taking over from amateurs, I don’t think there’s a great deal of depth in this race so it may pay to consider the form of last year’s renewal.
Of those who ran last year, the one I like the most if Plan of Attack who finished fourth in 2020. He went very well through the race where the ground was probably on the soft side for him as the bulk of his wins have come on a sounder surface. He’s also two pounds lower this time around which is a help to his chances.
While he has been in poor form this season, there were more encouraging signs on his most recent start; he’s been kept fresh for this and he’s another than goes well after a break. Not many Kim Muir winners arrive in winning form, so I wouldn’t be too concerned by his form figures.
It’s also interesting that he’ll be sporting blinkers for the first time; he won when cheekpieces went on for the first time while since 2015, the form figures of horses to have run in the Kim Muir in first time reads: F1223.
We often see with staying chasers that changing headgear can work wonders while Plan of Attack remains less exposed than many of his rivals seeing as he’s still only an eight-year-old with eight starts over fences.
On looking back at last year’s race, he did everything better than Deise Aba, Plan of Attack is on two-pound better terms with him and he finished over two lengths ahead of him while Deise Aba is half the price. With that in mind, Plan of Attack makes each-way appeal at a double figure price.