Cheltmental’s Day 3 Through-The-Card Selections
Day three of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival is full of top-class races and some superstars of the sport, including:
- Mighty Potter
- Blue Lord
- Blazing Khal
- Flooring Porter
Racing expert Dave Young (A.K.A. Cheltmental) gives his through-the-card picks for the third day of the Festival.
1:30 – Turners Novices’ Chase
MIGHTY POTTER would be one of my strongest fancies across the week and I think his price is still reasonable considering I’d be confident he wins this race more time than he loses.
JAMES DU BERLAIS was well beaten behind Mighty Potter at The Dublin Racing Festival but he defied a 612 day absence on his run prior to win in very good style so you could blame the ‘bounce’ factor to excuse his seemingly below par run. This horse has more to come and I think his price is much bigger than his actual chance so I think he could be worth considering.
Selection – MIGHTY POTTER
Lively Outsider – JAMES DU BERLAIS
Cheltmental's Turners Novices' Chase Tip1:30 pm Thursday March 16
2:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
The qualification criteria has changed this season with a horse needing to finish in the top 4 to be eligible for the final instead of top6 and this change has meant the bottom end of the weights has been much lower than in recent years. This means that THANKSFORTHEHELP (a horse I fancied for Punchestown last season) gets in here running off 128 and he won by an absolute mile at Chepstow on his last run. He’s arguably a little bit of a character but he has ability and I think he has much more ability than he’s shown so I think he’s got a serious chance here.
MAXXUM was well fancied even before his poor run at Leopardstown last month which was a curious entry in that the race was worth more than this, he had a claimer but was beaten out of sight. Too bad to be true was my reaction and he may have needed the run in preparation for this race so I’ll be covering on him too.
Selection – THANKSFORTHEHELP
Lively Outsider – MAXXUM
Cheltmental's Pertemps Tip2:10 pm Thursday March 16
14:50 – Ryanair Chase
Make no mistakes, this is Shishkin’s race to lose and you could argue he’s an OK price considering what he’s achieved in comparison to the rest of the field. I do think that BLUE LORD has improvement in him at this trip although he, like everything else, will need Shishkin to underperform. He’s an EW price if you’re that way inclined so for an interest in here I’d say he’s an option.
HITMAN sports cheekpieces for the first time here and he’s been softly handled in his career but never shirked a challenge. He’s open to significant improvement and of those at bigger prices appeals the most
Selection – BLUE LORD
Lively Outsider – HITMAN
Cheltmental's Ryanair Chase Tip2:50 pm Thursday March 16
15:30 – Stayers’ Hurdle
FLOORING PORTER has been in no form this season but he’s had an excuse for performing below his best and because of that he’s missed some work and preparation for this race. His trainer has been bullish in recent days though so I think he’s a fair price
KLASSICAL DREAM has always been a horse who runs best fresh so I’m pleased we haven’t seen him for over 100 days. Willie Mullins won this race with Penhill who overcame almost a year off the track so the fact Klassical Dream lines up tells me Willie must be happy with him and that’ll do for me.
Selection – FLOORING PORTER
Lively Outsider – KLASSICAL DREAM
Cheltmental's Stayers' Hurdle Tip3:30 pm Thursday March 16
16:10 – Plate Handicap Chase
JP McManus loves a handicap win at Cheltenham and SO SCOTTISH looks to be a worthy purchase in his pursuit of further victory. Connections have been vocal that they believe there’s lots more to come so he’s a worthy favourite and has to be taken seriously.
Rachel Blackmore opts to ride MARVEL DE CERISY who will be having his first run in a handicap. Beat a now 131 (Irish Mark) rated chaser on his penultimate start in comfortable fashion so while he’s rated 142 over here I think he can run well at a big price.
Selection – SO SCOTTISH
Lively Outsider – MARVEL DE CERISY
Cheltmental's Plate Handicap Chase Tip4:10 pm Thursday March 16
16:50 – Mares’ Novcies’ Hurdle
This race is a recent addition to The Festival and the old rules for picking a winner was a Willie Mullins horse beginning with the letter ‘L’ (Let’s Dance, Limini, Laurina) and Lot Of Joy has been supported with good reason aside from her name. However I really fancy LUCCIA who goes on any ground to show that she’s a serious talent.
Nicky Henderson runs a 4yo in here who will be in receipt of 15lbs from the main selection and she won as easy as she liked earlier this month so she’s very interesting now thrown in the deep end.
Selection – LUCCIA
Lively Outsider – UNDER CONTROL
Cheltmental's Mares' Novices' Hurdle Tip4:50 pm Thursday March 16
17:30 – Kim Muir Handicap Chase
I’ve been told by numerous people that Stumptown is a good thing and while I respect him I thought MR INCREDIBLE was an eye-catcher at Warwick and races he off a workable number so gets my main vote.
BALLYKELL for Gordon Elliott proved his stamina when winning last month and runs here just 4lb higher than his Irish mark. He has lots of chase experience and looks like a horse who will keep battling although he is susceptible to an error in his jumping.