Day Three of Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Thursday, with a tough looking field for punters to call.
There were a few more upsets on Day Two than Day One, with Tiger Roll dismissing any claims that he may be over the hill by dismantling odds-on favourite Epatante in the Cross Country.
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Bob Olinger and Monkfish had underlined their favourite tags earlier in the day, but Put The Kettle On ousted odds-on favourite Chacun Pour Soi in the Champion Chase.
Onto Thursday, then, and Envoi Allen (4/9) kicks things off in the 13:20 Marsh Novices Chase as the biggest banker of the day, and perhaps the entire festival according to some.
He has already won the Champion Bumper and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle here, having remained unbeaten in 11 career races. He’s certainly tough to oppose, with Boyle Sports offering even-money on him for limited time only.
Paisley Park (5/2) is widely fancied in the 15:05 Stayers’ Hurdle, too, though he faces far more competition in the shape of Sire Du Berlais, Fury Road and The Storyteller.
Paisley Park won this race in 2019 but disappointed in seventh place here last year, but I fancy him to bounce back with a victory this time around. Sky Bet and Paddy Power have boosted Envoi Allen and Paisley Park winning to 9/2.
Perhaps the most intriguing race of the day is the 14:30 Ryanair Chase, which looks wide open between several extremely respected horses.
Min (4/1) is the marginal favourite having won this event last year, and will take some beating with Paul Townend and Willie Mullins both on side.
However, his form is questionable, with jockey of the moment Rachael Blackmore’s Allaho (9/2) coming into the race seemingly in better shape. In all honesty there are only a few horses where it is tough to imagine them winning this one, with Mister Fisher (17/2), Samcro (7/1), Imperial Aura (13/2) and Melon (15/2) all widely tipped.
The Bosses Oscar (9/2) heads the market in the 13:55 Pertemps Network Final, but perhaps my favourite punt of the day is Townend and Mullins’ Dandy Mag at 20/1.
Irish horses have proved dominant in this race in the last two years and Dandy Mag actually beat The Bosses Oscar as recently as December, so I don’t quite get the disparity in prices.
With plenty of bookmakers paying six places in this race, he looks a great each-way bet.