Punters had been treated to more than their fair share of big priced winners – Results so far ensured there was something for everyone – maybe except the bookies who were left licking their wounds.
Cheltenham Day Three Tips & Results
|13:30||JLT Novices Chase||Defi Du Seuil @ 3/1|
|14:10||Pertemps Handicap Hurdle||Sire Du Berlais|
|15:30||Stayers Hurdle||Paisley Park|
|16:10||Plate Handicap Chase||Siruh Du Lac|
|16:50||Mares Novices Hurdle||Eglantine Du Seuil|
|17:30||Kim Muir Challenge Cup||Any Second Now 6/1|
Cheltenham Festival Day Three Thursday
Would it be more of the same on Thursday? Would the profits continue to roll, or would traders finally get a break and claw back some of their losses? An action-packed afternoon, it was a time to bet wisely and build your balance in good time for one final assault on Friday when the highlight of the week was scheduled, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Before looking ahead to the main attraction, punters had plenty to get through on the eve of the grandstand finale. The usual seven races took place, the action getting underway at 1.30pm with the JLT Novices, the curtain closing at 5.30pm with the Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
We saw the standard scattered approach from punters as they looked to line their pockets.
Some went for gold by placing one of the more popular Tote bets, such as Placepot or Jackpot, others took a little less risk, while still aiming high, shooting for multiples such as Lucky 15s and Yankees.
Then there were the shrewd investors who liked to bet race-by-race, nicking a profit over the course of the afternoon.
We even had the experienced backers who watched the action as mere spectators until their NAP of the card lined up. There’s no sure-fire way to guarantee profits at the Cheltenham Festival, unfortunately, but money was made that day.
Let’s take a look back at some of the winners and losers on Thursday.
13:30 JLT Novices Chase
A Grade 1 race to start the day and it proved to be a fantastic way to kick things off for favourite backers as the market leader followed the example set on Wednesday to storm into an early lead, delighting backers who had the jolly picked as the best way to get their noses in front.
Run over 2m 3f, 10 runners went to post but it was Defi Du Seuil who have proven to be most popular in the build-up, both on the day and during the antepost exchanges, and it was Defi Du Seuil who stood up to be counted. The six-year-old gelding out of the Philip Hobbs yard trotted to post as a 3/1 fav and certainly ran like one, showing his rivals the way home with runner-up Lostintranslation getting no closer than 2 ¼ lengths when it mattered.
Mengli Khan was back in third to complete the prize places, another seven lengths off in the distance.
Barry Geraghty gave a patient ride, waiting in second before asking his mount to respond, and he didn’t half, scooting to the front of the queue and putting the race to bed in the closing stages. Impressive, and it looked like he was pulling away from them too.
Of the 10 that started the race, only nine finished with Voix Du Reve being the one casualty. He unseated rider Ruby Walsh three from home, but the writing had been on the wall from the start, backers realising early they weren’t going to get a run for their money.
Willie Mullins’ hope blundered at the first before making another mistake near the first. The latter proved costly with Walsh re-introduced to the Prestbury Park turf. Ruby is no stranger to coming down but it’s the way he always bounces back that has won him the admiration of race
lovers over the years.
JLT Novices Chase Result:
- 1st Defi Du Seuil @ 3/1
- 2nd Lostintranslation @ 2/1
- 3rd Mengli Khan @ 9/11
14:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
With followers of the favourites enjoying a run of success in the latter part of Wednesday and first race of Thursday they were to have plenty more to shout about in the second race on the card. The Pertemps Handicap Hurdle is a Grade 3 run over 2m 7f and we were treated to a competitive 24-runner field for this one.
When going to post there looked to be chances from all areas of the pack, but bookies had made their mind up early and had Sire Du Berlais pinned to the top of their betting charts, available at 4/1 just before the off. Followers of the form knew that was a price worth taking and, despite being the shortest of the lot, there was still enough value in the quote to make it worth a pop.
Those who did put their trust in Sire Du Berlais were cheering their selection all the way to the finish line with the Gordon Elliott trained star coming good. Ridden by Barry Geraghty, the jockey made it two from two on the day when pushing his mount to the finish, holding to beat Tobefair by a neck in what was a nail-biting climax.
The second was a 40/1 shot, but certainly didn’t run like one, with Not Many Left back in third at 16/1, landing each-way backers a return. Champers On Ice attracted bits and pieces of support and was expected to trouble the main finishers but it was a disappointing outing for the David Pipe runner who was pulled up by jockey Tom Scudamore before the finish, robbing supporters of a crack at an upset.
Made a couple of mistakes and it was obvious he was going backers, leaving his rider with little option but to save him from himself to go and run another day.
- 1st Sire Du Berlais
- 2nd Tobefair
- 3rd Not Many Left
14:40 Ryanair Chase
The Ryanair Chase rates as one of the best-loved races of the week and it’s little wonder fans flock to cheer the off, spending millions in wager attempting to predict the winner, as we’ve enjoyed some truly memorable renewals over the years.
Some of the horses included on the Ryanair roll of honours list are Our Vic, Imperial Commander, Albertas Run, Cue Card, Vautour and Un De Sceaux.
Ruby Walsh went into the 2019 version as the race’s most successful jockey on four previous titles, but he wasn’t able to build on that.
Paul Nicholls trained this year’s champion at that set him at the head of the pile for the most successful trainer on an impressive three gongs.
He had Frodon to thank for that with his 9/2 shot upsetting the market to win what was an incredible race from start to finish. Footpad went to post looking to complete the hattrick for the favourites but couldn’t complete the feat and, in the end, got no where near managing a treble, finishing last of the eight finishers.
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh had high hopes for Footpad, as did plenty of backers, but he was unable to quicken when asked and looked to be going backwards in the closing strides of the race. Frodon faired much better for Bryony Frost and Paul Nicholls, opening up to beat the field by at least 1 length.
The champion led early, jumped well and ran a strong race, making him a worthy winner of the prize money for connections.
Also was jotted down in the notepads of many shrewd backers when running on for second despite carrying a 33/1 label. Another 9/2 shot, Road To Respect, was third for Flanagan and Meade.
Certainly not disgraced in collecting the bronze medal.
Of the dozen starters, eight crossed the line, with Charbel at 40/1, Sub Lieutenant 66/1, Terrefort 20/1 and The Storyteller 20/1 failing to get home in one piece.
Ryanair Chase Result:
- 1st Frodon
- 2nd Aso
- 3rd Road To Respect
15:30 Stayers Hurdle
The Sun Racing Stayers Hurdle is one of the more glamourous contests of the day and race-goers weren’t in the mood to sneak off to the bar or take a quick break during the build-up to the off.
It was a race that boasted a well-matched, talented field and backers struggled to predict where the winner was going to come from. That left the door open for backers to go and have a shot at the value, taking on the favourite but those who did were left disappointed as Paisley Park.
Bookies had this one picked from the start and he dominated the antepost betting, with many including Paisley Park in their accumulators for the week as a real hot-pot.
That confidence was shown to be well-placed as the victor, ridden by Aidan Coleman, lived up to the hype and then some.
He was sent off an 11/8 jolly and ran like one that could’ve been priced even shorter, beating Sam Spinner by almost three lengths. He trampled all over a star-studded field and entered the winner’s enclosure to the cheer and celebrations of the crowd as one of the most convincing champions of the week.
What’s more, those who watched him put the contest to bed early were left utterly convinced there was more to come from this speedster and, to be fair to them, it did look like he had a bit spare.
Perhaps it was saved for another day. Taking his time during the early part of the running, he connected himself to the leading group two from home before Coleman kicked him on and he went through the gears with relative ease.
Paisley Park kept finding after the last bend and kicked on from there, leaving his rivals choking on the dust. Runner-up Sam Spinner was beaten by a better horse on the day, with Faugheen back in third running exactly how the traders said he would. Involved, without making too much of a nuisance of himself for the winner’s cheque.
18 started and 18 finished, Nautical Nitwit bringing up the rear.
Stayers Hurdle Result:
- 1st Paisley Park
- 2nd Sam Spinner
- 3rd Faugheen
16:10 Plate Handicap
Backers who had been throwing their stake money on the favourites were already well up for the day and this race looked to give a chance for those keen on an outsider the chance to boost their kitty.
Janika went off as the 3/1 jolly for this Group 3 handicap run over 2m 4f and many backers continued to steam into Nicky Henderson’s rep right up until the off.
It proved to be wasted money, however, as he ended no better than second,staying on at the one pace when driven to the line, all but handing the race to Siruh Du Lac.
Lizzie Kelly was trusted to take the reigns by trainer Nick Williams and there were no complaints about that booking by connections, certainly not on the run to the line as Siruh Du Lac oozed class to claim over £60,000 in prize money for connections.
The six-year-old gelding signalled his intent early by making all as soon as the tape went up, stretching his rivals out and pulling them from their comfort zone.
You could see a few of the more respected names weren’t happy with thepace the race was run at, but the eventual winner didn’t give it a second thought.
He started well, was ridden strongly and stayed on gamely. At the conclusion it was difficult to fault what was a spectacular run from Siruh Du Lac and his jockey. He held on to keep Janika at arm’s length, beating the favourite by 3 quarters of a length with Spiritofthegames back in third at 6/1, a further 2 lengths behind the second.
The rest of the finshers seemed to fall into line, living up to their pre-race price, but one that disappointed was River Wylde for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville. Sent off a 10/1 contender, he was always towards the rear of the field and when not responding to encouragement, was pulled up before the ninth.
Others who failed to see out the trip that day were Kalondra at 12/1, Testify 33/1, Gardefort 28/1, King’s Odyssey at 20/1.
All runners mentioned there were pulled up, except the latter for Evan Williams and Adam Wedge who fell at the seventh when tracking the leaders and looking in a fine position to challenge.
Plate Handicap Result:
- 1st Siruh Du Lac
- 2nd Janika
- 3rd Spiritofthegames
16:50 Mares Novices Hurdle
The penultimate race on the penultimate day of the Cheltenham Festival and punters were left reflecting back on what had been a bit of a mixed bag.
The favourites had done their bit for those building accumulators and the outsiders had chipped in with a few big priced winners to keep us ticking over. 22 runners went to post at 4.5pm for the National Hunt Breeders Supported by Tattersalls Mares Novice Hurdle and between the starting line-up and the 2019 champion lay two miles.
The going was good to soft, which was ideal racing conditions for a contest of this nature, although by the time this event went off the ground was cutting up and the sun breaking through the clouds was helping to dry things all the time.
Epatante was the pre-race favourite with Barry Geraghty expected to build on his early success when riding for Nicky Henderson, but those who followed the money and put their trust in the market were left to kick themselves as the jolly ended way down the field following a disappointing effort.
Despite being priced like a horse too good for this level, Epatante ended way back in ninth, having made a couple of mistakes in the early part of the running.
A lack of racing room was the final nail in the coffin and Epatante was forced to go through the motions in the final few furlongs.
That was a bit of a surprise as it looked a strong favourite, but it was nothing compared to the shock we got in seeing Eglantine Du Seuil come home as the winner off an SP 50/1. Willie Mullins trains this horse, but the price scared more than a few off.
As the old industry saying goes, the horse doesn’t know its price and that was certainly true of Eglantine Du Seuil who ran like the 15/8 shot Epatante was supposed to be. Noel Fehily held his ride up in the rear to avoid playing his hand too early, allowing the front runners to tire themselves out vying for position.
That worked a treat and when Fehily eventually shook up Eglantine Du Seuil he was delighted to see his mount was more than willing to go and have a crack at getting to the front of the pile. They stayed on well, passing rivals on the flat and went second in the closing stages.
That would’ve done for most, but this horse just kept on finding and stuck his nose in front at the post to leave followers gobsmacked and backers cheering what felt like a lotto win. The win really was some achievement but the second came out of the race with credit and was painfully unlucky not to hold on for the crown.
Concertista started as a 66/1 poke but came within a short head of winning and the performance led to backers noting Willie Mullins’ battler down for future reference.
A 50/1 shot leading home a 66/1 play with 40/1 Tintangle completing the top-three. That’s the beauty of the Cheltenham Festival and is part of the reason interest grows year-on-year, as well as money wagered on the races.
Mares Novices Hurdle Result:
- 1st Eglantine Du Seuil
- 2nd Concertista
- 3rd Tintangle
17:30 Kim Muir Challenge Cup
The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders Handicap Chase was the final race of Thursday, with an off-time of 5.30pm.
23 runners laid down the gauntlet for a whopping prize pool with over £40,000 paid to the winner of this 3m 2f race. Gordon Elliott’s Measureofmydreams was the pre-race favourite, sent off as a 3/1 jolly with Jamie Codd on board, but the pair failed to deliver, and a poor run saw them finish down in eighth place.
Held up in the rear, a couple of early mistakes meant this well-backed runner was finished almost before it started, the writing on the wall from a very early stage. He did well to finish the race but there not too many positives can be taken from the outing. The one who stole the show was Any Second Now for Dereck O’Connor.
The 6/1 victor absolutely punished the field to finish just shy of four lengths better than Kilfilum Cross in second, the runner-up kept to his task by Alex Edwards. Kilfilum Cross led turning for home but lacked the turn of foot needed to protect the position and was easily passed when Measureofmydreams found more on the run in.
What’s worth noting is the champion seemed to be pulling clear of the field at the line. 22/1 shot The Young Master attracted attention in the latter part of the betting and Neil Mulholland’s experienced 10-year-old gelding did better than his price suggested he would, snatching third place and gifting followers an each-way pay-out.
He followed that third at the festival with a second behind Talkischeap at Sandown in the bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase next time out and he’s one worth keeping close this season.
Age and exposure suggests we’ve already seen the best of The Young Master but he still seems to have plenty of running left in him and has now finished in the top three in four of his last five.
Following that win at Cheltenham, Any Second Now’s connections made the bold move to stick their horse in the Irish Grand National at Punchestown the following month, but it was to prove a mistake as he fell in action packed race where only 12 of 30 runners managed to finish.
Any Second Now sat in mid division waiting to pounce but that’s always a dangerous tactic in such a crowded race and he fell at the eighth fence.
Kim Muir Challenge Cup Result:
- 1st Any Second Now 6/1
- 2nd Kilfilum Cross 7/1
- 3rd The Young Master 22/1