DISCLAIMER: ODDS AND ARTICLE UPDATED 11/03/2019, 15:16.
Day three of the Festival sees the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle as the feature race although the Ryanair and JLT as well as the Pertemps Final add to a fascinating day of action.
Faugheen to Win and Each-way @ 9/2 - BET NOW
Since a hugely impressive win over C&D in the Cleeve Hurdle, Emma Lavelle’s Paisley Park has been all the rage for the Stayers’ Hurdle. Paisley Park has beaten the vast majority of the British contingent in either the Cleeve or Long Walk hurdle, which he won at Ascot for a maiden Grade One success. With Ireland’s main hope and defending champion, Penhill, ruled out, he is justifiably a short-priced favourite but odds of 13/8 offer little value.
The most realistic opposition nevertheless come from the Irish contingent with nine-time Grade One winner Faugheen, a dual Cheltenham Festival scorer and former Champion Hurdler looking the biggest danger. The 3m trip raises a few question marks for Faugheen but his lone defeat over the trip came last time out when a faller while still going well behind the mighty Apples Jade. He routed Penhill over 3m at Punchestown last year also to add credence to his genuine 3m capabilities. Supasundae; second in this race last year is the other strong Irish challenger but he too has a few doubts stamina-wise so Faugheen is the logical opposition to Paisley Park. Odds of 9/2 look worth taking for the horse nicknamed ‘The Machine’.
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Monalee to Win and Each-Way @ 9/2 - BET NOW
The Ryanair Chase is always difficult to predict with horses of all different backgrounds trip-wise lining up. Footpad is currently favourite and certainly his Arkle-winning form 12 months ago would give him strong claims, he hasn’t, however, got near that level this term with a season where injuries have been a factor.
Ireland has a strong hand here with 2017 winner Un De Sceaux, 2018 Gold Cup fourth Road To Respect and Grade One-winning novice Monalee all high up in the betting. Monalee arrives in the best form having won easily last time out and this trip at a strong pace should be ideal for one with his attributes. Frodon is chief among the home team and he loves it here but he will likely see plenty of pressure upfront this time so Monalee gets the vote with 9/2 looking fair value.
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Defi De Seuil to Win and Each-way @ 11/4 - BET NOW
In the day’s other Grade One, the JLT Novices’ Chase, old rivals Defi De Seuil and Lostintranslation head the market. The former, who won their most recent battle at Sandown, is favoured with his Cheltenham record (four-from-six) persuasive, especially given he won the Triumph Hurdle at the 2017 Festival. Defi De Seuil can currently be backed at odds of 11/4 generally.
Sire Du Berlais to Win and Each-way @ 6/1 - BET NOW
Handicap-wise, the 3m Pertemps Final is always ultra-competitive. Gordon Elliott had the one-two in this race last year and his Sire Du Berlais has the look of one who has been campaigned with this race in mind. Sire Du Berlais qualified through the same race as 2018 winner Delta Work did recently when finishing a never-nearer sixth. The 6/1 on offer looks fair here, although an interesting alternative is Abolitionist, currently priced at 25/1.
Sinoria to Win and Each-way @ 7/1 - BET NOW
Elsewhere on day three, the Mares novice hurdle sees a short-priced favourite in Epatante, who could prove to be top-drawer. Runners from Ireland, however, have dominated this race; as they have also the Mares race on day one, so Sinoria looks a value alternative at 7/1 and an each-way play looks the best bet after a good win against the boys last time out.
Janika to Win and Each-way @ 7/1 - BET NOW
Janika looks sure to go well in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate and is a solid each-way bet for Nicky Henderson at 7/1.
Sky Pirate to Win and Each-way @ 10/1 - BET NOW
The day closes with the Kim Muir where Sky Pirate for Jonjo O’Neill; who is always a force to be reckoned with in staying chases at the Festival looks the sort ready to run a big race and he is the selection at 10/1.
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