Cheltenham Festival 2020: Day Three Preview

Cheltenham Runners

Marsh Novices' Chase

*All Sky Bet prices are set to fluctuate

Defi Du Seuil saw off Lostintranslation in a memorable renewal in 2019 and was a winner of the Scilly Isles at Sandown prior, which was exactly what Itchy Feet is attempting.

Olly Murphy’s horse was an impressive winner of the race last month, giving his trainer the first Grade One success and is now in the market as a 3/1 favourite with Sky Bet.

Samcro was such an impressive winner of the Ballymore two years ago but has lost his way since and is currently 1/3 over fences. He returns to Cheltenham for the first time after that Ballymore and will still have his loyal backers and can be backed at 9/2 to return to winning ways.

Willie Mullins, as usual, does have a hand, and Melon has been placed in the last three Cheltenham festivals, in a Supreme and then twice in the Champion hurdle. He’s improved over fences and could go close at 9/1 whilst Reverse Tank was a dual Grade One winner last season over hurdles and returns to action after some time off and Colin Tizzard’s horse is 10/1 for success.

Read Oddschanger's official tips for Cheltenham day three here

Pertemps Network Hurdle Final

One of the most intriguing handicaps of the whole festival involves a season-long qualifying process which leaves punters with sleepless nights.

JP McManus is often the master getting his horses well handicapped for this and won it last year with Sire Du Berlais - he takes his chance again and is 7/1 with Sky Bet.

The Storyteller caught the eye in a qualifier over Christmas and could be another, with Sire Du Berlais, that will go close for Gordon Elliot, he is 11/2 whilst 2017 Champion Bumper winner Relegate has switched yards and caught the eye last time. She has been well backed and is a 6/1 shot.

ICYMI: Check out the odds for sports being cancelled around the world because of the coronavirus after many European football games are postponed.

Ryanair Chase

Frodon was a game-winner of this 12 months ago and returned to winning ways in January Kempton after two under par runs at the start of the season. He’ll be popular again and is a 5/1 with Sky Bet to retain his title but faces a lot harder race this time around.

A Plus Tard was a 15-length winner of last years Close Brothers handicap and has improved no end since then, becoming a Grade one winner over two miles at Christmas. The step back up to two and a half miles won’t be a problem for Henry De Bromhead’s horse and is 7/4 favourite to win.

Min’s three races at the Cheltenham festival have included twice second to Altior and a below-par effort to him in last years Champion Chase but finally gets to tackle a race more at his trip.

He won the John Durkan in December and was second to Chacun Pour Soi over two miles last month and seems to be better at this trip and is a 5/2 for Mullins and Paul Townend.

Stayers Hurdle

This race revolves around one horse in Paisley Park, who is on an amazing run of form as he looks to cement his position as one of the all-time staying greats.

He burst onto the scene last season with victory in the Ascot Longwalk Hurdle and was an empathic winner of the race last season. He is two from two again so far this season and looks better than ever, and it’ll be a surprise if anyone can go with Emma Lavelle’s charge up the Cheltenham hill.

He’ll be one of the most popular selections of the week and is a short price of 8/13 to retain his crown. Many will look for each way alternatives in the race. Summerville Boy seemed to relish the step up in trip to three miles last time when second to Paisley Park and will be popular at 8/1 as will Emitom, who won at Haydock last month and is 9/1.

Last years Ballymore winner, City Island, returns to hurdles after a failed campaign over fences, he is 14/1, whilst the former winner of the race, Penhill, is 14/1 and Apple’s Jade will bow our here and is 20/1.

Oldgrandewood

An opening looking fair but Simply The Betts has been well found in the market and is a 7/2 favourite with Sky Bet.

He was second at Kempton on Boxing Day before winning a hot handicap at Cheltenham on trials day, the form of which could be boosted by the second, Imperial Aura, in Tuesday’s Northern Trust and has already been franked by the third that day, On the Slopes.

La Bague Au Roi is a runner of interest for Warren Greatrex. She has been running in Grade One company, with some very smart pieces of form to her name against the likes of Lostintranslation, TopoftheGame and then was fifth in the Irish Gold Cup last time and could be very well handicapped. She is priced at 11/1.

Oldgrangewood is an interesting runner here too for Dan and Harry Skelton. He’s won some very good handicaps this year, beating Kalashkinov at Newbury in November and edged to victory here on New Year's day - he is 14/1.

ICYMI: Check out the odds for sports being cancelled around the world because of the coronavirus after many European football games are postponed.

Mares Novices Hurdle

Willie Mullins has won every single running of this to date and has a chance with Dolcita, a 6/1 shot with Sky Bet and Colreevy, a 7/1 price.

Race favourite Minella Melody, trained by Henry De Bromhead, who was impressive last time and will be hoping to take success from Mullins and is priced at 11/4.

Nicky Henderson looked to have a strong hand in this with Marie’s Rock, who was impressive when winning, but injury has ruled her out for the season. Henderson does have Floressa, third to Lady Buttons last time and is 6/1.

Kim Muir Handicap

Glenloe was all the range in the ante-post market for this, but Gordon Elliot gave punters the dreaded news that a set back ruled him out, and since, favouritism has gone to Le Breuil for Ben Pauling and Jamie Codd.

Le Breuil was a winner of last years National Hunt Chase so has festival form to his name and is priced at 7/1.

Despite Glenloe’s absence, JP McManus will be hoping for a second successive win in the race and his main hope looks to be Nicky Henderson’s Champagne Platinum, who has odds of 9/2 with Sky Bet. Plan of Attack, on the other hand, is at 10/1.

*All Sky Bet prices are set to fluctuate

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