Cheltenham Day Three Preview ; Thursday March 18th

Alan Marron is back to preview Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival.

Folks we got a couple of winners on the board on Wednesday with Bob Olinger and Sir Gerhard and hopefully we can add to that on Thursday. Check out my selections below ;

 

 

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1.30 MARSH NOVICE CHASE (GRADE 1) 2M 4F

While much of the attention will centre round Envoi Allen it might pay to take a small each way chance on the Willie Mullins trained ASTERION FORLONGE.

I was at Leopardstown last season when this horse was mightily impressive in landing the Chanelle Pharma over hurdles and the sky looked the limit as he headed to Cheltenham for the Supreme.

He was readily put in his place by Shishkin and co and his chasing career to date has been very in and out. He has fallen twice and finished fourth behind Monkfish the last time we seen him at the Dublin Racing Festival.

While Monkfish went on to frank that form it may be unwise to think Asterion Forlonge could challenge Envoi Allen.

From a betting proposition he is worth a small each way interest and hope that he stays on his feet and could run on into a place.

1.55 PERTEMPS NETWORK HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE 3) 2M 7F

There was a lot of talk about Champagne Platinum for this race and how eye catching his run in Haydock was last time out but the horse that finished just in behind on that occasion makes more appeal and that was EVERGLOW trained by Philip Hobbs.

He is very lightly raced and has blinkers applied for the first time and he looks like a potential improver in what is as very competitive race.

He finished seventh in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton back in January and that shows that he can handle the hustle and bustle of a big field.

The handicapper has left him on the same mark as last time and that for me looks a little lenient to say the least.

He is likely to be a very big price but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was in contention.

2.30 RYANAIR CHASE (GRADE 1) 2M 4F

Rachael Blackmore and Cheveley Park teamed up to land the Champion Bumper with Sir Gerhard on Wednesday evening and they team up again here with ALLAHO and I think he will be hard to stop.

He was very impressive last time at Thurles when he got the better of Elimay giving her two pound. She went on and won at Naas on her next start which really makes the form look extremely decent.

This horse was fourth in the Savilles Chase over Christmas at Leopardstown where watching the race back I wasn’t fully sure he stayed the trip.

This trip looks ideal for him and with course form in his favour from last season when he finished third to Champ and Minella Indo I think he is going to be very hard to stop here.

He is drifting out to an each way price but I think he takes all the beating here.

3.05 STAYERS HURDLE (GRADE 1) 3M

Denise Foster has taken over at Cullentra Stables and the team couldn’t be in much better form this week with the legend Tiger Roll landing another Cross Country chase.

My selection here has plenty of solid course form and will be very hard to keep out of the frame. THE STORYTELLER will be ridden by Keith Donoghue and going by how emotional he was today, if this horse comes home in front there might be a tear or two shed.

This horse has mixed it between chasing and hurdles this season and I am a firm believer that the staying chasers are a much better group than the staying hurdlers. The last time we seen The Storyteller was when he finished a gallant second to Kemboy in the Irish Gold Cup.

He has to reverse form with Flooring Porter from the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown but around this track and on slightly better ground I think that is possible.

He is very solid each way value here with stamina assured.

3.40 PLATE HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE 3) 2M 4F

This race is simply all about THE SHUNTER and it looks a very shrewd bit of placing by his trainer Emmet Mullins.

This horse was successful in the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on his last run and will be trying to obtain a 100k bonus if he is successful here.

If we take a closer look at his handicap rating in both codes we will see that he is now rated 142 over hurdles and 135 over fences.

Emmet Mullins has chosen Jordan Gainford as his jockey this time around and he claims 7lb off the horse so that will take him down to a mark of 128. That will effectively leave him a stone well in compared to his hurdles mark.

On form he finished a very solid fourth to A Wave Of The Sea in quite a messy race last time at Leopardstown and there will be a nice weight difference with that horse on this occasion.

He looks a handicap blot for me and is one of the bets of the week.

I think there will be plenty of cash around for him and he will take all the beating.

4.15 PARNELL PROPERTIES MARES NOVICE HURDLE (GRADE 2) 2M

ROSEYS HOLLOW looks to have the potential to improve massively based on the form she showed when she got the better of Royal Kahala and Gauloise who both reoppose.

This mare is trained by Jonathan Sweeney and owned by JP Mc Manus and it would be quite a story for such a small stable if she came home in front. She caught my eye in a maiden hurdle behind Jon Snow at Leopardstown around a year ago and I was keeping an eye on her progress.

She has won her last two races very impressively and I think there might be plenty more to come.

It is a tricky puzzle to solve but she looks one of the main protagonists and I think she will be hard to keep out of the frame.

4.50 FULKE WALYWN KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE 3M 2F

The stable of John Mc Connell would be delighted by the run of Some Neck in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on Wednesday and they have a very interesting runner here in GO ANOTHER ONE.

This horse had a lovely preparation for this race at Thurles last time when he finished third behind The Bosses Oscar. He looks nicely weighted over fences and has the ability to go well fresh.

He fell at the ninth in this race last season but looks to have improved since. He was fourth in a Mayo National off a mark off 139 and runs off the same mark this time around.

He will be a very big price but he could run on into a place. Small each way play to end the day.



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article