2023 Cheltenham Festival Preview Day 3

Written By: Richard Smith
Last Updated: March 16, 2023

DAY 3 – THURSDAY 16TH MARCH – THE PADDY POWER STAYERS HURDLE

The feature race on Day 3 is The Stayers Hurdle and every race fan is looking forward to seeing if Paisley Park can bring the roof off of Cheltenham one final time.

The Stayers Hurdle has been won by some greats over the last decade, including the Paul Nicholls-trained Big Bucks who was a four-time winner of the race in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

With seven races each day, it gives many options from a betting perspective. You could go for all seven races and place a bet like a Super Heinz, or maybe get rid of a race with an odds-on favourite and go for a bet like a Lucky 63.

  • 13:30 Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Golden Miller)
  • 14:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
  • 14:50 Ryanair Chase (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Grade 1)
  • 15:30 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
  • 16:10 Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
  • 16:50 Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle)
  • 17:30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (Sponsored By The JRL Group)

Although we love to reminisce about these old national hunt warriors, you are not here for my trip down memory lane and the past winners, but to try and find this year’s winner, so let’s get right into the action and our Cheltenham Festival Preview Day 3.

13:30 Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Golden Miller

Will we see any dramatic fireworks like we did last year with the final fence fall of Galopin Des Champs? The Turners is a relatively new race at the festival, having been run for the first time in 2011.

We are sure to see plenty of Irish entries and it will be interesting to see what sort of ammo the British trainers can come up with to try and stop the Irish from winning it for the ninth time in twelve years.

We picked out three horses on the 2023 Cheltenham Festival Preview page at the end of January but once the final declarations are announced, our expert Richard Smith will be analysing each runner’s chance and giving you his tips for the race.

Until the decs are out, Richard has already analysed the Turners Novices Chase ten-year trends below. So check those out, they might help you to build out a shortlist of fancies for the race.

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10 YEAR RACE TRENDS

Trying to pick the winner of The Turners Novice Chase has not been too difficult over the last ten years with horses near the top of the betting doing very well. It’s a race that traditionally gives the punters a good start to the day.

So let’s look at some of the trends from the past ten years that could help you to pick out the winner.

  • Seven of the last ten winners have been seven-year-olds with three six-year-olds and one eight-year-old emerging victorious.
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has been the most successful trainer since the race started with four winners in the last ten years.
  • Four of the last ten runnings have been won by the favourite, with four-second favourites also winning in that time.
  • Only one of the last ten runnings has been won by a horse trading at double figures in the betting.
  • Nine of the last ten winners have had a rating of at least 147

RACE ANALYSIS & SELECTIONS

TRENDS PICK

The final trends picks will appear here on Tuesday 14th March. However, looking at the field, we have a clear enough trends pick in the favourite MIGHTY POTTER who looks like being a tough nut to crack. This looks a race that will cut up significantly, and we can expect to see a single figure field size here.

FORM PICK

A great start to the day with Appreciate It 9/2 from the Mullins yard taking on Gordon Elliot’s Mighty Potter 6/5. The Elliot horse was well fancied last year here at Cheltenham but ran no sort of race, so there is a slight question mark. However, the horse has carried all before him in this novice chasing campaign and he’ll surely be tough to beat here.

From a betting perspective, the improving NOTLONGTILLMAY 66/1 EW looks a lively outsider. No doubt he will have to improve at least 10 lbs on that last run when winning by nine lengths but is still relatively unexposed, and could go well here for up-and-coming trainer Laura Morgan.

For those who don’t like short price favs, then maybe a combo bet like a Canadian or Lucky 31 on five or six of the other races today.

14:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

The second race on Day 3 is one of my personal favourites of the week as the staying handicap hurdlers do battle. We are always treated to a big field, and often we’ll see a big price winner in this race, so it’s worth trying to pick out a couple against the field at juicy double-figure odds and maybe trying your luck for a big dividend with a combination tricast..

We mentioned three fancied horses for this on our 2023 Cheltenham Festival Preview page, but when the final fields are announced, our expert Richard Smith will be doing his very best to pick out a double carpet (33/1) shot to back each way.

For now, Richard has already analysed the Pertemps Network Final ten-year trends below. So check them out, they might give you some insights to look for when the decs are publicised.

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10 YEAR RACE TRENDS

Trying to pick the winner of the Pertemps Final is like picking a needle from a very large haystack. But that is what all punters love, a real battle with the bookmakers to try and find that elusive longshot to empty the bookie’s satchel.

Favourites, not surprisingly have a poor record in this, and the sweet spot for winners in recent years has been between 10/1 and 20/1.

So let’s look at some of the trends from the past ten years that could help you to pick out the winner.

  • Nine of the last ten winners have been six, seven and eight-year-olds, with six-year-olds winning five in that time.
  • Three of the last ten runnings have been won by the top-weighted horse in the handicap.
  • Only two of the last ten runnings have been won by the favourite.
  • Only three of the last ten runnings have been won by a horse shorter than 9/1 in the betting.
  • Five of the last ten winners had not won a race in the current season before going on to victory in this race.

RACE ANALYSIS & SELECTIONS

TRENDS PICK

The final trends picks will appear here on Tuesday 14th March. Looking at the trends, especially the age trend, then we have just one that qualifie from the 5 day decs and that is Roger Fell’s COLTOR. He was 5th of 22 in the Boodles Handicap Hurdle in 2021 and has a solid chance if taking his place in the final field.

FORM PICK

A cracking handicap and one in which we like two against the field, with the first of these being MILL GREEN 25/1 EW from the Nicky Henderson yard. This horse was third in this last year and has had the exact same prep as last year when running in a Pertemps qualifier at Haydock back in February. That will have put him spot on for this and this does not look as tough as last year’s race.

Our second selection is BEAR GHYLLS 22/1 EW who has been gradually dropping to a morer realistic handicap mark and produced his best run for some time from a 3 lbs higher mark last time, and he has also ran well here at Cheltenham from a higher mark in the past.

14:50 Ryanair Chase (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Grade 1)

It’s race three on Day 3 and we have Allaho looking likely to be trying to take this race for the third year in succession. He was the favourite at the end of January but had still not run at that point so it is a bit of a waiting game. If he does turn up on the day, then he’ll be a tough nut to crack.

Once we have the final declarations, our expert Richard Smith will be looking to post up his thoughts on which horse looks the value bet for the Ryanair Chase.

For now, Richard has already analysed the Ryanair Chase ten-year trends below. So check those out, they might help you pick out an ante-post selection.

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10 YEAR RACE TRENDS

Favourites have a fantastic record in this race over the last decade so we have to look at stats and trends to see if there are any particular horses we should be looking for once the final declarations are published on the Tuesday before the race.

So let’s look at some of the trends from the past ten years that could help you to pick out the winner.

  • Six of the last ten winners have been seven-year-olds.
  • Nine of the last ten winners have been in the first three in the betting.
  • Six of the last ten runnings have been won by the favourite.
  • Willie Mullins has won five of the last ten runnings, with each of those wins coming in the last seven years.
  • Eight of the last ten winners had an official BHA rating of 165 or higher

RACE ANALYSIS & SELECTIONS

TRENDS PICK

The final trends picks will appear here on Tuesday 14th March. However, both on trends and on form, this looks like going to SHISHKIN.

FORM PICK

There would have been a concern over ground conditions for Shiskin over the weekend but with the forecast for little rain after the opening day, then this one has the race at his mercy. The performance last time out showed he is back to his best and he should win barring accidents. Not really a working man’s price but should have too much class and so SHISHKIN 4/5 WIN is the selection here.

15:30 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

The feature race on Day 3 is the Stayers Hurdle and according to reports, it is going to be a race against time to see if dual champion Flooring Porter will make it to this year’s race in his bid for a third straight victory. Below you can watch the rerun of that race.

Great ride! FLOORING PORTER makes it back-to-back wins in the 2022 Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham

Even if he does not make the race, we still have a cracker in store with the new kid on the block Home By The Lee proving a revelation so far this season. We’ll also see Klassical Dream and Paisley park battling for the crown.

Once the final declarations are posted on the Racing Post and Sporting Life websites, our tipster Richard Smith can point you in the way of a couple of potential each-way bets.

Richard has already analysed the Stayers Hurdle ten-year trends below. So check those out, as there are some interesting stats that can help you to start analysing the early entries.

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10 YEAR RACE TRENDS

This used to be one for the favourites when Big Bucks was about, but since the big fella has hung up his horseshoes, the favourites have not fared very well in this race.

It is one of my favourite championship races, as we more often than not have a good-sized field and there is no real standout in this division, which means for betting purposes, you can often find good value.

So let’s see if the trends from the past ten years can help you to pick out the winner.

  • Seven of the last ten winners were rated at 156 or higher.
  • Seven of the last ten winners had run at least three times in the current season.
  • Only two of the last ten runnings have been won by the favourite.
  • Seven of the last ten runnings have been won by a horse bigger than 15/2 in the betting.
  • Previous course winners have a very strong record in the race

RACE ANALYSIS & SELECTIONS

TRENDS PICK

The final trends picks will appear here on Tuesday 14th March. However, the trends point to the veteran PAISLEY PARK.

FORM PICK

Cheltenham Festival trials day threw up an interesting contender for this in Gold Tweet 12/1 from France. He was very impressive visually and many people noted him as a potential winner of this race soon after. However, some caution is advised as his time was not particularly impressive and he’ll need to improve coming up against proven staying hurdlers.

Blazing Khal 3/1 has done nothing but improve the last two seasons and is rightly at the head of the market. He’ll need to improve a bit on the ratings to justify favouritism, but holds every chance.

However, the narrow vote has to go to dual winner FLOORING PORTER 5/1 WIN, who was a major doubt to make the race, but connections would not have risked him if they felt he was not 100% and he can once again make every post a winning one and etch his name as one of the true Cheltenham greats.

16:10 MAGNERS Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

The fifth race of the day is one of the most competitive handicap chases of the week. Run over 2 miles 4 1/2 furlongs, it usually attracts a field of twenty-plus runners and is more often than not won by a horse that features lower in the handicap ratings.

Once we get the final decs for The Plate Handicap Chase, our expert Richard Smith will be doing his best to pick out a couple of value bets that you might want to back each-way.

Our expert Richard Smith has already been busy analysing the Plate Handicap Chase ten-year trends below. So check those out.

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10 YEAR RACE TRENDS

Trying to pick any winner at The Cheltenham Festival deserves a medal, but even more so in a race like this, which is over the bigger obstacles and is always run at a furious gallop.

They say “horses for courses” and none fits that bill more than last year’s 22/1 winner Coole Cody, who may well be back to defend his title this year at the ripe old age of eleven.

So let’s look at some of the trends from the past ten years that could help you to pick out the winner of The Plate Handicap Chase.

  • Seven of the last ten winners have carried less than 11 stone to victory, so lower weighted horses are worth studying the form for.
  • Seven of the last ten favourites have finished either first or second.
  • Bryan Cooper has won two of the last ten runnings, with both matching 95% of our core trends.
  • Six of the last ten runnings have been won by a horse rated between 136 to 142
  • Seven of the last ten winners had run at least four times in the current season.

RACE ANALYSIS & SELECTIONS

TRENDS PICK

The final trends picks will appear here on Tuesday 14th March. However, we have a few that match the trends including Battleoverdoyen, Seddon and So Scottish. It will be interesting to see if any of these are ridden by Bryan Cooper as that would just tip the scales in that horses favour. At present, the hammer comes down on SEDDON.

FORM PICK

Midnight River 10/1 has shown excellent form here at Cheltenham on his last two starts and deserves to be near the top of the market. He has to contend with a 7 lb hike in the weights, and that may just scupper his chances of winning but we can expect him to run very well.

One of the Irish runners that looks very interesting, and is one of two selections, is CHAMPAGNE GOLD 22/1 EW for Henry De Bromhead. He is a very lightly raced chaser having only run three times over fences. He ran well here at Cheltenham last year when finishing 9th of 23 in the Coral Cup off a mark of 139 and last time got a sighter of these fences when finishing second in a novices handicap chase. The mark of 142 is fair and he could go well at a big price.

The other one we like here is the Philip Hobbs-trained CELEBRE D’ALLEN 25/1 EW. His form has been very consistent this season and he is back for another crack at this race after finishing 5th of 15 last year. He raced off a mark of 141 that day and was a very well-fancied 4/1 shot. His run at Sandown last time was eye-catching, and from a mark of 136 (5 lbs lower than last year) he has a very solid each-way chance again.

16:50 Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle)

The penultimate race of the day is one of the newer races at the Cheltenham Festival and it is the Mares Novices Hurdle sponsored by Ryanair.

This race has only been run seven times so trend spotting is a bit more difficult, but one thing for sure is that trainer Willie Mullins has an amazing 70% strike rate in the race.

We’ll take a close look once the final declarations are up, and hopefully our expert Richard Smith can point you in the right direction.

For now, Richard has already analysed the Mares Novices Hurdle ten-year trends below. The trend on handicap ratings is definitely one that can help in picking the potential winner.

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10 YEAR RACE TRENDS

Trying to pick the winner of this race since its inception has not been easy, even accounting for the amazing record of trainer Willie Mullins.

The favourites have won three of the seven editions of the race, but Mullins himself sent out the shock 50/1 winner Eglantine Du Seiul in 2019.

So let’s look at the trends from the past seven years and see if anything stands out that could help us pick the winner.

  • Four of the seven winners were rated 141 or higher.
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has won five of the seven runnings of the race.
  • Five of the seven winners had won at least two races in the current season.
  • All seven winners have been aged five or six years old.
  • Four of the seven winners carried a 5lb penalty to victory.

RACE ANALYSIS & SELECTIONS

TRENDS PICK

The final trends picks will appear here on Tuesday 14th March. However, looking at the pre-declaration runners, we have a very strong trends pick which is the Nicky Henderson-trained LUCCIA.

FORM PICK

There is no doubt Henry De Bromhead would love to win this race, which is named in honour of his late son Jack, and it would be an even more emotional moment than perhaps Honeysuckle’s victory on Tuesday.

However, his team will have to overcome Luccia 5/4 who has now won four races on the trot and was mightily impressive when last seen. It will take a very good performance to beat her, but maybe we can find one at a bigger price for an each-way play.

The horse I like is THE MODEL KINGDOM 25/1 EW who was brushed aside by Impaire Et Passe last time, but has an improving profile, and receiving 5 lbs from the penalised Luccia, looks to have a solid chance each-way.

17:30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (Sponsored By The JRL GrouP

The final race of the day is the amateur riders Gold Cup. This race which is named after one racing and one military legend has been a part of the festival for many years and always throws up a fantastic finish.

Run over three miles and two furlongs, you need a true stayer to win the race and that is what we will be looking for from our expert Richard Smith as he tries to give you a couple against the field.

Richard has already been analysing the ten-year trends for this handicap, and you can see those below. So check those out, as the trend on the current season form could be a great tool to cut down the field to a shortlist.

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10 YEAR RACE TRENDS

This is a cracking good handicap and race where certain trainers and jockeys have done very well.

Favourite backers have not fared well in this race with the nature of the way the race is run, we often see big prices pop up as was the case last year with 40/1 winner Chambard.

So let’s look at some of the trends from the past ten years that could help you narrow down what is sure to be a full field of 24 runners.

  • Six of the last ten winners have been seven-year-olds.
  • Seven of the last ten winners had not won a race in the current season before going on to victory here.
  • Only one favourite has prevailed in the last ten years.
  • Eight of the last ten runnings have been won by horses priced at 6/1, 8/1, 9/1, 9/1, 12/1, 16,1, and 40/1 twice.
  • Nine of the previous ten winners have carried a minimum of 11 stone to victory

RACE ANALYSIS & SELECTIONS

TRENDS PICK

The final trends picks will appear here on Tuesday 14th March. However, looking at the field, we can quickly narrow this down to two horses, and these are Mr Incredible, and Western Zara. Of these, the value pick looks to be WESTERN ZARA, who gets in at the lower end of the weight trend.

FORM PICK

Always a competitive race and one that is often run at a furious pace, and that is why we want to look for a horse with solid course form that stays further than this 3-mile 2-furlong trip, and the horse we like with a very solid profile is CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK 25/1 EW.

He runs here off a mark of 132 which is only a pound higher than his runner-up spot last time. Prior to that he had run three solid races here at Cheltenham, and it is interesting to note that most of his best form is in the Spring.

CONCLUSION

It will be a poignant day for Henry De Bromhead and his family and nobody would begrudge him the winner in the mares novices hurdle race.

From the racing perspective, it’s all about Flooring Porter and it would be magnificent to see him win this race for a third straight year.

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Richard Smith
Richard Smith

I am a total sports fan, in particular horse racing, football and golf, and have been writing about these and other sports for a number of years. I have had the chance to attend many of the biggest horse racing events in my time and my sporting claim to fame has to be winning the inaugural RacingTV Tipstar contest back in 2014. When not watching or writing about sports and sports betting I like to take an interest in cryptocurrency, and last but not least spending time and playing with my two young grandchildren.

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