The third day of Cheltenham Festival takes place on Thursday 16th March, and is known as St Patrick’s Day. There’s plenty big races to look forward to today, after a few novice races yesterday on Ladies Day. This is the penultimate day of the festival with the Gold Cup ending the week as one of the feature races after what’s been an action packed week that kicked off on Champion’s Tuesday.
St Patrick’s Thursday Betting Specials & Existing Member Offers
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Horse Racing: Bet365 Best Odds Guaranteed
bet365 offer Best Odds Guaranteed on every horse race - every day!
When you place your bet with bet365, take the price on your selection - and if the SP is bigger they will pay you out at the bigger odds! Ante-Post, Tote/Pari-Mutuel (bets and dividends), 'Not to Win', Enhanced Win, Cover Bets and In-Play bets are excluded.
This offer includes Board Prices, bet365 Early Prices, singles and multiples as well as Showcast bets on all racing where a fixed price is offered. Offer applies to bets placed on Win and Each Way Fixed Odds markets and Enhanced Place Terms markets only. All other markets, including adjusted place terms (Each Way Extra), Ante-Post bets (unless otherwise stated) and Tote/Pari-Mutuel (bets and dividends), are excluded from this offer. All Australasian Racing is excluded.
For example, if you take an Early Price of 3/1 and your selection wins at 4/1, you get paid at 4/1!
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Bet365 Extra Each-Way
Each Way Extra gives you the option to increase or decrease the number of places in a race when you are betting Each Way on selected Horse Races at bet365.
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Where Enhanced Place Terms are offered on a race and selected by a new or eligible customer, Best Odds Guaranteed, ITV Racing 4/1 Offer and Feature Race 4/1 Offer will apply.
Horse Racing : Betfair customers can now collect points on every bet placed
Betfair Customers will now have the opportunity to collect Rewards4Racing points on every bet placed.
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Horse Racing: Bet365 Price Promise
bet365 will be best price or joint best price on every horse for all races shown live on ITV Racing.
Applies to bets placed on Win and Each-Way Fixed Odds markets from 10am on the day of the race. Prices matched against selected bookmakers. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply.
Horse Racing : Betvictor Best Odds Guaranteed
Take the Early or Board Price and Betvictor will pay out at the Starting Price if it’s bigger, guaranteed. Ensure you read the full terms and conditions on the 'Offers' page.
Horse Racing : Betvictor Run For Your Money
Betvictor will refund all losing bets (in cash) on British and Irish racing on horses who fail to give punters A Run For Their Money and refuse or whip around at the start, fail to come out or lose all chance at the stalls.
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Horse Racing : Betfred Best Odds Guaranteed
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Horse Racing : Betvictor Betfinder tool helps you find your best horse to bet on
The Betfinder is Betvictor's new tool in their horse racing area. It is using the latest TimeForm data to help you pick a horse to back.
Add your criteria, such as form, weight, star rating and recent performance filters to help you pick the best horses for the day. Ensure you read full terms and conditions before partaking in any offer.
13.30 The JLT Novices’ Chase
There have been only seven previous editions of this 2m4f race with Willie Mullins saddling four winners including the last three renewals. It was introduced for novice chasers lacking the speed for the Arkle and the stamina for the RSA Chase.
2018 Race Preview
An injury setback has prevented former ante-post favourite Willoughby Court from participating in the JLT Novices Chase, and the event which opens the third day of the festival has now become a very open contest. The Willie Mullins trained Invitation Only now leads the market, but his credentials are not that particularly strong.
Invitation Only fell in his first outing over fences back in November before winning his next two races. His performances in those two events did not suggest that he was a special horse and in his more latest contest, he could only finish third in bunch finish behind Monalee at Leopardstown. The Mullins horse should be involved in the finish of this race at Cheltenham, but he may not necessarily be the eventual winner.
Former French flat horse Terrefort may be one of the more interesting challengers to Invitation Only. Soft ground will be essential for Nicky Henderson to consider running this 5-year-old, but he has won his only two starts over fences. In his latest outing and in receipt of 3lb, he just beat the useful Cyrname in the Scilly Isles Novices Chase at Sandown with the remaining runners more than thirty lengths adrift.
Another interesting candidate is the Paul Nicholls trained Modus who has won all of his three completed races over fences culminating in an easy win at Kempton last month when the three lengths winning margin did not reflect the comfortable nature of his victory. The one blot on his form figures is when falling three fences from home during a disappointing display at Exeter back in December.
Of the other horses likely to contest the JLT, Finian’s Oscar, Benator and Shattered Love are the most appealing. The former is trained by Colin Tizzard and has undergone a minor wind operation since pulling up in a hurdle race during January. The horse can claim winning form over course and distance this season.
Finian’s Oscar was beaten by Benator is his previous race over fences and the Gary Moore horse is unbeaten in three starts during his chasing career. Most of his victories have earned in a workmanlike manner but those qualities may be needed to win at Cheltenham.
Meanwhile, Shattered Love has benefited from a rest since Christmas but has won four of his five chases including a Grade 1 contest at Leopardstown.
14.10 The Pertemps Network Final
A series of qualifying races are staged throughout the season culminating in this final, and another difficult multi-runner handicap for the punters. Presenting Percy won the race last season at a price of 11/1, and he is considered one of the favoured horses for the RSA Chase.
14.50 The Ryanair Steeple Chase
Irish raider Un De Sceaux will try to win this race for the second successive season but he is likely to face 2013 winner Cue Card. This contest was awarded Grade 1 status in 2008 and as per the JLT race earlier in the afternoon, horses unsuited to the Champion Chase or Gold Cup participate in this 2m5f event.
2018 Race Preview
One of the more popular performances at the 2017 Cheltenham was that of Un De Sceaux winning the Ryanair Chase and the horse will be hoping to repeat that effort at the forthcoming Festival. In attempting to retain his title, he is likely to be opposed by fan’s favourite and 2013 winner Cue Card, and their clash is likely to prove an intriguing contest.
Un De Sceaux has raced just twice this season, but he has won on both occasions with the most recent success achieved at Ascot when accounting for some decent rivals in the January Clarence House Chase. The versatile 10-year-old gelding has proved an ability to act on most surfaces but with a preference for softer conditions, and he will arrive at Cheltenham as a relatively fresh horse.
Cue Card has also experienced a relatively light campaign since finishing a distant second in the Betfair Chase at Haydock during November when conditions were vey testing. The Colin Tizzard horse has fallen in his two previous visits to Cheltenham when trying to win the Gold Cup, but he is tackling the shorter distance on this occasion. In his only other race since finishing tired at Haydock, Cue Card was unable to prevent the younger Waiting Patiently from winning the Betfair Ascot Chase last month.
It is probable that Cue Card needed that race after his fairly lengthy layoff but the winning horse is one of the more promising animals to emerge this season, and he is unbeaten over fences. Waiting Patiently would provide formidable opposition should trainer Ruth Jefferson decide to risk her horse over the Cheltenham gradients.
Jefferson is likely to saddle Cloudy Dream for this race with the horse proving to be an enigma over the past two seasons. The 8-year-old gelding finished second in the Arkle last season and always appears to be travelling well during races. However, he has acquired a tendency to finish second whatever the distance travelled, but he could be viewed as a serious each-away possibility for this race at odds varying between 10/1 and 12/1.
15.30 The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle
This is now the feature race of Day 3, and previous winners include Baracouda (twice) Inglis Drever (three times) and Big Bucks (four times). The ill-fated Nichols Canyon will not be able to defend his 2017 title, but it is set to be an open contest for the 2018 renewal.
2018 Race Preview
There had been suggestions earlier in the season that UnowhatImeanharry would emerge as ante-post favourite ahead of the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham. Despite his defeat in the 2017 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, the horse had won each of his other long-distance hurdle races for trainer Harry Fry including a victory in his seasonal reappearance at Aintree during November. Two subsequent losses have ensured that the 2018 Stayers hurdle is set to be an open looking contest.
Defeats at Newbury and Ascot have prompted opinions that UnowhatImeanharry just lacks that vital turn of foot at the end of high-quality races, but he could emerge as decent each way value for the Cheltenham contest at a price of 14/1.
Fry’s horse has been replaced at the head of the Stayers Hurdle market by Supasundae and Sam Spinner. The former Irish trained horse is generally a consistent animal over various distances but may have been flattered to beat Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle last month. It was a creditable performance, but the Willie Mullins horse may just have needed that race after failing to finish over the Christmas period.
As for Sam Spinner, a victory for this horse would also be an achievement for the relatively small stable of Jedd O’Keefe who has recovered from cancer. His 6-year-old gelding has never been placed outside of the top two positions under National Hunt rules, but he reserved his finest hour to date when winning the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot during late December. He beat the versatile L’Ami Serge by 2+ lengths that day, and the two horses are likely to re-oppose at Cheltenham, which is a far more difficult course than Ascot.
There is also the probability that the Alan King horse Yanworth will appear in this race after failing to really prove himself over the larger obstacles during the current campaign. Yanworth beat Supasundae in the 3m+ Stayers Hurdle at Aintree back in April and has been generally quoted as third favourite for the Cheltenham equivalent.
Last but not least, fan’s favourite The New One is scheduled to appear in this race with trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies now realising that his veteran horse lacks the necessary speed for competing in the Champion Hurdle. He would be a popular winner but his stamina for three miles is yet unproven.
16.10 The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
A 2m5f handicap chase which has been won three times by David Pipe since 2010. Last season’s winner Road To Respect is set to feature in the Gold Cup on the final day.
16.50 The Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle
This race was introduced to the Festival in 2016 and the Willie Mullins / Ruby Walsh trainer and jockey combination has won both races.
17.30 The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Another race restricted to amateurs and is staged over 3m1f. Several runners from this contest often feature in the Grand National, while jockey Jamie Codd has won the race four times since 2009.